Leading the way for change, Microsoft announced its first industry-specific cloud offering this year, Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare. Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare allows healthcare orgs to more proactively engage with their patients and gives providers the tools they need to improve workflows and streamline interactions. 

Designed specifically for healthcare providers, this offering can improve clinical and operational data insights and enable secure data interoperability, an important feature given ONC’s proposal regarding how EHRs should be handled.

Read on to learn a bit more about some of Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare’s unique features, as well as how it can improve patient care, collaboration, and interoperability. 

Improved Patient Engagement

Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare extends the value of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing, Dynamics 365 Customer Service, and Azure IoT, enhancing the patient experience. For example, healthcare organizations can develop customized care plans for each patient or group, allowing providers to publish relevant content and outreach to patients on any device. They can also deploy secure virtual visits and remote health monitoring, (especially useful during the current COVID-19 pandemic).

Another tool Microsoft’s added to the patient engagement toolbox is Microsoft Healthcare Bot Service. When a patient/potential patient goes to the healthcare provider’s online patient portal, they enter a Q&A with a chatbot to get some information about them and their situation before transferring them to a call center agent. After some triage there, the agent can schedule an appointment via telehealth and conduct it over Microsoft Teams video.

Finally, all this information is captured and available to the healthcare provider if there’s a follow-up appointment in the clinic. Using a chatbot this way allows patients to be “seen” more quickly and gives healthcare orgs a way to service more patients without overloading their providers.

Better Team Collaboration 

Even before the pandemic, the tools providers used to coordinate patient care were fragmented and didn’t really provide the collaboration needed in the healthcare setting. Now, capabilities in Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams can streamline workflows to provide a secure platform for connected care. HITRUST certified and HIPAA compliant, Teams combines voice, chat, and video meetings, as well as secure messaging and recording/transcription features, to give providers one digital location they can go to get in touch with their colleagues.

The tool also gives clinicians another way to connect with their patients. Healthcare providers can schedule, manage, and conduct virtual visits within the Bookings app in Teams, an amazing feature for anyone more easily served by telemedicine than traditional in-office appointments. 

Interoperability for Improved Care 

Microsoft is also dedicated to interoperability, security, and compliance. There’s never been a more critical time for healthcare organizations to be able to consume, share, and access information securely and quickly. However, as we recently covered, COVID-19 has exposed serious issues with public health agencies’ inability to receive electronic data. Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare to the rescue!

Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare comes equipped with interoperability tools that healthcare orgs need to organize their health data in the cloud around Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR). Microsoft was also the first cloud provider to offer a generally available Azure FHIR service, allowing healthcare organizations to ingest and persist data in the FHIR format. 

Healthcare on Cloud Nine

Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare is available to customers in public preview with a six-month free trial and is expected to be generally available in the fourth calendar quarter of 2020. This is the first of more industry-specific clouds that Microsoft plans to release. 

If you’re ready to take your healthcare organization to the Microsoft Cloud, Surety Systems can help get you there. Our healthcare interoperability consulting team can help you with your interoperability woes, no matter what HL7 engine you use. 

Contact us today to learn more.