Productivity and Collaboration: Help everyone work together better

28 February 2014 | Sam Robinson, National Director, U.S. Health Plan Industry, Health and Life Sciences

The market is ever-evolving and your health plan needs to be able to take advantage of opportunities and collaborate with business partners quickly, easily, and securely. You also need everyone involved in your business to work together as effectively as possible so that you can improve member health, customer experience, and control costs.

Microsoft Lync can help you streamline communication and collaboration within and beyond your organization to address these requirements.

Designed to meet the needs of mobile and geographically dispersed team members, Lync enables people to communicate with robust security anywhere they have network connectivity using a variety of systems and devices. From one easy-to-use client, people can initiate voice and video calls, online meetings, presence, and instant messaging (IM). They can escalate communications from IM to voice to video to sharing their desktop with a single click or tap.

Unified communications help health plans be more agile in responding to changing market conditions and customer needs. For example, with Microsoft unified communications, Extend Health has been able to easily support its aggressive growth rate and cut the time it takes to bring new call center agents on board from months to days. Instant messaging, Internet telephony, and web conferencing are also used throughout the company to streamline administrative and other business functions. The company did all this with an up-front savings of more than US$3 million compared with its previous call center solution, and it is realizing continued savings of $640,000 a year.

Easy, highly secure collaboration across teams and organizations

By enabling people within and outside your organization to work together better with easy-to-use, highly secure communication and collaboration tools, Lync can help your health plan in a number of ways, including:

Improve member health and experience. Public-facing representatives and behind-the-scenes staff can work together better to provide high-quality, efficient service to members and consumers. Streamline your core claims and care management processes by enabling team members to connect with each other and access up-to-date information when and where they need it. And communicate in timely, convenient ways with members, physicians, and employer partners.

Enable people-centered care management. Your employees, partners, and affiliates can collaborate across the care continuum to enable patient-centered care management. Whether they’re in an office, in a clinical setting, or out in the field, people can quickly connect with each other to stay up to date on your members. You can even extend your care communications to clinical and community health staff both inside and outside of your partner organizations in an easy, cost-effective, and highly secure manner.

Streamline communications. You can improve first service call resolution rates and member experience by providing a complete, connected communication channel. Help your employees be more productive by making it fast and easy for them to connect with the resources they need, when they need them. Presence features enable them to see who’s available to help them and the best way to reach them. Lync can be used from within Microsoft Office 365 applications—including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and SharePoint—providing employees with a consistent, contextual experience for both internal and external communications. You can even extend these integration capabilities to your key line of business applications through the Lync Software Development Kit (SDK).

Make team meetings more convenient and effective. People can easily create, join, and manage a Lync meeting, even if they don’t have Lync. This includes internal, external and even extended team meetings with your members. They can join from a browser and still enjoy a full online meeting experience including IM, voice, multiparty video, data collaboration, and sharing. And with OneNote, team members can create and share OneNote digital meeting notes within Lync meetings and then easily refer back to them later.

Designed to work with your other technology investments, Lync can be quickly and easily implemented in the cloud, on-premises, or a combination of both. To learn more, visit the Microsoft Lync website. And keep checking back here, where I will continue to share examples of how health plans are making collaboration across teams and organizations easier and more effective.

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Sam Robinson
National Director, U.S. Health Plan Industry, Health and Life Sciences

Microsoft in Health Blog

About the Author

Sam Robinson | National Director, U.S. Health Plan Industry, Health and Life Sciences

Sam Robinson is the National Director, U.S. Health Plan Industry, with Microsoft Health and Life Sciences. In this role, Sam is responsible for Microsoft’s strategy, execution, and public presence... Read more