Enabling a new era of collaboration in healthcare communications



Embracing digital transformation can be a daunting task for many organizations. Especially for those in the healthcare sector, where the benefits of innovation must also meet the highest security, privacy and compliance standards – implementing new technology can be especially challenging. But an increasing number of healthcare providers and administrators ultimately understand how critical technology can be in improving workflows and productivity, realizing that it’s well worth the time and investment to make the change.

With more than 10,000 employees, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto is one of the country’s largest hospitals and a leading institution in medical teaching and research.

Last year, SickKids sought to upgrade their communications platform and was looking for a solution that would allow employees to collaborate across the organization and bring together some key conversations, files and tools into workspaces that could be accessed by multiple people in different departments. Already using other Office 365 products such as OneNote and Planner, SickKids selected Teams as it integrates with their current programs and provides the opportunity to communicate in real-time.

Built on the secure Microsoft 365 cloud, Teams allows healthcare providers and administrators to communicate easily with one another.

During a Code Orange, hospitals are tasked with coordinating a safe and effective response to an external disaster, providing necessary patient care to those who need it. In these situations, hospital communications departments are often called upon to provide communications support internally (with staff and patient families) and externally (with the media and members of the public). In February 2018, a road collision resulted in children with urgent care needs being rushed to SickKids. The SickKids Communications & Public Affairs team had to act fast to develop a response to media inquiries, messaging for social media channels and for internal groups. In the past, a similar situation would have resulted in the team trying to coordinate public response to the Code Orange through a flurry of emails. Instead, through Teams’ real-time messaging, file sharing and group chat features, staff working both onsite and remotely were able to collaborate to develop messaging and respond quickly.

Microsoft Teams is a simple and effective way healthcare organizations can help make the transition easier for clinicians and administrators in the industry’s ongoing digital transformation. New features have also recently been announced for the platform including advanced messaging capabilities such as priority notifications and message delegation as well as platform enhancements providing the ability to integrate electronic health records for care coordination, which can further enable healthcare professionals to thrive when it matters the most.

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