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COVID-19 has accelerated the transformation of the healthcare industry and how healthcare is delivered for the foreseeable future. Healthcare leaders and frontline workers have been the catalyst to reveal areas that could improve the resilience of the system. Some of these opportunities include ways to improve care access, expand critical care, support the well-being of their workforce, and keep clinicians safe as they help patients with the virus. Today Microsoft continues to work with our healthcare customers and partners to set a course for recovery and resiliency in an ever-changing environment and I’m excited to share Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare is now generally available.

Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare provides trusted and integrated capabilities that deliver automation and efficiency on high-value workflows as well as deep data analysis functionality for both structured and unstructured data, that enable healthcare organizations to turn insight into action. This end-to-end, industry-specific cloud solution includes released and new healthcare capabilities that unlock the power of Microsoft 365, Azure, Dynamics 365, and Power Platform. It makes it faster and easier to provide more efficient care and helps customers support end-to-end security, compliance, and interoperability of health data. A robust partner ecosystem extends the value of the platform with additional solutions to address the most urgent challenges the healthcare industry is facing today. 

 

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At Providence, our vision of health for a better world drives us to continuously innovate on behalf of our caregivers and patients. As part of our journey to simplify, modernize and innovate across our technology ecosystem, we are proud to have not only adopted but also to have contributed to the development of key capabilities of the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare. By bringing together the right technology and data at the point of care – along with powerful solutions such as machine learning and artificial intelligence – we are empowering clinicians on the front lines. And as the first health system in the U.S. to treat COVID-19, this has made a critical difference in Providence’s ability to respond rapidly to the pandemic. Going forward, we are excited about how these innovations will further ease the way of our caregivers so they can better serve our patients and extend our healing mission to more people in need.BJ Moore, Executive Vice President and CIO of Providence.  

Enhance patient engagement

We worked closely with our customers to develop a set of capabilities to help patients interact directly with health teams and simplify routine tasks for better patient satisfaction and care transparency.  

Patients’ demand for personalized care continues to evolve. They’re actively seeking digital health tools that allow them to be seen by their provider without leaving their homes. This evolution of engaged patient care will mean the proliferation of virtual health and services to deliver preventative, ongoing care management, and individualized patient programs that help promote better health and wellness outcomes. Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare helps healthcare organizations integrate secure virtual health capabilities by creating workflow cohesive artificial intelligence (AI) health bots and virtual visits into the care journey and helps expand services to more patient encounters and new medical specialties. 

Facilitating patient access to secure portals and mobile tools to help them interact directly with health teams, and simplify routine tasks, will help your organization deliver higher levels of patient satisfaction and care transparency. Patient insights help you create a patient-centric lens of transactional, observational, and behavioral patient data to rapidly analyze data unique to each case, optimize the patient experience, and enable collaborative care management across both digital and human-assisted channels, anywhere, anytime.  

Empower health team collaboration

Care teams need to be able to connect with patients, increase communication and collaborate more efficiently in a secure, real-time environment to address issues from single-patient monitoring through pandemic-level crises that necessitate a broader reach and level of interaction. Building a 360-degree patient view helps care teams understand the patient’s needsenabling faster decision support and actioning across care teams. The capabilities under care coordination help teams manage patient care activities and share information among all participants involved in the patient’s ongoing care 

Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare helps empower teams to collaborate and share knowledge in a single secure place, with advanced messaging features including priority notifications, smart camera, and message delegation. Health teams can use data integrated across clinical systems, applications, and electronic health records to help accelerate treatment decisions and improve patient care. Communicating the right information, at the right time, to the right people enables faster decision support and actioning across care teams, and simplifies complex workflow management (e.g., bed managementpatient discharge, equipment, and staffing) 

Whether in-facility, or through at-home medical care, extending patient care beyond the hospital walls through continuous remote monitoring helps your organization reduce re-admissions, and provide new modalities of care. Using IoT and AI, healthcare organizations can generate secure health data monitoring for patients in recoveryrehabilitation, or find ways to help support patients with disabilities or managing chronic diseases.  

Improve clinical and operational data insights

Healthcare organizations continue to face a variety of challenges with their data. There is a virtual explosion in the amount of collected information, fragmentation of data and formats across providers and care teams, spiraling cost escalation, and a shortage of staff and resources to keep up with the workload.

However, with technology rapidly changing and growing, adopting it may seem like a daunting prospect for many healthcare organizations that also need to follow compliance regulations and ensure data security. The good news is that it is possible to achieve HIPAA compliance while also implementing cloud technologies to store and utilize health data to make smarter decisions. 

Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare makes possible the electronic access, exchange, and use of electronic health information by and between patients, healthcare providers, and health plans. Personal health information (PHI) needs to be handled differently in the cloud, and when FHIR is built-in, it gives organizations the trust and control they needWe’ve innovated the way healthcare organizations can enrich, normalize and unify protected health information (PHI) through Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR)and longitudinal data to accelerate AI workflows, team productivity workflows, and business process workflows.  

Once healthcare organizations have their data in the cloud a host of data analytics tools become available for analyzing and mobilizing your clinical and operational data for reporting, real-time assessment, and ongoing quality improvement. When organizations deploy AI-driven predictive analytics for data modeling, risk assessment, and decision support they can extend patient data with financial, operational, and medical device information to leverage insights for faster decisionmaking across the entire care journey. 

Partnering to support connected experiences across healthcare workflows

Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare enables healthcare systems to take advantage of our robust ecosystem of healthcare partners who can provide solutions that complement and extend core cloud capabilities. Using these partners’ expertise will help organizations through EHR and platform integrations, implementation services, and healthcare SaaS offerings.  

For the last several years, Microsoft has worked with leading Independent Software Vendors (ISV) and System Integrator (SI) partners to help innovate on the cloud. Our partners are now ready to evaluate, extend, and build innovative solutions for healthcare organizations that need to create more responsive, connected, and meaningful engagement with their patients, care teams, and their communities.  

Healthcare organizations’ missions are about ensuring the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities. Their scope of responsibility is wide-ranging and varies from country to country, and they are required to provide healthcare services to their citizens, including crisis response, disease prevention, and wellness services. The rise of technology-driven innovation may improve healthcare organization’s ability to transform their care ecosystem to deliver more convenient, integrated care to consumers, enhance productivity of providers, and improve outcomes while lowering cost. 

Today’s launch is just the beginning. Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare will release regular updates and we will continue to build and extend cloud capabilities for healthcare payors, providers, pharmaceutical, and medical device companies. Our continued goal is empowering global healthcare organizations to find connected, innovative ways to create better experiences, insights, and care. Visit Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare to explore the capabilities, see demos, and hear more from our customers.