Breaking the Mould: Microsoft 365 Guides Healthcare Into New Digital Territory

Andy Riley, Sales Director at Daisy, says many aspects of the healthcare sector could be “cured” (or at least treated) by a ‘365’ degree pivot.

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed many a legacy system and outdated IT infrastructure within healthcare to a point where the sector has had to try to transform itself overnight. But while there are calls for a drastic injection of technology innovation, many aspects of healthcare could actually be transformed by a quick ‘365’ degree pivot.

365: An initial consultation

Microsoft 365’s contribution to this effort seems slight but is actually hugely significant.

In short, Microsoft 365 is a bundle of applications including Windows 10, Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility and Security (EMS). But, delving deeper, these applications are actually cures to many of the ailments that healthcare professionals continue to face.

With best-in-class productivity applications, simple device management and always-on security, Microsoft 365 can improve patient outcomes, simplify collaboration across care teams, enhance quality of care, and reduce costs by streamlining fragmented workflows.

Keeping more than just people safe

Among Microsoft 365’s numerous benefits, the two that standout most prominently – especially after the events of the past two years – relate to security and communication.

When it comes to security, the healthcare sector is no stranger to cyberattacks. Sadly, ransomware became synonymous with the sector following WannaCry’s infamous attack back in 2017 – which infected more than a quarter of a million machines across more than 150 countries.

Five years on, the health sector remains the top target for cyberattacks with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) defending an average of 60 attacks per month since September 2019. That said, Microsoft 365’s cybersecurity tools can go a long way towards preventing future attacks.

The most notable is Microsoft EMS, an intelligent management and security platform. EMS enables hospitals to streamline and simplify the management of their remote devices – allowing staff to work in new and flexible ways, while being resilient to outside threats. Designed to comply with stringent UK health and data regulations, EMS comes complete with built-in security protocols that centre around keeping patients and their data safe at all times.

‘Viva’ la communication revolution

Microsoft 365 allows for a more seamless level of communication between professionals, both in and outside of an organisation.

The ability to engage with doctors, nurses and specialist staff across the entire healthcare network is one thing. To do so while being able to share files, information and data securely, is a gamechanger for healthcare professionals and patients. This safer, speedier,  more effective access to electronic records, via a cloud-based solution, can only further enhance the quality of patient care.

Since the start of the pandemic, Microsoft has also added various features to Microsoft Teams aimed at expanding the use of its collaboration application for frontline workers. Additions include Viva Connections, which is specifically targeted at connecting workers with each other, and their organisation.

Support from ‘digital doctors’

As with any digital intervention, implementation needs to be bespoke, strategic and audited.

To ensure the smooth introduction of this Microsoft 365 solution, healthcare providers should look for consultative and technical assistance from experts, in the same way a patient would go to a nurse or doctor for a health check.  A specialist partner can offer guidance throughout from pre-assessments to ongoing support and management.

The healthcare sector has spent so much of the past two years helping people through their most challenging times. Now it’s the sector’s turn to consult its own ‘digital doctors’ and adopt Microsoft 365 to aid its own innovation recovery.


This article was originally published in Public Sector Focus Magazine Jan/Feb 2022 Edition

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