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Microsoft releases data-driven updates for healthcare cloud

Microsoft this week unveiled new capabilities to help solve some common roadblocks to enhancing patient engagement and effective health team collaboration, and to help support healthcare organizations more easily leveraging their enterprise data warehousing to fuel clinical and operational analytics.


The new Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare tools have been designed to address provider burdens and facilitate proactive patient care, according to an October 12 Microsoft Health blog post by Tom McGuiness, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Worldwide Health.

Key for providers are relevant patient snapshots and care management plans that help support faster and better patient care as it unfolds in daily practice.

For clinicians, the new tools enable them to securely access clinical data included within their electronic health record system via Teladoc Health Solo–without leaving the Microsoft Teams environment.

Healthcare organizations can also jumpstart their analytics capabilities by creating use cases from their database editors using new blueprints – i.e., health database templates in Azure Synapse.

Additional features include:

  • Missed appointment prediction
  • Care plan management
  • Patient trends, (an extension of the Unified patient view that analyzes patient activities)
  • Data integration toolkit with unified display for provider IT administrators and tools to advance health data exchange within organizations
  • Dataverse Healthcare APIs that support bi-directional integration capabilities of FHIR data

In his blog post, McGuiness said new patient journey templates that automate workflows and surface tasks and notifications will be released later this year to help organizations surface care management tasks and notifications in order to help improve patient experiences. 

“This capability will help save valuable time and create even more efficiency for care managers and administrative users who interact with the patients,” he wrote.

On the data side, a new data model with an updated set of commonly used HL7 FHIR R4 entities will be released to foster faster innovation and increase data interoperability. 


As healthcare providers navigate lean staffing and low morale at the tail of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are pressured to work more efficiently while maintaining the standards of care. 

The strained and shrinking workforce caring for growing populations’ health needs tools now that reduce their tasks and speed-up workflows without sacrificing accuracy.

Data tools are also high on the list of provider IT needs for FHIR adoption. 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology final rule prevents information blocking and promotes competition and innovation in healthcare IT.

“By aligning FHIR-based requirements for payers and healthcare providers through the CMS Interoperability and Patient Access final rule, and health IT developers, providers and health information networks through the ONC 21st Century Cures Act final rule, we are driving an interoperable health IT infrastructure across systems and ensuring providers and patients have access to health data when and where it is needed,” wrote Seema Verma, administrator of CMS last year in a healthcare interoperability progress update.


“Our deep commitment to supporting healthcare organizations remains steadfast. Partnering in this evolving healthcare environment requires rapid response, predictive capabilities and continued innovation to help realize value faster and strengthen the resilience of organizations moving forward,” wrote Microsoft’s McGuiness in announcing the new tools.

Andrea Fox is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.
Email: [email protected]

Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS publication.

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