Healthcare sector is transforming day by day with the upcoming changes in technology. And, the inclusion of Microsoft SharePoint in Healthcare is one of the great examples of it.
As we know, Healthcare is one of the most complex business sectors of the world, which deals with a tremendous amount of information. It involves patient info, financial sheets, staff details, and other medical data.
So, being part of this, Microsoft SharePoint has emerged as the most promising solution for several medical practices. SharePoint in healthcare streamlines the entire organizational process and offers better patient care.
However, the Healthcare sector is facing massive technology challenges continuously because of distrust in software platforms for not being HIPAA compliant. But CIOs in healthcare (healthcare chief information officer) are surely looking for technology solutions that can help in improving information access along with reducing cost, and most importantly, stick to the regulations.
And, as we are talking about Sharepoint in healthcare, many healthcare institutions are busy validating the fact that SharePoint is HIPAA compliant or not. So, for those who are still questioning if SharePoint is safe or not, here’s news for you: the problem is now over because it is confirmed that SharePoint does incorporate all necessary technical and administrative safeguards to comply with HIPAA rules.
Besides that, healthcare institutions can also now benefit from SharePoint Healthcare Solutions, and that too, in a HIPAA compliant manner. Moreover, as a business, Microsoft associate will ensure that all responsibilities are met, but there is no doubt that it is also a responsibility of the users to use the platform under HIPAA rules. So, we’ll discuss how SharePoint is solving the technical challenges of the healthcare sector.
Well, no wonder that Healthcare organizations are facing some of the major problems that include their limitation to collaborate with other organizations for projects and team collaborations, lack of intranet for intra-organizational collaboration, and absence of support for cross-organization clinical collaboration & coordination.
These major problems drastically reduce productivity and also affect all-important business operations. And, in solving all of the major problems of Healthcare organizations, Microsoft SharePoint is proved to be genuinely helpful.
So, let's begin with a brief introduction to Sharepoint to understand the steps, how the Healthcare sector can achieve efficiency, and move from Legacy Systems with SharePoint.
Introduction to SharePoint
A lot of fortune 100 companies use this amazing platform known as SharePoint to develop solutions to address various business issues and also create collaborative projects.
Sharepoint is categorized into two primary versions that practically do most things alike. One is the latest stable version that is SharePoint server 2016, and the other one is Share point online that comes bundled with Office 365 and is accessed via a subscription-based model.
7 Reasons to Use SharePoint for Healthcare
1. Organized Document Management
As we all know, SharePoint is notable for its capability to manage documents. And this is one vital feature for healthcare organizations because paperwork, storing, filing, and protecting documents have been mind-racking tasks of healthcare organizations, and all such work takes twice the time than actually meeting a patient, since eternity. It not only causes trouble but also wastes your valuable time.
Based on reports from Forbes, if a physician spends 1 hour with a patient, it means he ended up spending an additional 2 hours on paperwork.
Hence, physicians can store as well as manage sensitive paperwork such as patients’ forms, insurance forms, electronic medical records, and admission forms in one central location by using a document repository in SharePoint.
That is because it’s easy to get a comprehensive view of a patient’s entire medical history with all these details in one location.
Besides, the feature of Version control, i.e., it allows tracking the history of edits to a document and also enables us to roll back to the previous versions that will help to maintain the integrity of the patient data.
In all, Microsoft SharePoint can help you invest the same time, which you used to waste in searching for specific patient’s documents in satisfying the client.
2. Automate Workflows
The healthcare industry is growing costs in improving operational efficiencies, and this is one of the major challenges faced by them nowadays as it has become highly important to automate workflows from appointments to payment transactions.
Moreover, the lack of staff is a contributing factor in the increased waiting time of patients. At the same place, automation of analog manual processes is going to help in addressing this problem through advanced capture as well as sharing.
So, we can say, that’s where SharePoint helps as it is a well-known platform for automating all your workflows plus quickly managing operations without wasting any amount of time.
Hence, if you are also facing the problem of shortage of staff and tired of standing in line for high patient waiting, consider exploring SharePoint for Healthcare solutions and try managing this problem.
3. Permissions Management
Well, there is a huge benefit of using SharePoint, i.e., the direct link to your active directory. That is because being observant about who can edit documents and cannot upload access to maintain a secure and trustworthy environment is critical.
It all comes under User Permissions, and they play a pivotal role in SharePoint security management.
Yes, SharePoint assigns several roles and assures all documents to be managed in different ways. Sample roles include admin, owners, team members, and visitors:
a. Admin – For different levels of users, Admin can set permissions to access and edit project documents.
b. Owners – They have full control over the entire site as well as documents.
c. Team Members – It can be controlled and modified by Owners but usually have permission to edit the documents.
d. Visitor – Lacks the permission to make any edits, but typically has ‘read-only’ access.
There is a flexibility that you can create your permission levels. Plus it allows you to create your custom permissions. Besides, one can also manage SharePoint access for both internal as well as external users.
4. Search Features
Search features are vital because finding a record or file in huge document libraries can take too long. The ability to quickly search and find any document stored in SharePoint, when providing timely patient care, is critical.
So, finding the correct file becomes more efficient with powerful search capabilities and the ability to add metadata (data about your files) to documents.
5. Privacy and Security
Well, worrying about security and privacy as a Healthcare organization is completely natural. In such times, choosing the right technology platform will reduce your this burden.
And no doubt using third-party tools has always added complexity to healthcare processes. Therefore, to solve such an issue, Microsoft developers have brought new compliance features in SharePoint. These newly added features support HIPAA requirements as well as regulations.
Hence, we can say that SharePoint for Healthcare Solutions is an ultimate collaboration platform for high security and protection as all the data and information on networks and within SharePoint is properly secured and protected.
The intranet is one of the most important benefits of using SharePoint for Healthcare Solutions. Yes, one can build an intranet for all your employees. That means members in the organization can collaborate seamlessly on any device by using the SharePoint intranet.
Besides that, one can also publish news, rules, policies, have a unique leave application field, or customize dashboards plus settings based on the unique requirements.
One can easily search for any employee or physician by using the search bar and can even access their information within seconds. It also enables all to create portals for patients to access information and communicate with physicians directly. Hence you can say, SharePoint is a one-stop platform for all your collaboration and document management requirements.
Due to collaboration features and cost reduction capabilities, the use of Sharepoint is growing in the Healthcare department, and a huge number of healthcare organizations are already benefiting from the platform. In all, it suits businesses of all sizes.
7. Help Desk and Ticketing Solutions
One can use SharePoint to create a help desk solution about unique urgency as well as the potential impact of clinical support. It enables creating, reassigning, assigning, prioritizing, attaching files & signatures to tickets, grouping tickets, tracking their status, getting notifications about any changes in tickets, their status, and more. Related to below key points, SharePoint allows managing tickets:
a. Physician support (a medical knowledge base)
b. Employee status change (e.g., from part-time to full-time)
c. Room booking (e.g., an operating room)
d. Vacations and sick leaves of employees
e. Maintenance of hospital facilities and equipment
f. Ordering medical equipment, medications, cleaning services, etc.
g. Resolving medical software issues (downtime, compatibility issues)
h. Incident management and policy violations
SharePoint and Healthcare - A Good Decision?
As we have already seen above, SharePoint offers multiple capabilities to streamline collaboration, document management, communication, and other processes in healthcare. Plus the platform is very customizable as we can use it to create a solution tailored to the particular needs of a certain healthcare organization and its employees. Additionally, SharePoint continues adhering to compliance regulations as it is mandatory for the industry.
However, one needs to make sure that a SharePoint solution should be thoroughly planned and implemented with the help of a professional IT team to be truly beneficial for healthcare organizations.
Also, relevant training and robust support on a new SharePoint solution are required, especially to ensure high adoption as well as to ensure seamless operation of the solution in such a demanding and high-pressure environment.
In the mid of several policies and procedures, Healthcare organizations need a way to go. Yes, there is a huge data, which these organizations store is personal and valuable manner. Healthcare providers require quick access to critical files, and even patients need to know their data is secure or not.
And all these solutions are offered by SharePoint. By using Sharepoint, healthcare organizations can take control of document storage and management in a secure and transparent environment.