8 Ways Microsoft 365 Can Improve Healthcare Practices at Your Organization

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At SUCCESS, we know that, if you work in healthcare, your primary focus is likely not on the specific tools your organization uses to complete everyday processes and procedures but is instead on making sure you and your team can consistently provide the best possible care to all the people you serve. And we get it, you have more important things to think about. But, we also know that there is an entire suite of tools that, when leveraged appropriately, can help improve your organization’s ability to provide exceptional healthcare services.  

That suite of tools makes up what is known as the Microsoft 365 ecosystem, which includes applications that play a pivotal role in streamlining your operations, automating tasks, securing and maintaining your IT and network infrastructure, and enhancing your patients’ experience. 

To help you better understand how M365 applications can help accomplish these key objectives, we’ve outlined eight benefits of using them within a healthcare organization: 

1. Enhance engagement between patients and providers 

By putting Microsoft Teams apps like Virtual Appointments and Bookings into action, you can streamline appointment scheduling, as well as automate the follow-up process, which empowers both care teams and patients to work together to elevate the healthcare experience. These features are especially beneficial for executing remote consultations and allowing patients to connect with their providers more conveniently, increasing their access to care.  

2. Limit unauthorized data access for optimized patient confidentiality 

Patient data is sensitive and shouldn’t be accessible to just anybody. Entra ID (formerly known as Azure Active Directory or Azure AD) is Microsoft’s cloud-based identify and access management service, which makes it possible to control who has access to resources and applications within your organization. With Entra ID, you can assign roles and permissions and enforce security policies to ensure that only select users have access to confidential information.  

3. Reduce the risk of cyber threats 

Because of the sensitive patient information most healthcare organizations are responsible for protecting and maintaining, they’re more likely to be the target of a cyber-attack. However, you can strengthen your cybersecurity posture with Microsoft Defender and Microsoft Defender ATP (Advanced Threat Protection), which offer defenses against sophisticated attack attempts like phishing, ransomware, and malware by leveraging AI and machine learning to provide proactive threat detection and response.  

4. Streamline communication and collaboration between teams 

The ability to seamlessly communicate and work with other teams is essential for smooth operations of all healthcare organizations. M365 applications like Microsoft Teams facilitate a dynamic partnership by providing the means to have real-time conversations over instant messages (via the chat feature), voice calls, or video conferences. Additionally, you can create channels within Teams for specific groups, departments or projects to ensure focused discussions, document sharing, and collaboration.  

5. Automate processes and mitigate manual tasks 

Power Automate, one of the tools in Microsoft’s Power Platform, makes it possible for healthcare providers to automate everyday processes such as appointment scheduling, patient follow-ups, and data entry with custom workflows. Additionally, Power Automate integrates seamlessly with most Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems, allowing for automated data entry, synchronized patient records, and assurance that information is consistent across all platforms. This alleviates the need to complete repetitive manual tasks, as well as the potential for human error.  

6. Meet compliance standards with ease 

Healthcare organizations are liable to meet strict compliance regulations such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Microsoft 365 employs robust encryption protocols to safeguard sensitive patient data, ensuring your organization keeps information confidential and is compliant with the necessary regulatory requirements. Additionally, the Compliance Center within M365 offers tools for data governance and audit logging, which makes it simpler for organizations to monitor and manage their adherence with compliance standards effectively.  

7. Increase productivity and efficiency with the integration of Microsoft’s virtual assistant, Copilot 

Copilot, Microsoft’s new AI tool, integrates with all the M365 applications you may use on an everyday basis to accomplish routine tasks, such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Teams, and Outlook. Copilot’s integration with these tools allows healthcare professionals to create and share reports, presentations, and dashboards. And, by partnering with Copilot, you can ultimately save time and boost your productivity because it can help you automate processes, streamline communication practices, and improve your interactions with patients and colleagues.  

Interested in learning more about Copilot? Register for our upcoming Copilot User Group event.  

8. Improve data visualization and turn results into actionable insights 

Another tool in Microsoft’s Power Platform, Power BI, allows healthcare professionals to analyze data from EHR systems and patient feedback by identifying the most relevant information from health records, treatment histories, and medical knowledge. Power BI can then create interactive visualizations, making it easier for you to understand patient demographics and identify the patterns and trends needed to make informed decisions about your patients’ care.  

Master Microsoft 365, Revolutionize Healthcare 

When put into action, Microsoft tools are one of the best resources at your disposal for ensuring your healthcare organization is running as efficiently and productively as possible. Often one of the biggest challenges, though, is knowing how to get started with the many different features offered. At SUCCESS, we can help your team get the most out of the entire Microsoft 365 ecosystem of tools with an interactive, guided training session designed to further your understanding of, and improve your ability to, adopt the Microsoft suite of tools. To get started, schedule a consultation and discover what’s possible for your business.