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A top UK hospital has proved that technology and treatment go hand-in-hand

One of the UK’s leading hospitals for treating rare and complex conditions will start using Microsoft technology to ensure staff continue to give patients the best possible care.

Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH), which runs Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie hospitals, is to become the largest healthcare organisation in England to run Microsoft’s full suite of cloud-based Office 365 for business.

The move will give administration staff access to cloud-based applications such as Skype for Business, Yammer, Microsoft Planner and Microsoft Teams, which will improve communication, encourage flexible working, and save time and money. This will ensure employees have the latest information regarding patients, to help them get the best possible treatment.

Dr Zafar Chaudry, CUH’s Chief Information Officer, said: “Microsoft Office 365 will work alongside our Epic system to enhance the administrative side of our work, helping us to work even more efficiently and effectively across the entire organisation to ultimately benefit our patients.

“Once all services are made available to staff, planned to start later this year, CUH will become the largest healthcare organisation in England running Microsoft Office 365.”

CUH has historically been a leader in healthcare technology, becoming the first hospital trust in the UK to adopt Epic, the electronic patient record system, in 2014. Epic placed all clinical and administrative information about a patient in one place, recorded in real time, improving quality, reducing duplication and eliminating unnecessary delays to patient care. The time it takes to prepare discharge medications has halved; clinicians view notes and X-rays virtually, which has freed up 4,500 clinic appointment slots in orthopaedics; and allergy-related prescribing alerts in the Epic system has reduced adverse medical reactions, saving around 2,500 bed days a year – the equivalent of £980,000.

Everything you need to know about Office 365

CUH has also rolled out Wi-Fi in all clinical areas and replaced 5,500 computers with 6,750 new ones and 500 laptops. In addition, a trust-wide “network refresh” enabled the connection of more than 800 new mobile and handheld devices to Epic, allowing clinicians to record patient information in real-time at the patient’s bedside.

Office 365 for business will work with the hospital’s new technology to benefit patients.

“The potential for technology to enable significant benefits for both patients and NHS staff is well known,” said Suzy Foster, Director of Health and Life Sciences at Microsoft UK. “The trust will be leading the way in enabling its staff to work flexibly, collaborate and share securely. The benefits will be far reaching.”

Microsoft has successfully developed a number of solutions for the healthcare sector, with several NHS trusts looking at adopting solutions to improve patient care and efficiency.

HealthVault Insights uses machine learning and analytics to bring together patient data from a range of sources, including wearables, so medical professionals can spot trends in people’s health. This allows doctors to create customized care plans for their patients, who can easily stay in contact through the HealthVault Insights app.

Azure machine learning uses that data from wearables to help patients. System C and Graphnet’s myCareCentric Epilespsy app, for example, looks at sleep patterns, exercise, heart rate and temperature and aims to “learn” when epilepsy patients are about to have a seizure.

Skype for Business gives clinicians the option to hold meetings and calls with each other and patients in a secure environment. Calls can also be recorded and added to clinical records.