As innovations in medicine rapidly advance, care has become more complex and specialized. Team-based care is becoming the new norm for care delivery. However, the tools clinicians use to collaborate often lag behind. We are investing in health team collaboration, a set of solutions empowering clinicians to give patients the best care possible using a secure platform. This week at Microsoft Ignite 2018, we announced new secure messaging capabilities and a private preview of a new care coordination solution.

Health organizations strive to enhance patient care, improve population health, and reduce costs. Improving the work life health of providers is also increasingly important especially as hospitals struggle with staff shortages and increased administrative tasks, which can lead to dissatisfaction and burnout. Provider organizations invest in the most cutting-edge medical technology while productivity tools are often outdated. Yet as care becomes more complex, teams of specialists need to access the right information and coordinate with the right people. Fragmented systems and antiquated tools no longer cut it. And the consumer chat apps many rely on jeopardize patient privacy, data security, and regulatory compliance. These issues can lead to growing provider dissatisfaction and hinder patient care.

With these announcements, health care providers can now:

1. Use New Messaging Capabilities

We are releasing new secure messaging capabilities to meet enhanced security and compliance requirements: image annotation, now generally available, and priority notification, which will roll out by the end of this year to all Microsoft Teams commercial customers. These capabilities support HIPAA and other compliance requirements, enabling clinicians to communicate about patients while avoiding the privacy risks that arise when healthcare professionals use consumer chat apps.

  • Priority notifications – alert the recipient to an urgent message and automatically notify the recipient every two minutes for up to twenty minutes
  • Image annotation – capture, annotate, and share images on a secure platform. IT Admins can set policies to prevent images from being stored on a mobile device or local drive.

2. Try the new Care Coordination solution

We’re also delivering a new care coordination solution, now in private preview, a secure hub to coordinate care across multiple patients. It provides for integration with EHRs and enables care providers to communicate about patient care in real time with Microsoft Team’s secure platform. We are already seeing interest to pilot this solution from thought leaders in health.


Advocate Aurora Health, one of the largest not-for-profit healthcare networks in the United States, approaches care by treating patients holistically and proactively. They have been delivering innovative, patient centered care with interdisciplinary health teams (IDTs) who collaborate to ensure that each patient is receiving the right care, at the right place, at the right time. One of the tools utilized by Advocate Aurora Health’s IDT’s was a pilot project of the Microsoft care coordination solution built on Microsoft Teams to help streamline communication and workflows.

“By using the care coordination solution, we easily sync with anyone involved in a patient’s care and maintain better insight into each patient…When we see this communication becomes seamless and in real time, it’s a great victory for our teams,” says Dr. Divyang Joshi, Medical Director and Medical Doctor in Internal Medicine.

3. Learn about our investments in security and compliance for Microsoft 365

Health team collaboration solutions are built on Microsoft 365, which offers a secure platform that can help organizations meet regulatory compliance obligations through a robust set of tools and features. Built-in security capabilities leverage insights from billions of data signals with machine learning to help protect sensitive health data. As a company, we have a long track record of building security and privacy into how we design and develop software. To build a trusted cloud platform for health teams, we offer more than 1,100 internal controls to meet multiple regulatory requirements and industry standards, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Learn more about health team collaboration on the Microsoft 365 health website.