HealthBlog

Thoughts, comments, news, and reflections about healthcare IT from Microsoft's worldwide health senior director Bill Crounse, MD, on how information technology can improve healthcare delivery and services around the world.

Microsoft emphasizes the “C” in ICT. Connect, Communicate, Collaborate

Microsoft emphasizes the “C” in ICT. Connect, Communicate, Collaborate

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imageLast season on Microsoft Health Tech Today, I had an opportunity to interview Dr. Don Detmer.  Dr. Detmer is no stranger to the health ICT community.  He is Senior Advisor and immediate past President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Medical Informatics Association. He is also Professor Emeritus and Professor of Medical Education at the University of Virginia and Visiting Professor at CHIME, University College of London.  You might think that our interview would have focused on the importance of standards in health IT, or the urgency to implement electronic medical records with advanced decision support and physician order entry capabilities.  But that wasn’t where Dr. Detmer wanted to focus.  What we talked about instead was how to improve communication and collaboration across care teams and the patients under their care.  As former practicing physicians, Don and I both appreciate how important it is to share information and effectively communicate and collaborate with our colleagues and patients.

Our industry needs better tools to facilitate cross team communication and collaboration and that includes communication and collaboration with patients.  Those tools don’t necessarily come with the EMR and HIS solutions on the market today.  That’s why I’m so very pleased to tell you about HealthVault Community Connect and an important announcement from Microsoft’s Health Solutions Group.

HealthVault Community Connect – What’s Next in HealthHealthVault Community Connect enables hospitals to give patients and referring physicians access, after discharge, to electronic copies of the patients’ personal health data generated at the hospital. The solution also lets patients preregister for hospital appointments online using their electronic personal health information to populate hospital forms in advance.  Patients also can use their personal health information in HealthVault — including medical history, medications, insurance and demographic information — to automatically populate the hospital’s registration forms before the next scheduled visit, potentially saving time and improving the consistency of information entered.  Brooks Rehabilitation, Mason General Hospital, Steward Health Care System and PeaceHealth St. Joseph Health Center are among the health systems implementing Microsoft HealthVault Community Connect to improve care coordination and engage patients and families in managing their own health.

imageToday, Microsoft announced a sales and services channel for the HealthVault Community Connect portal solution. This will allow many more hospitals and health systems to benefit from the solution’s communication and collaboration capabilities.  Microsoft’s Health Solutions Group selected and trained six business and technology consulting organizations to sell, deploy, customize and support HealthVault Community Connect at hospitals and health systems nationwide. These HealthVault Community Connect Solution Providers were selected by Microsoft based on rigorous criteria, including a strategic focus on healthcare; experience delivering IT projects in the provider segment; experience with HealthVault, SharePoint and Microsoft infrastructure technologies; and ability to deliver customer service and support. The organizations that Microsoft selected are AAJ Technologies, Aspect Software Inc., Evolute Consolidated Holdings Inc., Parker-Affirma, Tectura and West Monroe Partners. More information about each of these organizations can be found here.  You can learn more about HealthVault Community Connect and its early adopter customers here.

Connecting, communicating, collaborating.  These are cornerstones for delivering higher touch, more highly satisfying and frankly safer, care.  They are also cornerstones for engaging patients in the care they receive, and consumers in the information they need to make more informed decisions about their health.

Bill Crounse, MD              Senior Director, Worldwide Health         Microsoft Corporation

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