Microsoft Customers Honored As Leading Health IT Innovators by InformationWeek

29 September 2011 | Dr. Dennis Schmuland, Chief health strategy officer, U.S. Health and Life Sciences, Microsoft
I’m not sure when the tipping point occurred, but it’s become clear to everyone I talk to that technology has become an inseparable element of our daily lives. And it’s blurring the lines between our personal lives and our professional lives as we find the applications and devices we use at home working their way into the workplace and vice versa. As these lines continue to blur, nearly everyone - including doctors, nurses, and patients - has come to assume that they should be able to use the same mobile technologies they use at home at work rather than juggling separate devices for work and for home. In fact, according to a study by Unisys (conducted by IDC), a full 95 percent of information workers use at least one self-purchased device at work.
And while many organizations in non-health industries are realizing a number of benefits from this consumerization of IT trend, it’s especially tricky in healthcare delivery environments where fastidious user requirements as well as regulatory and biohazard pitfalls abound. The key is to strike a balance between offering a more flexible choice of devices with the business need to meet or exceed a fastidious and ever-expanding list of enterprise requirements for desktops, tablets, slates, laptops, and smartphones. These can require a common and seamless user experience across multiple devices and rooms, shock resistance, resilience to biohazardous fluids and disinfectants, strong authentication and encryption, or the ability to remotely manage, upgrade, and even wipe devices in the case of theft or loss, to name just a few on a very long list.
This month we were proud to see our customers who have struck this delicate balance of offering a greater degree of device flexibility without compromising enterprise requirements were honored among the 10 Health IT Innovators in the annual InformationWeek 500 for using technology to create a better experience for patients. We believe that it’s nearly impossible for a healthcare organization to create a better experience for patients without first creating better user experiences for the clinicians and support staff that serve those patients.
Baylor Health Care Systems, ranked 49 on the list, wanted to go electronic, but they found that their suite of healthcare applications had performance issues that were tough to diagnose among several platforms, including PCs, laptops, workstations and devices brought in by employees themselves. To better gain insight into their overall network, Baylor created an application using the system they had in place with SQL Server 2008, custom C++ .NET code, and advanced low-level .NET capabilities to provide high-level graphs that can identify and drill down into performance problems. This way, Baylor Health Care Systems can be flexible and support an increasing range of devices that employees want to bring into the system – from their own laptop to their smartphone – and still have control over their network and keep it secure. It’s another case of a customer using Microsoft technology to solve a problem, improve efficiency and allow employees to use their own preferred devices.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, ranked 12 on the list, is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School. BIDMC offers a patient portal, called PatientSite, which connects its patients to their medical records online. If you are a patient at BIDMC, you may securely import your medical records from BIDMC to your Microsoft HealthVault record.
Our customer New York-Presbyterian Hospital (NYP) also was recognized by InformationWeek with a rank of 23 for the deployment of, a personal health record that uses Microsoft Amalga and Microsoft HealthVault to offer patients the ability to access and store personal medical information generated during their doctor and hospital visits at NewYork-Presbyterian. Amalga brings together a patient’s acute care and ambulatory care data that has been collected in NYP’s disparate IT systems, including the EMR. The patient then can request to view his or her consolidated clinical information through the portal and copy the information to a personal HealthVault account for storing, using or sharing as desired.

We’re excited to have our customers recognized by InformationWeek this year and see more healthcare organizations use our solutions to find creative ways to solve problems and improve efficiency. We’ll continue to share examples of the innovative tactics our customers using to allow more devices into their systems, lower costs, improve care and empower consumers to manage their own health. Stay tuned here for more on how the consumerization of IT is changing the landscape of healthcare and what we have in store for this year.
Dr. Dennis Schmuland
Chief health strategy officer, U.S. Health and Life Sciences, Microsoft