Doctor holding device

How Microsoft Teams Allows Virtual Visiting for Families of Hospitalized Loved Ones

Mike Hanks
April 23, 2020

COVID-19 continues to sweep the globe, and more and more people are forced to shelter in place. It’s also proven exceptionally difficult for people looking to visit loved ones in hospitals, as the risk of exposure is far too high. There are dozens of stories that have made the news about patients video calling their loved ones from hospital beds. Luckily, Microsoft has a solution that will make visiting much easier for both patients and providers.


Personal Protective Equipment Shortages Forces Less Visiting

Many challenges have plagued the healthcare industry as a result of COVID-19. Containing the spread of the virus and saving lives is the end goal of every healthcare provider, but the COVID crisis is determined to make that a difficult goal to achieve.

The FDA requires healthcare providers to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when interacting with patients. With the virus bringing in so many all at once, the demand for PPE has increased, leading to a nationwide shortage and skyrocketing costs. The state of Florida has already spent over $500 million on emergency supplies. This shortage also effects families, who can’t visit their quarantined loved ones because of it.

Many hospital-bound patients are unable to receive visits from their friends and family members. Oftentimes, patients have no access to modern communication devices either. They may not own one of the newest phones, and even if they do, they may not keep it with them in the hospital.

Thankfully, Microsoft remains ever committed to helping companies through the COVID crisis by enabling remote solutions. For the healthcare industry Microsoft Teams offers ways to facilitate remote consultations and virtual visiting hours.

Virtual Visiting Hours with the Microsoft Teams Booking App

The Microsoft Teams Booking App is a new tool in Office 365 that will allow for intuitive scheduling, managing, and conducting virtual visits. It provides easy and secure collaboration and communication and can be easily integrated into the workflow of any healthcare organization to enable efficient virtual visiting for doctors to see their patients, and for patients to see their friends and family.

That’s not all. To help healthcare organizations reduce risk and support compliance with regulatory requirements, Microsoft introduced Compliance Score for Teams. Compliance Score simplifies compliance by scanning an organization’s Microsoft 365 environments to provide clear guidance on how to enhance the organization's compliance posture against HIPAA/HITECH requirements.

With a solution like this, patients will no longer have to worry about being unable to see their friends and family or making difficult if not impossible trips to visit their doctors. Perhaps the greatest benefit Virtual Visiting provides is allowing people to easily speak with hospital patients from anywhere in the world. 

CARES Act Emergency Funds for Hospitals

To help healthcare providers continue to serve their communities in the battle against COVID-19, the United States government announced a $2 trillion spending plan labeled the CARES Act. This includes $100 billion for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund, a number that averages out to about $108,000 per hospital bed in the United States. This funding is available to all healthcare organizations, nonprofit and for profit alike, to help them fight combat the COVID crisis however possible.

Rolling Out a Virtual Visiting Solution

When considering deploying Microsoft Teams for Healthcare, Microsoft advises working with one of its partners to build out an enterprise-scale solution.

Continuant is both a Microsoft Gold Partner and a Direct Cloud Solution Provider (CSP). Not only are we experts in voice and video conferencing, we’ve been providing our services to healthcare organizations for more than a decade. We currently serve more than 800 Healthcare clients and understand your business needs more than anyone else.

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If you are a Healthcare provider and looking for a Microsoft Partner to assist you in rapidly deploying a Microsoft Teams for Healthcare solution, please call us today at +1 (800) 652-9920 or submit a contact form and we will contact you within one hour.

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