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Microsoft Industry Blogs

Focus on: Patient engagement

This year at HIMSS, the industry-leading event for healthcare professionals, Microsoft will bring healthcare partners from around the world to demonstrate innovative solutions currently empowering the digital transformation of the health industry. This blog post is the first in a series about how Microsoft provides the intelligent services and trusted platform for partner solutions; it focuses on solutions that better engage patients. Join Microsoft and its partners at HIMSS18.

Just as digital transformation has raised customer expectations in other industries, patients today have higher expectations of the health organizations they interact with. Patients are no longer willing to wait through numerous inconclusive appointments in the hope that they might be cured – 88% of patients confirm they would switch providers without hesitation if dissatisfied with the care they received.[1]

Imagine a world where health organizations have risen to – and surpassed – these expectations, a world in which great patient relationships and better outcomes are the norm. In this world, patients have greater insight, control, and responsibility, enabling them to proactively manage their health. Patients and health organizations have a real connection and use emails, texts, and video calls to achieve health goals and strengthen relationships. A secure, self-service web portal keeps patients engaged and gives them access to full health records, information, and resources. With more communication occurring between in-person visits, including automated health reminders, patients and providers can focus on preventative health and condition management. This enables patients to stay on top of their health rather than reacting to health problems as they occur.

In this world, health organizations connect with patients and their families using video conferencing, emails, and instant messaging to enable continuous communication throughout the entire care cycle. By engaging family members and support systems, care providers turn patients’ loved ones into more effective players on the patient’s personal care team.

Microsoft is deeply committed to seeing these possibilities through to reality.

Microsoft enables a world where patients are proactively engaged

Microsoft is developing technologies that enable health organizations to take a proactive approach to patient engagement and give patients more control of their health. These offerings include intelligent services and trusted platforms that help health organizations develop pervasive relationships, give patients self-service access and proactive reminders, and reduce admissions and readmissions.

With intelligent communications like Skype for Business and virtual health solutions Microsoft gives patients more avenues to communicate with caregivers whenever and wherever is most convenient. With these technologies, providers gain more flexibility to efficiently engage with patients. Additionally, care workers armed with mobile tools can serve remote populations, extending care and treatment options to previously hard-to-reach patients.

The Microsoft cloud enables self-service access and proactive reminders that give patients more power to stay on top of their health. With health data, test results, and billing statements available at their fingertips, patients gain a 360-degree view of their wellness that enables them to fit healthcare into their busy lives. By providing proactive reminders and tailored coaching, health providers enable patients to stay true to care plans and achieve their health goals.

While improved engagement provides clear health benefits to patients, care providers benefit from more pervasive relationships due to the lower costs that come with fewer admissions and readmissions. By enabling preventative rather than reactive care, health organizations deliver better outcomes, reducing trips to the emergency room and the substantial costs that come with them. 

Achieving this vision is a team effort

Our partners play a pivotal role in working toward this vision of deeper, more proactive patient engagement.

One of those partners is HealthGrid, which offers a mobile, enterprise patient engagement platform for providers, hospitals, and health systems who want to promote healthy patient populations and manage quality. HealthGrid serves the ambulatory and acute care environments for over 15,000 providers across more than 350 facilities. Their CareNotify solution is a customizable platform that helps organizations adapt to the evolving healthcare environment by redefining how healthcare professionals interact with their patients.

Guided by the belief that the solution to highly engaged patients is simple, HealthGrid allows patients to become more active participants in their care by enabling timely, relevant conversations on the mobile devices they already use every day. HealthGrid’s customers are equipped to deliver patient experiences that include personalized content throughout the entire care journey, dramatically improving the quality of care, improving outcomes, and increasing patient satisfaction. One such customer is Miami Children’s Hospital, which, as a result of implementing HealthGrid technology, has not only achieved significantly improved engagement, but has also recognized a strong ROI.

Neudesic , the Microsoft 2017 U.S. Country Partner of the Year, offers a portfolio of solutions that enable consistency and collaboration through transparent, repeatable, and outcome-driven processes. Their Case Management Tracking and Reporting solution offers health teams quick and easy access to member data, tools for comprehensive case lifecycle management, and provides robust tracking and reporting on case activity. Leveraging the Neudesic Member and Patient Information and Preferences solution empowers health teams to proactively engage patients and members according to their preferences, including through self-service channels, to deliver positive experiences that boost loyalty and retention. The solution creates a single source of member information by combining data from disparate systems, and ensures that new data entered through any channel of the system is immediately available to authorized staff to ensure patient care is always delivered according to accurate, up-to-date information.

In order to track and manage member issues from a wide variety of channels, Neudesic offers the Customer Service Interaction System, which enables health organizations to reduce complaints, grievances, and appeals while increasing productivity and quality of service. The solution embeds routing of specific regulatory components to the correct groups and teams so each process can be measured. And, in order to streamline time-consuming Medicare, Medicaid, and Compliance Reporting processes, Neudesic has created tools to provide controlled automation and easy access to the information required to confirm cases are handled properly and efficiently.

Another Microsoft partner, Teladoc, offers comprehensive telehealth solutions tailored to meet and exceed the evolving needs of hospitals and health systems. Teladoc combines cloud-based technology built on the Microsoft Azure platform with unsurpassed operational support to expand access to virtual care — delivering patients and providers better convenience, outcomes and value. Teladoc is the only telehealth provider with a dedicated business unit and licensable technology solution for hospitals and health systems which has earned the exclusive endorsement of the American Hospital Association. Learn more about how Teladoc is using telehealth to achieve the triple aim, and is expanding access to healthcare.

Finally, as a member of the Microsoft partner community since 2003, Hitachi Solutions provides systems that are designed specifically for the needs of today’s health industry. Their advanced healthcare solutions not only enhance member engagement, but enable organizations to do so in ways that are compliant with new regulations. Hitachi Solutions’ self-serve portals deliver personalized patient experiences and give patients the ability to engage with their providers when and how they want. Their tools and predefined process flows for managing patient onboarding ensure strict adherence to patient privacy and data rules, so no matter how patients choose to engage, their information is safe.

Hitachi Solutions also enables providers to deliver more efficient processes, and improve the quality of care, and enhance overall patient health. Their healthcare awareness campaigns help providers go beyond simply executing end-to-end campaigns enabling them to measure campaign effectiveness. The unified service desk ensures more effective and efficient call center operations, enabling providers to meet key performance indicators on call hold times and resolve patient and member inquiries on the first call. And, to ensure all the best information is available to make healthcare decisions, the Patient360 and Treatment Plan solutions offer providers a single source of truth with a complete picture of their patients in a single system.

Learn how leveraging Hitachi Solutions can help healthcare organizations streamline call center operations, unify systems for a single source of truth, and provide powerful tools that help maintain excellent customer service.

Visit us at HIMSS

Microsoft provides the intelligent services and trusted platform for health solutions. To learn more about how Microsoft and partners such as HealthGrid, Neudesic, Teladoc, and Hitachi Solutions are enabling healthcare organizations to empower care teams, visit our booth at HIMSS 2018.

[1] West