COVID-19 “Back to Work” Solution Template using Microsoft Healthcare Bot, Azure and Teams

Published Jun 12 2020 08:01 PM 9,059 Views

Update: This blog was last edited on 8/4/2020. This blog outlines using Healthcare Bot for COVID-19 Back to Work use case with authentication and data persistence in Azure API for FHIR or Azure SQL Database. The template in Healthcare Bot's template catalog has been updated to a simple version without data persistence (not covered in this blog).


What is the COVID-19 “Back to Work” Solution Template?


As countries worldwide seek to re-open their economies by relaxing “stay-at-home” orders, many employers are considering how to prepare their facilities and employees for the return to physical workplace. To do this as safely as possible, it is critical to monitor employees for common COVID-19 symptoms and provide a simple way for affected employees to physically return once they are cleared to do so. Microsoft has developed a special solution template to enable employers worldwide to easily create and deploy Microsoft technologies to scale and automate those critical steps for return to the workplace. We call it the “Back-to-Work” solution template. In this blog, we will discuss the solution and how you can use it to empower a safer return to the workplace for your organization.


Key Elements and Steps


Our COVID-19 Back-to-Work solution template is built on Microsoft Healthcare Bot service and the Microsoft Azure platform. Some key elements include: 

  • Symptom tracking for essential workers who have been exposed to COVID (physicians, nurses, ancillary staff, volunteers) (Please refer to Microsoft Privacy Principles for data collection during COVID-19 crisis) 
  • Alignment with CDC guidelines*  
  • Organizational configurable documentation of information such as symptoms, occupational exposure type, and testing status 
  • Allows systems to determine when employees will be safe to return to patient care activities, the workplace, or campus 
  • Supported by Microsoft’s industry leading compliance, privacy, and security portfolio (link)  

*CDC guidelines are rapidly evolving. Microsoft does not guarantee to keep this solution updated


The solution template involves three steps: 



Reference Architecture of Microsoft platform support


The COVID-19 Back-to-Work solution template is an ACCELERATOR KIT to help you quickly build and deploy a custom solution for your organization. Organizations across all industries, such as healthcare, education, retail, manufacturing, and financial services can use this highly customizable template. Microsoft’s platform provides the necessary capabilities by combining our Healthcare Bot service with the Azure platform and Microsoft Teams as shown below:



With the Microsoft Healthcare Bot service at its core, the deployed solution will allows you to instrument the health bot in multiple UI channels including a Website, Microsoft Teams, Twilio, Facebook and Telegram. (We plan to release configuration for building a mobile native app soon). The COVID-19 Back-to-Work logic asks a set of questions on COVID-19 exposure, symptoms and lab tests. Based on responses, each individual is then directed to either stay at home or is cleared to enter the workplace. Information from your preferred data store can be easily visualized using Power BI, thanks to the integrated Power BI model available with the solution.


Using Microsoft Healthcare Bot service to write user responses to Azure API for FHIR is our primary recommendation for healthcare organizations to provide data interoperability from different health systems. Details on using the healthcare bot with Azure API for FHIR is provided in Additional Resources section below.


COVID-19 Back to Work Talk-Track


Watch the video below to get a quick walk-through of the solution overview. 


Typical end-to-end Workflow


One typical end-to-end flow can be summarized as:  

  • Company A’s IT Administrator configures a time-based trigger to send email notifications to all employees required to take daily screening assessment 
  • Users click on the bot link, register themselves and take the day’s screening assessment 
  • User responses are captured and stored in Company A’s Azure tenant in the chosen backend (Azure API for FHIR or Azure SQL Database or Azure Cosmos Database) 
  • IT Administrator can view metrics on  
    • Users who took assessment vs missed/left incomplete 
    • Users who were asked to stay home vs who were cleared to enter the workplace 
    • Predict when a large employee-base is coming back to workplace and make necessary arrangements to ensure their safe return 
    • Users get an automated email notification every day. Users click on the bot link, login and complete the day’s screening assessment. 

For a brief demo of this end-to-end workflow, watch the video below.


Additional Resources

Stay tuned for more updates on the solution. Thanks for reading and let us know how we can help. Thank you! 



Nikita Pitliya , Microsoft Senior Solution Architect



Han Zhang, Microsoft Cloud Solution Architect



Julian Soh , Microsoft Principal Solution Architect



Joe Karasha , Microsoft Senior Solution Architect



Greg Beaumont , Microsoft Senior Technical Specialist



Srini Surendranath , Microsoft WW Customer Lead

Version history
Last update:
‎Aug 04 2020 05:26 PM
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