Today, as part of HLTH 2021, we are announcing the latest release of Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare. This update reflects our commitment to healthcare providers in enhancing patient engagement, improving data-related functionality, and further automating deployment experiences while expanding the global availability of our Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare solutions.
Our investments also include enhancements to Microsoft Teams to further bolster the patient experience while improving care team coordination. This includes a virtual Waiting Room in Microsoft Teams, now available in preview, that allows for brand and messaging tailoring alongside real-time visit notifications. It includes scheduling capabilities, allowing schedulers to securely input patient information ahead of appointments with Microsoft Forms and Bookings. Finally, services like Azure Health Bot also bolster the growing area of virtual patient, and even provider, experiences.
Microsoft Teams virtual visit
In addition to investments centered around capabilities and data, this release reflects our continued commitment to the partner ecosystem—increasing the ease and flexibility in building offerings catering to customer needs. At the core of the healthcare ecosystem are EHR systems—which when augmented with our cloud services—helps providers evolve their digital health platforms. Utilizing the Microsoft Teams EHR connector, patients and providers can currently launch virtual visits from within the Epic electronic health record system patient or provider portals. We also are extending our electronic health record connection to include the Cerner EHR for multi-participant virtual visits (in private preview).
Details of what is included in this update are as follows.
Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare keeps the patient at the center—providing a 360-degree patient view that is essential for patient engagement by healthcare providers. As part of this release, we will enable providers to see relevant patient information faster through improved visualizations in the patient form—which will also be made available as a standalone component for partners and customers. Using our low-code platform, Power Apps, healthcare providers and partners will be able to install patient views with their own end-to-end scenarios and workflows—enabling the ability to build custom low-code apps tailored to specific needs on top of an improved patient engagement experience. All these capabilities will be made available in preview by the end of the year.
Improved patient form view
We understand that when healthcare providers use solutions, such as the Patient Service Center, links between various patient records can be very useful. In this release, we enable cross-linking across multiple records—enabling fast and easy navigation across patient data.
New patient records cross-linking capability
We have made the underlying Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare data model available for customers and partners directly through Microsoft Cloud Solution Center. This allows greater ease and flexibility in building unique solutions on top of a fully aligned and integration-ready healthcare data schema, and it was a popular request among several of our partners. Recently, we also announced the availability of Azure Healthcare APIs including for the FHIR standard. We continue to invest in important ecosystem data integration and healthcare standards capabilities.
Healthcare solutions live within a broader technology ecosystem with varying data sources. When bringing in data to support business processes—such as in the Patient Service Center—healthcare providers often need to ingest data from these other sources. However, not all data needs to be fully available and replicated. By the end of the year, we will preview a capability allowing customers to better fine tune how much data is ingested between systems—enabling savings on database space and minimizing data duplication.
Illustration of improved data ingestion capabilities (left) | Availability of standalone healthcare data model (right)
As part of broadening availability of the cloud offerings beyond the United States, customers will now be able to install solutions in the UK, Canada, Germany, France, Netherlands, Singapore, and Australia, with solutions now available in French, German, and Dutch. To ensure customers always have the latest capabilities, we are automating deployment of updates for Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare solutions built on Microsoft Power Platform, including Patient Service Center, Patient Outreach, Patient Access, Health Assistant, and the Healthcare Data Model.
As part of our deployment investments, we are aligning the messaging around our solutions between our Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare website and Microsoft Cloud Solution Center – making the experience between the two more seamless, as shown in the screenshot below.
Screenshot of Microsoft Cloud Solution Center which includes more detailed scenario descriptions with this update
As we enable greater flexibility with Power Apps and the availability of a standalone Healthcare Data Model, our engineering team has been working with partners across the ecosystem to extend solutions while supporting new partner opportunities to cater to customer needs. Some great examples of partner offerings include the following:
Independent Software Vendors (ISVs)
System Integrators (SIs)
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