Microsoft has announced new capabilities coming soon to Microsoft 365 that help physicians perform remote consultations easier, something that has become increasingly important due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Video conferencing provides a way for clinicians to provide high-quality, personalized, and affordable consultations. Using the complete meetings platform in Microsoft Teams, combined with the new Bookings app in Teams, providers will be able to schedule, manage, and conduct virtual visits with patients, such as a surgery follow-up.

Once a visit is scheduled within  Microsoft Teams, the patient receives a customized email with appointment details and a link where they can join the virtual appointment from their web browser or Teams mobile app.

Clinicians at UK National Health Service (NHS) Calderdale and Huddersfield Trust are conducting virtual visits with patients using Teams, saving on travel time for both doctors and patients. They’ve seen the quality of care increase and costs reduced.

“It’s very easy to set up the virtual appointments. I can schedule an appointment. An email goes out to the parent with the appointment date and time,” says Judith Vincent, Specialist Nurse, Epilepsy Clinic at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS foundation Trust. Patients can join the meeting in one click and do not need a Teams license

The Bookings app will be available in Teams in the coming weeks.

In addition, with the Microsoft Graph API, organizations can incorporate Teams meetings into their unique healthcare workflows. The API supports the integration of both scheduling and meeting-join links into existing healthcare applications like electronic health records systems.

Shift-aware targetted communication via Microsoft Teams

Knowing who is on shift and being able to reach them at the right time is key to delivering timely patient care. Currently with targeted communications in Teams, you can manually create tags to organize users based on attributes such as a role, skill, or location. Once applied you can message everyone assigned to a tag at the same time in a chat or channel conversation: for example, you can message all @Orderlies in a ward.

Coming soon, Teams messages can be targeted to role recipients based on the shifts they are working. With this added ability to tag based on shift awareness, users are automatically assigned to tags matching their schedule in the Shifts app in Teams, which allows for integration with major workforce management systems, including AMiON, JDA, and Kronos.

Microsoft says their tools empower care teams to securely collaborate and communicate, helping clinicians and administrators perform their jobs more effectively. Read more about all the latest Healthcare-related features in Microsoft Teams here.

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