Making Healthcare More Efficient with Office 365

Developing a technology solution for the healthcare industry is no easy task due to the high expectations in terms of security and functionality. And although different countries have different government regulations when it comes to privacy policies and medical identities, the underlying issues stay the same. Doctor-patient confidentiality must be maintained, while at the same time productivity of medical institutions must benefit from new technologies.

Dmitriy Yasinskiy January 9, 2017

The introduction of cloud computing opened up numerous possibilities for improvement in the healthcare industry. A most noticeable example of cloud platforms is Office 365. Microsoft’s cloud solution is undoubtedly one of the leaders in the respective market. But what’s more important is that Office 365 was created with many industries in mind, healthcare included. So the platform can be assembled to serve many needs of medical institutions, primarily hospitals.

Collaboration Through Office 365

You hear all the time about how collaboration, communication and teamwork are important to run a successful business. Well, you can say that almost any other industry pales in comparison to the healthcare, as here lives are at stake. So the established communication is vital, and not only for emergencies.

With Office 365 you can set up easy and effective ways of coordination, with site mailboxes and extensions like Lync Online allowing immediate communication.

Data Access

Microsoft Office 365 for Healthcare allows quick data access for all practitioners. Moreover, it can be done from virtually any modern device, whether it is a PC, Mac, smartphone or tablet.

All the patients’ medical data can be synced with your devices to work even offline. This opens up a possibility for more effective home and emergency appointments.

Security and Compliances

With all of this availability and seeming simplicity, it might appear as if the system lacks security. But nothing can be further from the truth. Microsoft designed Office 365 for healthcare in such a way that it will meet most of the institution-specific and governmental security compliance regulations there are. It accords with HIPAA Business Associate Agreement on part with ARRA/HITECH and many other regulations, the list goes on and on.

Hospitals’ Staff Familiarity

One of many reasons why healthcare industry nowadays is turning to Office 365 is because previously many hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities used to operate on private on-premises Microsoft Exchange Servers. So switching to the cloud environment from the same manufacturer holds many benefits like instant familiarity with the product. And this is a very important issue because right here hospitals can face two major difficulties.

First, you don’t want to spend a single day on unnecessary training. Doctors and nurses spend half of their lives learning and practicing. Plus, let’s not forget that most healthcare facilities are quite overloaded already. So issuing a training period will slow down the work around, which can not only lead to patients stacking up in enormous waiting lines, but also cause some vital problems and even fatalities. Healthcare is complicated business on its own, and there is no need to make it even harder.

The second problem is usually the migration. Some clinics and hospitals can’t afford a single hour of downtime, therefore it becomes very problematic to migrate the entire IT environment, which by the way, contains years and sometimes decades of patient’s records, medical histories, prescriptions, pharmaceutical orders, time logs, shifts etc. The amount of data stored even in a small hospital is staggering.

Migration to Cloud

Therefore, healthcare institutions require assistance from a third party to help with migration from on-premises Exchange to Office 365. We at Digital Design provide a range of migration services for companies from different industry domains, including healthcare. One of our fundamental approaches to the process is automation that helps to reduce the time that it takes to move an entire IT infrastructure to the cloud. With careful scheduling and well-executed synchronization, we can eliminate any potential downtime, so you can maintain the workflow and productivity during the entire transition period.