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Today, we kick-off the HIMSS 2019 conference and we are excited to share the new capabilities in Microsoft Teams that empower healthcare professionals to provide their patients the best care possible. At HIMSS, we’ll demonstrate how Microsoft Teams can help your healthcare organization improve clinical and operational outcomes and better coordinate patient care - all on the secure and compliant Microsoft 365 cloud.

 

Please stop by our booth (No. 2500) for hands-on demos and to get all your questions answered by our experts. Not going to be at HIMSS? Be sure to follow @MicrosoftTeams to hear about the latest news and updates from the conference.

 

Read the full announcement blog here, and read below for a detailed look at the new Teams capabilities.

 

1. Send urgent messages with priority notifications

Priority notifications alert a recipient to an urgent message on their mobile and desktop devices until a response is received, every two minutes for up to 20 minutes.

 

Availability: Priority notifications is available in private preview. Interested in joining? E-mail teamsforhealthcare@service.microsoft.com.

 

 

PN.pngClinicians get repeated notices about urgent messages in need of acknowledgment and response

 

2. Assign a delegate for when you are unavailable

 

Message delegation enables a user  to delegate messages to another recipient when they are not available, for example while in surgery.

 

Availability: Message delegation is coming soon.

 

 

2 Message Delegation GIF.gifClinicians and staff can assign another recipient as a delegate for their messages when they’re not available

 

3. Integrate FHIR-enabled electronic health records (EHR) with Teams

With this care coordination functionality, hospital and clinical staff on-the-go can securely access patient records, chat with other team members, and even start a video meeting, all without having to switch between apps. Learn more here about the care coordination solution in Teams.

 

Availability: Private preview. Find out more from our partners here.

 

 

3 EHR desktop and mobile v2.pngBy integrating with electronic health records, Teams enables healthcare teams to use a secure hub for coordinating patient care

 

4. Securely share images with smart camera

Smart camera can interpret different image types such as a document, whiteboard, or index card, and can utilize auto crop for easy consumption. The smart camera experience has been built with Microsoft’s Office Lens functionality and allows for image annotation. Images taken from the smart camera in Teams are not auto-stored to the user’s mobile device, allowing clinicians to share images in a secure and compliant way.

 

Availability: Available on Teams mobile apps iOS and Android

 

 

IA.pngClinicians can consult via Teams mobile chat by annotating images and securely sharing with smart camera

 

5. Plan and create schedules with shifts

With shifts, the schedule management tool in Teams, clinician and staff managers can easily plan and create shift schedules, and health team members can review schedules, swap shifts, or offer shifts from their mobile devices, all in real time.

 

Availability: Shifts is available on both Teams desktop and mobile. Check out support documentation here

 

 

 

S.pngCreate and distribute schedules to your health team. Easily review your schedule, and day and shift notes, directly from your mobile device

 

6. Deploy consistent teams customized for healthcare with team templates

Team templates let administrators quickly pre-define a team’s channel, install apps, pin tabs, and more so users can focus on collaboration rather than spend time setting up a team and allowing for consistent teams across the organization. The ward template is meant for communication and collaboration within a ward, pod, or department. The template can be used to facilitate patient management, as well as the operational needs of a ward. The hospital template is meant for communication and collaboration between multiple wards, pods, and departments within a hospital.

 

Availability: Available on Teams. Check out support documentation here

 

7. Rich mobile message federation

Native federation will allow users to have the same level of experience when chatting with other users within the same or different tenants/organizations; this includes the ability to have 1:1 and group chats as well as send rich content such as files and emojis.

 

Availability: Coming soon.

 

Let us know what you think!

Please try out the new features and provide feedback using the feedback link in the lower left corner of Microsoft Teams. If you have suggestions on how to make Teams better, please submit your idea via User Voice or vote for existing ideas to help us prioritize the requests. We read every piece of feedback that we receive to make sure that Microsoft Teams meets your needs.

 

- Microsoft Teams Healthcare team

 

10 Comments
Super Contributor

Is urgent message notification reserved only for healthcare organizations? Other clients can also benefit from that.

Occasional Contributor

@Yousaf Sajid Thanks for the updates above. As @Oleg K said, I'm sure other client types will benefit from urgent message notifications.

 

The post says "Message delegation enables a user to delegate messages to another recipient when they are not available, for example while in surgery." The screenshot flow, however, shows essentially an out-of-office pop-up in the Teams client that someone is unavailable. It doesn't appear that delegation actually changes the message flow; it's just a visual alert to anyone trying to communicate with "Daniela" that she is unavailable, and that they should communicate with someone else instead. Under this model, in what it looks like to me, the communication must then be moved by the sender to a different chat stream (so the original intended recipient - Daniela - doesn't see it), rather than being auto-routed to the delegate but maintaining coherency of message flow for both the original recipient and the delegate. Can you please confirm - @Yousaf Sajid - if there is any auto-routing to the delegate?

Occasional Contributor

@Oleg K Since Shifts was earlier announced as a firstline capability and as part of the customizable Teams experience, and is noted above as being available for healthcare workers, my assumption is that urgent message notification announced here is a new option for all Teams tenants, but may need to be switched on by a Teams admin. I hope you get the official answer from @Yousaf Sajid though.

Microsoft

Hello @Oleg K and @Michael Sampson  - the messaging capabilities, like priority notifications, will be made available to all Teams customers. @Michael Sampson, currently there is not auto-routing, rather with message delegation users can set their status and assign a delegate when they are away or unavailable. 

Regular Visitor

You're recommending that healthcare organizations display PHI on the lock screen of a device, allowing it to be seen before an authenticated user signs into the device? Are there concerns about this violating compliance obligations?

Occasional Contributor

@Trevor Smith Good catch; I missed that obvious implication when I read the above. What you have said will indeed be correct for older devices that don't pre-authenticate the user before displaying alerts. Newer devices - e.g., on the iOS side, from iPhone X onwards - require pre-authorization via facial recognition before showing the content of alerts on the lock screen.

Senior Member

I have been emailing teamsforhealthcare@service.microsoft.com to get preview update. We are replacing other Secure Messaging app with MS Teams in a Hospital. Priority Messaging is very important feature. Currently we dont have this feature and we really want to test this.

Visitor

@Yousaf SajidSince meeting you guys at HIMMS I have been trying to reach out and know more about the private preview and the capabilities that we can pitch to our clients. So far no luck. Now we have this opportunity to pitch a Teams oriented solution to one of the clients but I do not even have the collateral to include in my presentation let alone a firm understanding of what capability can be promised and when? Is there any way you can help with this?

Regular Visitor

Hi.

When will this be GA? I now have the option in my Policies to enable "Priority Notifications" but I cannot find anywhere to send such a message?

Anybody knows how to send a "Priority Message"?

Senior Member

@Karsten Markmann  Looking for same, I don't think they have rolled out to Teams app yet. I have emailed (teamsforhealthcare@service.microsoft.com) as per mentioned in the article with no response