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Healthcare providers have one of the world’s toughest jobs: providing affordable, efficient and personalized care to people who would prefer to be anywhere else than a hospital.

Yet the bond between patient and medical practitioner is sacrosanct. We tell our doctors things we might hesitate to tell our significant others, and we’ll heed their opinion on many things—except perhaps to lay off that extra slice of bacon.

A few years ago, the healthcare system adopted the use of electronic medical records to help drive down costs, while also improving the quality and continuity of care by ensuring that medical staff all had access to the same information, regardless of where they worked.

Healthcare providers have since discovered that there’s much more they can do with a patient’s data. By connecting medical devices to the cloud, hospitals and clinics can use the power of the Internet of Things (IoT) to generate and analyze data, which helps them identify areas where they can improve patient care.

For example, healthcare providers have woken up to the fact that bedside manner matters—even when it’s administered digitally—in maintaining positive doctor-patient experiences. By adopting business tools such as CRM, hospitals and clinics are becoming better equipped to capture a patient’s preferences and efficiently provide a more personalized level of care.

Working with technology services companies such as TriBridge HealthCare, healthcare providers ensure patient needs are front and center. The TriBridge Health360 solution delivers a modular, comprehensive solution for organizing health records; tracking a patient’s clinical, behavioral, and preferential data; managing the provider network; and coordinating care through data analysis.

Rich Nero, Director of Healthcare Business Development for Tribridge, says Tribridge customers have seen significant results from the Health360 solution, citing one provider that achieved greater than 95 percent patient satisfaction rating.

Health360 is helping providers do much more than improve quality of the care, but Nero says that it all starts with gathering the patient’s data and knowing what to do with it:

“[Healthcare organizations] want to enhance long-term care management and increase the efficiency and efficacy of inbound and outbound call centers. But they can’t do any of this without first knowing their patients, bringing different data sources together and creating a positive environment for patient engagement.”

With the rise the IoT, more of this data is being generated through apps operating on blood pressure cuffs, thermometers, and other medical devices connected to the hospital’s network.

Solution providers like Astute, Inc. are developing a variety of sensor and device-based solutions that allow healthcare providers to remotely monitor a patient’s condition, whether they’re in a continuous care facility or recovering at home from a recent surgery. This provides an efficient way for home healthcare and other medical staff to monitor a patient’s health without sacrificing quality of life.

Remote monitoring is helping to save lives as well, thanks to a Microsoft Surface app developed by Dr. Girish Shirali, a pediatric cardiologist at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. Shirali’s Cardiac High Acuity Monitoring Program, or CHAMP, helps doctors to closely monitor babies who are born with a rare congenital heart disease called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), in which their heart contains only one ventricle.

Curing children of HLHS requires multiple surgeries spaced around six months apart, and parents must monitor their children vigilantly in between procedures. The mortality rate for HLHS had been as high as 25 percent, but CHAMP app has made it much easier for parents to record their baby’s vital signs and send them to the cloud, where the data is analyzed remotely. If any of the vitals are outside of normal parameters, doctors are notified immediately. Currently, more than 62 families in Kansas City have benefited from CHAMP, and another 16 families in Washington State are also using the app.

Children’s Mercy, Tribridge and Astute all leverage Microsoft Azure and analytics tools such as PowerBI and the Cortana Intelligence Suite. These solutions enable healthcare providers to track and analyze patient data, and use the resulting insights to create a more holistic picture of the patient that helps them provide more personalized, effective, and efficient care.

For more on patient-centric healthcare, read the Q&A with Nero and Damon Auer, Vice President of Health and Life Sciences at Tribridge. And visit the Azure for Healthcare webpage to learn more about how other providers are benefiting from Microsoft Cloud technologies.