Office 365 provides Advocate Health Care with a platform for innovation

Today’s blog was written by Rance Clouser, vice president, IS Support Services and Communication.

Rance Clouser Vice President, IS Support Services and CommunicationAt Advocate Health Care, thinking holistically is core to our mission of meeting the health needs of individuals, families and communities. Our approach to IT is similar.

As the healthcare industry evolves and we work to remain competitive, having state-of-the-art technology for our staff of more than 30,000 is key. We wanted a solution that gave us a variety of unified communications capabilities, increased our productivity, and brought our network of hospitals and clinics closer together. With Office 365 we achieve these goals every day. Our staff, associates and physicians are connecting with patients and each other and making a difference at the bedside and beyond.

We explored a variety of options, including Google. When it came down to making a decision, Microsoft’s vision aligned with our goals and objectives as a business. We didn’t feel like Google, or their product lines, were strategic enough to help us move our business forward. Our employees are already familiar with the tools in Office so we knew we wouldn’t need to spend time, money or additional resources to retrain our staff.  As a bonus, most of the new clinics and hospitals joining the Advocate Health Care network are on Microsoft platforms too, so it makes our day-to-day technical and business rhythm even easier.

Office 365 gives us the tools we need to innovate and collaborate, ultimately helping us improve our patients’ experience and the care we can provide. For example, SharePoint Online is a platform for innovation at Advocate allowing employees across the system to tap talent within the organization, identify and solve problems, then extend the solution throughout the network. We’ve implemented a system that alerts a patient’s primary care physician when they’ve been admitted or treated in the emergency room and created a highly effective Transition Call Center to evaluate a patient’s recovery status following a hospital stay. The patient information is fed from the Electronic Health Record into SharePoint where a team of registered nurses access it to make their calls. Thanks to Lync Online, a nurse can reach out to a colleague for assistance without ever putting a patient on hold. The call center is virtual, meaning the team works from home offices and the benefits are many, including improved patient experience, no overhead cost for office space, and a highly desirable work environment that has attracted top notch nursing talent.

We’ve found with Office 365 that we’re able to offer new and improved levels of service. We can provide doctors, nurses and staff access to more information and more opportunities to connect all while learning from and collaborating with one another to drive a more efficient process. At the end of the day, now because of what Office 365 helps us do – it’s our patients that win.

To read more about Office 365 at Advocate Health Care see their case study here.

To see a video on how Advocate Health Care is using Office 365 click here.

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