Operational Efficiency

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

​To compete in today’s marketplace, health plans need to be both high-performing and lean. This means they need to improve the productivity and innovative capacity of their teams and at the same time cut operational costs and complexities.

That’s precisely what WellPoint has done. Like many health benefits companies, WellPoint faces the challenge of adapting to an increasing number of government mandates, an aging population, increased individual coverage needs, and shrinking operational budgets. To address these challenges and enable coordinated delivery of its services, WellPoint is using reliable, highly secure, and always up-to-date Microsoft Office 365. Cloud-based communication and collaboration tools empower employees to work productively and deliver exceptional customer service to the 34 million members in its affiliated health plans. And with Office 365, WellPoint has continual updates to the latest versions of business productivity software, minimal IT administration, enhanced data security, and business continuity—all at a reduced cost.

Like WellPoint, your health plan can increase operational efficiency in a number of ways with Office 365.

Increase productivity

Boosting efficiency starts with giving your most important resource—your people—smart, timesaving tools that help them be more productive. They need to be able to work across devices, from anywhere, and have a consistent, fast experience doing it. Whatever device they’re working on, Office 365 gives your people access to documents, email, calendars, contacts, team sites, and more. Their settings and files are up to date and ready for them to pick up right where they left off, no matter what device they're using.

Office 365 also makes it easy for teams to work together in real time—without compromising the security and privacy of sensitive data such as protected health information (PHI). For example, with Microsoft SharePoint Online and its highly secure enterprise social networking, team members can share an update to a document or discussion, or ask a question as easily as they would update their Facebook status. It’s a quick, easy way for your teams to collaborate and innovate. They can stay connected and be inspired by following sites, newsfeeds, content, and conversations.

Dispersed teams can also easily conduct video team meetings using Microsoft Lync Online or collaborate on documents using SharePoint Online and familiar Office apps including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Reduce costs and simplify IT management

Eliminate redundant applications. Many health plans have multiple technology investments with overlapping features for messaging and calendaring systems, collaboration tools, document management suites, social networking, web conferencing, and more. With Office 365 cloud services, you can streamline communication and collaboration tools and make them available to all who need them from anywhere on any device. That way, you can eliminate redundant applications and drastically reduce IT complexity and costs.

Save IT money and time. You don't have to worry about hardware costs and software upgrades with Office 365. You can also stop spending time and money keeping the tools you depend on up to date and managing services. We're continually adding new features, which you get automatically. And a financially backed Service Line Agreement (SLA) means 99.9 percent uptime. So you get highly secure and reliable enterprise-grade IT at a fraction of what it would cost to run it yourself. And just as important, because cloud services provide automatic maintenance, your IT staff is freed up to focus more on initiatives that directly affect your organization’s strategic imperatives.

What’s more, Office 365 enables you to move to the cloud on your own terms. If you’re not ready to move all of your communication and collaboration functions to the cloud yet, you can connect your on-premises services and migrate to Office 365 incrementally.

Learn more on the Microsoft Office 365 for Health Organizations website. And keep checking back here, where I will share more examples of how our health plan customers are increasing operational efficiency.

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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