How are your digital transformation efforts going? Now the world is adjusting to living and working with Covid, we know that many NHS Trusts are focusing on putting the right tools and systems in place to make new ways of working sustainable for NHS professionals and patients.
• Holding meetings without having more than three people in a room.
• Delivering clinical appointments to patients who are self-isolating.
• Securely and conveniently accessing information from home.
• Managing security challenges such as employees safely changing their NHSmail passwords.
• Successfully onboarding new employees virtually.
• Finding ways to connect with colleagues, for professional purposes and to try and protect employee wellbeing in an intensely stressful working environment.
All this in the middle of supporting patients through the pandemic.
It’s been hard and continues to be hard. However, there are technological solutions out there that can make it easier for your NHS Trust to continue providing excellent patient care while keeping patients and staff safe and protecting staff wellbeing. One of those tools is Microsoft Teams and, in this post, we’ll explain why there’s never been a better time to explore adopting Teams in your Trust.
And, remember, some of the benefits that you can get from Teams – such as easier remote contact with patients – is something that you’ll want to keep going in the future for better practice management.
Adopt Microsoft Teams – why now?
In June 2020, an agreement between Microsoft, NHS Digital and NHSX to provide access, and a pathway to adoption, of the Microsoft 365 product suite. Including a free licence for Microsoft Teams. Even as limits on in-person meetings and home working start to be relaxed, the capabilities of Teams are worth considering. Beyond making it possible for the NHS to function in a world of social distancing and remote work, the capabilities of Teams can make your Trust a more efficient and enjoyable place to work, that delivers outstanding patient care and outcomes.
Remote work with Microsoft Teams is safe and effective
Simply put, when you adopt Microsoft Teams in your NHS Trust you give colleagues the ability to work and collaborate in a smart, safe and effective way. It frees employees to work from home or on site with equal efficacy by providing secure and reliable access to the files and systems employees need. Microsoft has worked particularly hard to make sure that the sharing of patient data between teams and departments is efficient and incredibly secure, facilitating effective collaboration and the best outcomes for patients.
With the right change support, your people can adopt remote work with Microsoft Teams and embrace the opportunities in the same way we do moving from paper to online systems.
Using Microsoft Teams for collaboration is safe, fast and easy
It’s out with the rule of three and in with Teams. Using Teams for collaboration is incredibly simple, and very powerful.
First, you can join a meeting from anywhere – the office, a ward, your house, between home visits in your car (when safe to do so!), even a patient’s house if you need to.
Secondly, you can meet virtually with just about anyone. That includes colleagues you work directly with, but also colleagues in other departments or buildings, even other parts of the country. It also includes patients. Whoever you are calling, you still have access to the same powerful meeting features – you can:
• Simultaneously work on a document.
• Screen-share so you can collaborate with ease.
• Have as many people as you need in one meeting.
You can speak to your patients from anywhere when you adopt Microsoft Teams
We really mean it when we say healthcare professionals can speak to their patients from anywhere. Microsoft Teams’ top priority is getting people together – safely and privately, of course.
Using Teams, your Trust can offer NHS clinical appointments to patients securely and remotely. Patients can see their doctor or healthcare professional – and vice versa – all in the safety and comfort of their own home. Being able to see each other, we believe, makes an incredible difference to both the patient’s and the professional’s experience of the NHS.
This is obviously useful for patients who are self-isolating, but it also makes it easier for patients with mobility issues to access NHS services in future. An elderly patient can discuss their hip replacement at home rather than travelling through pouring rain, for instance, keeping them safe. Patients with social anxiety who struggle to leave the house can still receive treatment.
No more coming on-site to reset your password
Changing your passwords shouldn’t have to involve a carefully planned trip to site, worrying about social distancing. Especially since you need to change it every two weeks. It should be easy.
Microsoft Teams makes it possible for remote working teams to change their passwords quickly, safely and securely – without having to go onsite. It’s that easy.
The capabilities of Teams make it great for continuing those team routines that are so important for building trust and productivity. Microsoft Teams can help you schedule regular meetings with consistent times – team huddles, weekly handovers, 1:1s, you name it – like usual.
It’s especially important when you’re working remotely. Teams includes a chat function that lets you instantly message colleagues – whether that’s to quickly get an important piece of information, or just to catch up with a friend. You can also jump on a quick call, turn your camera on, and see your colleagues and patients. It sounds strange, but it makes the biggest difference when working remotely – try it for yourself! Using Teams in this way helps your colleagues to feel less isolated and more in touch with what’s going on, which is a major factor in protecting their wellbeing when working remotely.
Getting digital adoption right
Of course, the success of your Teams rollout will depend on how well your NHS Trust adopts Microsoft Teams. Change is never easy – and you know how important it is to help people adapt to a new way of working, in order to realise the full potential of your investment and prevent your Trust ending up worse off than it was before.
Just like you, at the Inform Team we know that digital transformation on this scale is something that takes careful planning and forethought. It takes knowing how your people work and finding strategies that can help your Trust adopt a new system quickly and efficiently.
It’s crucial to get this move right. Talks between NHS healthcare professionals and patients are some of the most emotionally charged, sensitive, and varied conversations patients will ever have. Throughout the pandemic, NHS staff have protected their patient relationships, many of which have been built over months or years, with resilience and enthusiasm. Technology absolutely cannot be a barrier to those relationships.
It’s a big task – but once it’s done, your NHS professionals and their patients will feel the benefits.
And those benefits will only grow over time as patients receive better care, and employees continue to work flexibly.
We can help you adopt Microsoft Teams.
If you want a quick and friendly chat about how Microsoft Teams can help your NHS Trust or organisation, please feel free to contact our commercial manager, Natasha Bradley.