Microsoft to add care coordination tools to Teams platform

Microsoft revealed plans to add healthcare capabilities to its Teams app at "Ignite," the company's annual developer conference in Orlando, Fla., Sept. 24.

Teams, which is live at more than 329,000 organizations worldwide, is a business app that offers workplace chat, meetings, notes and attachment functions on one platform. At the conference, Microsoft said it would expand these functions by tailoring the platform to different industries, including healthcare.

One of the new functions, already available as a private preview, is a care coordination tool that serves as a central "hub" for caregivers. The tool integrates with various EHR systems and enables providers to discuss patient care using Teams' secure messaging features.

Microsoft also unveiled two new HIPAA-compliant messaging tools: image annotation, which is already generally available, and priority notifications, which it plans to roll out to Teams commercial customers by the end of 2018.

"These capabilities support HIPAA compliance and enable doctors, nurses and other clinicians to communicate about patients while avoiding the privacy risks that arise when healthcare professionals use consumer chat apps," Ron Markezich, corporate vice president for Microsoft Office's Microsoft 365 product line, wrote in a company blog post.

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