Microsoft Unified Communications Technologies For the Healthcare by lifemate

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									                      Microsoft Unified Communications Technologies
                           For the Healthcare Provider Industry
                                                Fact Sheet
                                               October 2007

Unified communications makes it easy and efficient for hospitals and healthcare providers to connect
with the people and information they need, from the devices and applications they know and use.

The healthcare industry continues to face intense challenges, including rising costs, declining profitability
and widespread inefficiency. A fast-changing regulatory environment and pressure to improve the quality
of care, patient safety and access to information are driving a wide array of changes in the industry.

Clear and efficient communication is central to the practice of safe and effective care. According to a
recent survey, more than one-fourth of information workers spend more than 30 minutes per week
unsuccessfully attempting to connect with other people over the phone. 1 This problem can be avoided
with intuitive and efficient communication technologies that help organizations meet compliance
regulations, raise patient satisfaction, enhance the quality of care and reduce administrative expenses.

Innovative technologies offer new opportunities for organizations in the healthcare industry to improve
the security, efficiency and quality of communication while containing and reducing costs. Microsoft ®
unified communications solutions enable people in the healthcare field to work together better by taking
the complexity out of communications.

Microsoft Corp.’s approach to unified communications puts people at the center of communications
through a single identity across all modes, from PCs to telephones to PDAs. The Microsoft unified
communications platform combines rich, intuitive and seamless communications with e-mail, instant
messaging (IM), voice, data, video and conferencing. Microsoft offers healthcare organizations a
complete software platform that unifies communications with their business applications and processes,
streamlining the ways employees reach each other and communicate. Microsoft’s unified communications
technologies comprise the following:
   Microsoft Exchange Server 2007
   Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007
   Microsoft Office Communicator
   Microsoft Office Live Meeting
   Microsoft RoundTable™

Improving the Quality of Patient Care

Hospitals and healthcare providers struggle with accessing patient information at the point of care, and a
high percentage of a clinician’s time is spent on administrative tasks rather than with patients, making it
more difficult to achieve high levels of customer satisfaction.


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Microsoft unified communications solutions help hospitals and healthcare providers improve the quality
of patient care while reducing costs. With this collaborative platform, caregivers can communicate with
their network of experts more easily than ever, seamlessly connecting with appropriate contacts, whether
that expert is an insurance provider in Maine or a radiologist in India:

   By conducting a webconference via Office Live Meeting, physicians are able to collaborate over
    clinical information for second opinions and consultations without the need to travel. Physicians can
    present clinical information within documents, such as Microsoft Office PowerPoint ® presentations or
    Microsoft Office Excel® spreadsheets, via an Office Live Meeting webconference. All participants in
    the meeting can see and edit the presented documents at the same time.
   If physicians want to collaborate with their colleagues using videoconferencing technology,
    RoundTable, coupled with Office Communications Server 2007, provides meeting participants,
    including those in remote locations, with a panoramic view of everyone in the conference room and a
    close-up view of individual participants, triggered by the voice of the active speaker.
   With Exchange Server 2007 and Office Communications Server 2007, healthcare organizations can
    improve the productivity of customer service representatives, reduce call center costs, and redirect
    member interactions to lower-cost channels by responding confidentially to customer inquiries
    through e-mail or instant messaging. In addition, Office Communicator can act as a “soft phone”
    telephony end point, allowing users to make and receive telephone calls from their PC and bringing
    control of the traditional private branch exchange (PBX) phone to users’ desktop experiences.
   The responsiveness and productivity of employees, teams and outside partners are also enhanced by
    Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Communicator because the combination of the
    technologies offers people the ability to connect in a collaborative environment with presence
    information and instant access to people and data extending from back-end systems to desktop PCs,
    mobile devices and the Web. Overall, the technologies help improve customer service and patient
    care and satisfaction.
   With Exchange Server 2007, healthcare employees can get anywhere access2 to their e-mail, voice
    mail, calendars and contacts from a variety of mobile clients and devices. And Exchange Server
    unified messaging helps consolidate information in one place: the user’s inbox. Voice mail, faxes,
    e-mail, appointment data and contacts appear in one place, making it easier for the user to access, find
    and act on them.

Improving Productivity and Processes

The healthcare industry is challenged by a loss of productivity through several means. Paper-based
processes and disconnected, proprietary information systems cause high error rates in the healthcare
industry. Healthcare organizations suffer from high administrative costs, low worker productivity and a
cumbersome transcription process, resulting in the critical need to improve clinical processes.

The ability of software-based processes to reduce costs and enhance productivity has been shown in
various industries, including manufacturing, accounting and advertising. Hospitals and healthcare
providers are now, more than ever, acknowledging the payoffs of investing in new collaboration
technology:
   Instead of playing phone tag, employees in the healthcare industry can use Office Communications
    Server 2007 for the convenience of one identity with which to view the presence information of a
    person and initiate the best means of communication. This rich information helps reduce time-


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    consuming phone tag, enabling employees to connect             An Overview of the Microsoft Unified
    with their colleagues and patients on the first try.           Communications Platform

   Office Live Meeting webconferences allow doctors to            The Microsoft unified communications platform
                                                                   provides rich, instant collaboration, seamless access
    conduct consultations with patients while having access        to information on virtually any device, and
    to patient charts, radiology reports and other pertinent       security-enhanced information storage and retrieval
    information. Healthcare organizations can reduce the           through the following technologies:
    time commitment, inconvenience and travel expenses of
    in-person meetings by conducting training for healthcare        Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 is the
                                                                     industry’s leading server for e-mail, calendaring
    professionals, patient education sessions and staff              and unified messaging. Exchange Server 2007 is
    meetings via a webconference. Office Live Meeting’s              a messaging system with built-in protection
    integrated audio and video controls, document-sharing            technology against spam and viruses. Features in
    features and improved ease of use enable healthcare              Exchange Server 2007 offer users anywhere
                                                                     access2 to e-mail, voice mail, calendars and
    organizations to host interactive meetings with anyone,          contacts from a wide variety of devices to people
    anytime with just a PC and Internet connection. Data and         throughout an organization. Information about
    documents can be viewed and edited over Office Live              Exchange Server 2007 is available at
    Meeting without geographic restrictions.                         http://www.microsoft.com/exchange.

   With the security-enhanced, enterprise-grade IM           Microsoft Office Communications Server
    capabilities of Office Communications Server 2007 and      2007 is a robust, flexible, presence-based
                                                               platform that enables contextual communication
    the confidentiality of Exchange Server 2007, information   across the applications, networks and devices
    can also be shared with external constituents such as      businesses already know and use. It is an
    employers, providers, consumers and brokers to support     enterprise-grade server that provides the
    care processes such as healthcare retirement accounts,     backbone for all real-time communications
                                                               within the Microsoft Office system.
    flexible spending accounts, personal health records, and
    health content delivered to end users.                    Microsoft Office Communicator is a unified
                                                                     communications client. Working with Office
                                                                     Communications Server 2007, the client delivers
Improving Compliance With Government Regulations                     unified voice capabilities, call management,
                                                                     multiparty video, on-premise webconferencing,
The healthcare industry strives for interoperability among           presence status and control, enhanced business
                                                                     IM, and data and application sharing. It allows
myriad healthcare systems while protecting the privacy of
                                                                     intercompany federation and connectivity to
patients. Having an auditable collaboration environment with         public IM networks such as MSN®, AOL and
advanced security can help an organization work toward               Yahoo!
compliance with government regulations in a number of
ways.                                                               Microsoft Office Live Meeting is a
                                                                     webconferencing service that will help users
                                                                     more effectively collaborate on, train for or
With Microsoft unified communications technologies, IT               deliver interactive presentations with anyone,
administrators can apply specific qualities to help customers        virtually anywhere, using just a PC and an
meet compliance by logging, archiving and automatically              Internet connection.
collecting and delivering relevant data in a compatible        Microsoft RoundTable is a communications
format. This may help satisfy regulations such as those         device consisting of a 360-degree camera and
necessitated by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Health Insurance    unified communications software. RoundTable
                                                                has built-in microphones that capture audio
Portability and Accountability Act and the National             content with exceptional clarity. The console
Committee for Quality Assurance, as well as demands from        enables meeting content to be recorded, indexed
other regulatory bodies:                                        and archived for playback, transforming
                                                                     meetings into reusable corporate assets.


                                                                   More information on Microsoft’s unified
                                                                   communications technologies can be found on the
                                                                   UCG home page at http://www.microsoft.com/uc
                                                                   or the virtual pressroom at
                                                                   http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/uc.



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Microsoft Unified Communications Technologies for the Healthcare Provider Industry                    Page 4



   Exchange Server 2007 offers built-in protective technologies to improve confidential communications
    and help companies meet regulatory guidelines. Features such as safe sender aggregation, mail flow
    rules and cross-organizational mailbox search help ensure that organizations can send patient
    information over e-mail with advanced security and that patient information is viewed only by the
    intended recipient.
   Exchange Server 2007 helps safeguard healthcare organizations’ valuable data from the harmful
    effects of spam and viruses with built-in defenses against spam and phishing e-mail as well as
    additional integrated filtering and multiengine scanning capabilities that provide advanced protection.
    In addition, Office Communications Server 2007 delivers enhanced protection against spam over IM
    (SPIM), reducing the number of unauthorized or unsolicited messages.
   Policies and procedures in a hospital environment are among the criteria that the Joint Commission on
    Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) uses to determine whether hospitals meet
    accreditation standards for quality and safety of care. The ability to create more efficient processes
    and reduce the use of paper through alternative communication modes, such as Exchange Server
    2007, Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Live Meeting, can help hospitals focus more
    time on the quality and safety of care. Thus, these software solutions may alleviate inefficient
    processes so hospitals can more easily comply with such standards.

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1
  Data for this survey were collected by Harris Interactive Service Bureau (HISB) on behalf of ConStat and
Waggener Edstrom Worldwide. HISB was responsible for the data collected, and ConStat and Waggener Edstrom
Worldwide were responsible for the survey design, data analysis and reporting.
2
  Anywhere access requires Internet connectivity. Outlook® Voice Access requires phone connectivity.

For more information, press only:
      Rapid Response Team, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, (503) 443-7070,
              rrt@waggeneredstrom.com

								
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