Healthcare professionals play a critical role in supporting the health, safety, and wellness of people around the world. Working in a complex care environment—made even more complex by events such as the spread of COVID-19—doctors, nurses, and other healthcare staff need access to tools that enable collaborative workflows to deliver high quality patient care. Both patients and clinicians need greater flexibility and convenience when it comes to being able to connect with each other across locations.
That’s why, today, we are announcing new capabilities coming soon to Microsoft 365 that empower care teams to securely collaborate and communicate, helping clinicians and administrators perform their jobs more effectively.
Scheduled virtual visits for providers and patients
In-person doctor visits can be challenging, especially for patients with mobility issues, a compromised immune system, or living in areas with a shortage of clinicians or healthcare facilities. Video conferencing provides a way for clinicians to provide high-quality, personalized, and affordable consultations. Using the complete meetings platform in Microsoft Teams, combined with the new Bookings app in Teams, providers will be able to schedule, manage, and conduct virtual visits with patients, such as a surgery follow-up.
Once a visit is scheduled within Teams, the patient receives a customized email with appointment details and a link where they can join the virtual appointment from their web browser or Teams mobile app. “It’s very easy to set up the virtual appointments. I can schedule an appointment. An email goes out to the parent with the appointment date and time,” says Judith Vincent, Specialist Nurse, Epilepsy Clinic at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS foundation trust. The Bookings app will be available in Teams in the coming weeks.
In addition, with the Microsoft Graph API, organizations can incorporate Teams meetings into their unique healthcare workflows. The API supports the integration of both scheduling and meeting-join links into existing healthcare applications like electronic health records systems. If your organization is interested in getting early access to the Bookings app in Microsoft Teams to schedule, manage, and conduct virtual visits, please fill out this form.
Knowing who is on shift and being able to reach them at the right time is key to delivering timely patient care. Often, valuable time is spent trying to identify the correct contact information for healthcare staff members. Currently with targeted communications in Teams, you can manually create tags to organize users based on attributes such as a role, skill, or location. Once applied you can message everyone assigned to a tag at the same time in a chat or channel conversation: for example, you can message all @Orderlies in a ward.
And coming soon, Teams messages can be targeted to role recipients based on the shifts they are working. With this added ability to tag based on shift awareness, users are automatically assigned to tags matching their schedule in the Shifts app in Teams, which allows for integration with major workforce management systems, including AMiON, JDA, and Kronos.
New tools to help you meet compliance goals
To help healthcare organizations reduce risk and support compliance with regulatory requirements, we introduced Microsoft Compliance Score available for all enterprise and business plans. Compliance Score simplifies compliance by scanning your Microsoft 365 environments to detect your system settings, and provides clear guidance on how you can enhance your compliance posture against HIPAA/HITECH requirements. Learn how to add the HIPAA/HITECH assessments in Compliance Score here.
Healthcare customers share the benefits of Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams
Northwell Health, New York state’s largest healthcare provider, has rolled out Teams to all of its employees, helping transform patient care coordination, and ultimately resulting in shorter hospital stays and improved patient outcomes. Vish Anantraman, AVP Chief Technology Innovation Officer, explains: “Microsoft Teams is a great platform for collaboration. It is a platform on which we have been able to innovate.”
Clinicians at UK National Health Service (NHS) Calderdale and Huddersfield foundation trust are conducting virtual visits with patients using Teams, saving on travel time for both doctors and patients. They’ve seen the quality of care increase and costs reduced. Learn how NHS Calderdale and Huddersfield foundation trust use Microsoft Teams for epilepsy and oncology care.
With locations in 26 countries, Cerner Corporation, is using Teams to help its associates work smarter to power healthcare innovation with Microsoft 365. Bill Graff, Chief Information Officer, explains, “We were looking for borderless mobility, an intelligent work experience infused with AI. And we wanted that work to happen in an environment with tight security from the start. Microsoft 365 delivers on all counts.”
Partnering to drive healthcare innovation
Navigating the challenges and disruption facing the healthcare industry requires partnership among healthcare organizations, industry associations, and technology providers. Building on our momentum with partners and ISVs across healthcare, there are a few exciting new announcements.
Innovaccer is integrating care management and coordination into Microsoft Teams to reduce redundant tasks, surface insights, and increase communication across the care team. Andor Health gives clinicians the power to configure workflows and bring messages originating in an EHR directly into Teams, enabling the clinicians to personalize the signals used to help them provide care.
In addition, building on last year’s seamless Single Sign-On (SSO) announcement with Imprivata—a leader in healthcare digital identity and access management—Microsoft 365 will now support “badge-tap” access to make secure sign-on to applications, whether on-premise or in the cloud, even more efficient for staff. Clinicians can simply tap their badge to be quickly authenticated and log directly into and out of Teams instead of entering a username and password to access mobile and other shared clinical devices.
The healthcare landscape is rapidly changing, and we are here to help. Learn how care teams can be empowered with Microsoft 365 tools to help provide the best possible care.