Improving Patient Care with Office 365
If provided a way to save money and enhance patient care, you'd probably implement it right? One such way is to follow the example set by the National Health Services of Scotland and of Advocate Health Care, one of the largest hospital systems in Illinois. Both organizations switched from Microsoft Office to Microsoft Office 365 and boosted caregiver efficiency while also improving care consistency.
It sounds subtle, but it meant unchaining medical staff from their office computers by moving to Office 365 a cloud based solution. While migrating such large organizations was a huge undertaking, the transition occurred comfortably because the medical staff already used Microsoft’s software. The switch simply moved their files and licenses into the cloud making them accessible on any device, from anywhere, and at any time.
Office 365 Benefits
You might not think of Office 365 as healthcare software, but in a medical setting it enables the use of Office applications and data everywhere on nearly any device and that is invaluable to caregivers. Office 365 enables online meetings for immediate care consultations (via audio, video or chat), instant document sharing and business-class email. Implementing Office 365 benefits long term post-acute care providers because it:
- provides caregivers with instant, shared patient data,
- is always automatically up to date with no effort required from the user,
- licenses each user with access on up to five devices,
- enables virtual collaboration,
- protects data with HIPAA compliant methods,
- reduces capital expenditures since it's a monthly subscription,
- includes built-in backup and recovery capabilities,
- enables easy scaling since you can instantly add licenses as needed.
How Office 365 Helped NHS Scotland
NHS Scotland recently leveraged these benefits, seizing upon the opportunity to unify its systems. It purchased licenses for 161,000 staff, enabling them to merge more than 100 distinct computer systems across the country. Its implementation of Office 365 unifies medical staff in sharing patient information and lets them communicate digitally.
It also better protects patient data and guards against disruption to patient services. Part of the Microsoft platform they implemented includes the Advanced Threat Protection security suite that lets the medical IT staff respond to hacks and other online attacks in near-real-time. This will help NHS Scotland avoid cyber disasters like the WannaCry ransomware attack which resulted in disruption to more than one-third of UK providers, according to the National Audit Office. This disruption caused the cancellation of 6,900 appointments and cost nearly £100 million.
How Office 365 Helped Advocate Health Care
In 2012, Advocate Health Care chose to become an early adopter of Microsoft Office 365. Advocate leveraged Office 365 to boost efficiency and ensure consistency in care throughout its 37,000-associate organization. According to Advocate’s representative Dennis Giles, they also use two components of Office 365 in somewhat unique ways. They use Microsoft Skype video calls to conduct multidisciplinary rounds for hospital intensive care units. This lets medical staff coordinate patient care without travel between facilities. Its nursing staff use Microsoft SharePoint to monitor high-risk patients post-discharge to increase the success rate of patient outcomes.
Economic analysis conducted by Forrester revealed that Advocate Health Care saved more than $53.8 million during a three-year period from its staff's information productivity gains alone. That translates to a 63 percent risk-adjusted return on investment.
Achieving the Best Results
When migrating from a desktop or server based Office installation to Office 365 in the cloud it is wise to consider adding outside expertise to assist your information technology staff, especially if they have not done a cloud migration before.
A consultant such as vcpi can help your organization migrate more quickly and for less money than doing it yourself. With vcpi’s focus and experience in caring for information technology in LTPAC you get a trusted partner that is familiar with your needs. Contact vcpi to discuss migrating your organization to Office 365 so you can start reaping the benefits of cloud based productivity.