Monday, 18 May 2020 11:38

South Australia Health adopts Microsoft Teams with COVID 19 response measures Featured


South Australia Health has ramped up its clinical communications in response to the COVID-19 pandemic with the deployment of Microsoft Teams, with the first 13,000 personnel “embracing the solution” in just two weeks.

Alongside Microsoft training sessions to encourage successful end user adoption of Teams, Microsoft says it has deployed Teams to over 40,000 personnel in one week. with
the collaboration solution providing personnel with a “secure, modern communication and collaboration platform from anywhere, at any time, and on any device including iOS and Android”.

SA Health declared a health emergency in response to COVID-19 in mid-March, and it also established a series of specialist clinics and testing centres and encouraged employees to work from home if at all possible.

Mirosoft says that in order to facilitate communications – particularly among clinical teams – while maintaining appropriate social distancing, SA Health has made Teams available to all personnel.

“Leveraging the SA Government’s Office 365 central tenancy, SA Health was able to offer employees the opportunity to use Teams on their own devices to ensure that they could keep in contact with one another and collaborate on work tasks,” Microsoft said.

Teams is being rolled out as part of the standard operating environment for SA Health desktops and laptops, with users now offered the option to roll out on Android or iOS devices as well.

Microsoft says the deployment has been achieved through a partnership between SA Health, Microsoft and SA’s Office for ICT and Digital Government.

According to Bret Morris, Chief Digital Officer for SA Health; “SA Health and the Office for ICT and Digital Government was pleased to work with Microsoft to deploy Teams so clinicians and staff can access a secure, modern communication and collaboration platform from anywhere, at any time, and on any device including iOS and Android.

“At a time when many of our staff were required to work from home, the ease of use of Teams meant we needed to provide minimal training. Clinicians and staff recognised quickly adopted the technology, resulting in exponential growth in uptake; to 13,000 users in just two weeks.”

Microsoft says that while Teams was deployed rapidly to meet an acute and urgent need, SA Health has already indicated it plans to use Teams as its communications and collaboration platform for the future and even after COVID-19 is brought under control.

“For example, it plans to explore how Teams could be leveraged in more clinical scenarios and be integrated with core applications such as the Sunrise EMR (electronic medical record),” Microsoft notes.

Lee Hickin, National Technology Officer, Microsoft Australia; “The impact that SA Health has been able to achieve by its rapid deployment of Teams is impressive. Clinical teams have been able to communicate quickly and clearly from any device and any time, optimising patient outcomes without compromising their own safety and security.”

Hickin said SA Health has seen large user adoption with over 400,000 chat messages and over 25,000 calls happening on the platform already, with these numbers continuing to grow daily.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).



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