Following a new deal with Microsoft, healthcare in Scotland is expected to see better treatment and reduced waiting times as the country's division of the NHS benefits from various efficiency-boosting features of the tech giant's Office 365 and Windows 10 E5 systems
Healthcare in Scotland is set to change following a new deal between the country’s division of the NHS and Microsoft, who together are looking to cut waiting times and improve patient care.
NHS Scotland will merge more than 100 separate computer systems and provide its 161,000 staff with access to the tech giant‘s Office 365 features, improving their efficiency so they can spend more time treating on patients.
The partnership will allow GPs, consultants and support workers to communicate on one digital platform and share patient information more easily, which will in turn help them reduce waiting times.
Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for health and sport Jeane Freeman said: “In Scotland, we are building a properly joined-up health and social care system, which is much more focused on getting the right information to the right people at the right time, whether it’s a care professional or an individual managing their own health.
“That includes developing a new National Digital Platform, setting out common standards and approaches for healthcare systems, so that people can get the best care, regardless of where they are. Moving to Office 365 is a key building-block in that process.
“By consolidating hundreds of separate systems across Scotland’s NHS and care services, we can ensure that our hard-working staff are able to focus more on patients than processes.
“At the same time, we have a duty to protect people’s information safely and securely. As part of that, moving to Office 365 is going to make our systems more resilient.”
Healthcare in Scotland to benefit from technological boost
NHS Scotland’s computer systems will also be move to Windows 10 E5, which includes a number of security features such as advanced threat protection, and is already in use in NHS England.
It also comprises various behaviour sensors and security analysis protocols, which, together with the threat intelligence system, will allow staff to respond to cyber-attacks in near-real-time.
The new partnership between NHS Scotland and Microsoft will run for three years, following which the two organisations will have the option to extend their agreement for a further two years if healthcare in Scotland has seen the expected boost.
Chief executive of Microsoft UK Cindy Rose said: “NHS Scotland staff do incredible work each and every day, however cross-department collaboration can be challenging due to the use of multiple systems.
“By moving to one common platform in Office 365, staff will have the best tools available to work together seamlessly, ensuring they’re able to focus on what counts most – helping patients.”
“Furthermore, by moving to Windows 10 E5, NHS Scotland can be confident that its systems are running on the most up-to-date software at all times.
“As a result, the organisation will have a real-time view of any potential cyber threats and can therefore minimise the impact of any cyber-attack across the entire organisation.”