Before working for Microsoft I worked for the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK for nine years, and we had to deal with complex and significant situations regularly, but nothing with the scale and impact of the current pandemic crisis. At Microsoft, we know we’re several steps away from our healthcare customers on the front lines, but we feel the need to help those customers and partners in whatever way possible. They have shared with us how the current situation creates unexpected challenges as they work to handle the overwhelming demand for care, support of their first-line clinicians, and the need for vital medical resources.
I’ve been inspired by the work that many of our customers have undertaken over the last few weeks, like stories from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Providence St. Joseph Health in Washington State, Helsinki University Hospital in Finland, St. Luke’s University Health Network in Pennsylvania State, and National Health Service in the UK. They have implemented technologies in their regions and have seen a real difference in scaling their capacity, patient responsiveness, and remote worker support.
Working together to make a difference
The other thing that I’ve found inspiring is watching our customers, partners, and Microsoft employees put aside normal business and come together to figure out what we can do together to help—and make a real difference. I’m proud of how our company has responded by making critical platforms and capabilities available at no cost, like in the examples mentioned above. Our teams are contacting customers to help make them aware of the available assistance, so they know there’s support to help during this crisis. Below are resources to help healthcare provider organizations as they deliver large–scale messages to their employees, remote facilities, and support their communities at large:
- Complimentary 6-month Office 365 E1 to help connect employees during COVID-19 response
- Learn about Microsoft’s Healthcare Bot service that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help respond to patient inquiries
- Build a crisis management site to connect people and information
- Use this preconfigured template to rapidly share information across facilities and collect employee updates with Power Apps Crisis Management template
- Quickly optimize Office 365 traffic for remote staff and reduce the load on your infrastructure
- Balancing cloud services continuity for crucial health and safety organizations
- Work remotely, stay secure—tips for CISOs
As the world continues to respond to the outbreak of COVID-19, our thoughts are with the people affected and the medical and essential service professionals working around the clock to help those in need and help each of us and our families. I see social posts from many of my friends and former colleagues from the NHS sharing how hard their roles are right now in this crisis, but also how proud they are to be making a difference. I am honored to have worked with these amazing people in the past and honored to help support our healthcare customers and partners.
I also recognize how lucky I am to work for Microsoft—both in terms of the people I get to work and how well we are supported—and if you want to find more on how Microsoft is working to support employees, customers, partners, and communities, read the recent post on LinkedIn from our CEO Satya Nadella.
You will find the latest information, updates, and resources from Microsoft here: Responding to COVID-19 together.
Join us in an industry community of your peers at the Microsoft Healthcare and Life Sciences Tech Community.