Improved Healthcare Collaboration Tools Let Staff Focus on the Patient


Collaboration, security, data… it’s all happening now in healthcare.  Consider how the following organizations overcame challenges to meet their disparate but connected constituent needs while achieving financial goals. In each of these examples, collaboration helped members of the care continuum drive efficiencies and promote innovative approaches to connect people and ultimately provide outstanding patient care.

Array Health’s Spectrum cloud-based software took advantage of a suite of Microsoft products to give health insurers such as Highmark Health Services the security features, scalability and high level of performance they needed to run a successful private exchange. Microsoft SQL Server 2012, Windows Server 2008 in addition to .NET framework and Internet Information Services  helped meet the increased demands on performance and security in addition to providing their clients with innovative, enterprise-grade private exchange solutions.

In less than three months, the University of Colorado Health (UCHealth), one of the largest healthcare providers in Colorado, was able to fully migrate 17,000 mailboxes from three disparate healthcare organizations on multiple legacy email platforms into one single consolidated Microsoft Office 365 environment. Switching to a complete Microsoft enterprise subscription solution is expected to increase collaboration across UCHealth and save an estimated $13.9 million in overall costs throughout an 11-year period.

Community Healthcare Network (CHN),  a group of nonprofit community health centers providing medical, dental and social services in neighborhoods throughout New York, ensures constant communication during extreme weather and crisis situations, such as Hurricane Sandy, to maintain email and server connectivity.  CHNs communications-in-the-cloud allows emergency operations to continue securely and efficiently, and most importantly, without interruptions so staff can stay in contact and concentrate their efforts on helping patients.

The physicians at Mihills Webb, a small provider practice in Southlake, Texas, uses Lync in Office 365 for physicians to communicate with their staff while still in the room with the patient, instead of walking through the 12,000 square foot facility to communicate with their team. Physicians remain in the exam room with patients longer, move patients in and out of the office faster and the practice has boosted staff communication, in addition to boosting morale with their cloud communication strategy. Mihills Webb also adopted the Office 365 cloud business productivity platform to comply with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations and to be able to sign business-associate agreements. When physicians or office staff needs records from a hospital, they simply request them through instant messaging rather than leaving the exam room.  This type of multitasking saves time and money.

Reliable patient-centered collaboration, HIPAA privacy and security compliance, better management of unified, streamlined, and standardized communications, plus productivity gains are all reasons Gwinnett Hospital System, Kindred Healthcare, and Texas Health and Human Services have moved, or are in the process of moving, to a cloud-based collaboration productivity platform – specifically Office 365 for Healthcare Organizations.

Empowering a more connected and mobile workforce—by breaking down barriers, uncovering insights, and supporting efficient, reliable processes through secure formal and informal communications is now the healthcare business challenge. Today it’s about delivering the latest capabilities in technology while keeping your tools familiar, simple and easy to use—so your employees can get up and running quickly and without interruption in patient services. It’s about delivering applications that are proactive and actually help guide people through tasks so they can achieve more with the latest devices, on any platform. It’s about technology that enables your business and your people to respond with agility and quickly adapt to changing healthcare business needs and business processes. It’s about applications that connect your employees to each other, to the extended care team, and ultimately to your patients.

How is your organization collaborating with providers, staff and patients? Is your current email environment saving you money?  Are your communication and collaboration tools quick and easy to use so that your staff can concentrate on patient care?