Microsoft, Providence St. Joseph partner on long-term cloud innovation project

The health system will use Azure as its preferred platform and will deploy emerging technologies from Microsoft at an affiliated hospital facility in Seattle, near the technology giant’s Redmond headquarters.
By Nathan Eddy
11:42 AM
Microsoft, Providence St. Joseph partner on long-term cloud innovation project

Renton, Washington-based Providence St. Joseph Health is partnering with nearby Microsoft for a multi-year strategic alliance designed to help PSJH address clinical and operational needs with emerging cloud-based technologies.

The health system will deploy software from Microsoft and its partners at a PSJH-affiliated hospital facility in Seattle, near the technology giant’s Redmond headquarters, and use Microsoft’s Azure as its preferred cloud platform.

One of the nation’s largest health systems, PSJH will also standardize productivity and collaboration tools for its nearly 120,000 caregivers on Microsoft 365.

Additional plans by PSJH, which operates 51 hospitals across seven states, include support patient engagement using Dynamics 365, Microsoft’s line of enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management applications.

In addition, the alliance will see PSJH doctors and nurses deploying Microsoft’s Teams application, part of the Microsoft 365 platform, to enable secure communication – the platform meets security and compliance requirements for healthcare organizations – and collaboration.

By using Microsoft's Teams software, healthcare professionals can bring together chat, video meetings and conferencing, and line-of-business applications into one hub. In February Microsoft added a host of messaging features to Teams, each aimed at streamlining urgent patient care in the healthcare sector.

Teams also lets users communicate patient updates in real time through connections to electronic health records, line of business apps and Office apps.

Built on Microsoft’s 365 cloud platform, Teams enables HIPAA compliance and is compliant with standards like HITRUST, SOC 1, SOC 2, GDPR, and others.

Through the initial rollout to these platforms at the PSJH hospital in Seattle, the aim is to eventually scale these innovations across the entire health system.

The partnership between PSJH and Microsoft will also include an innovative facility showcasing cloud technology, artificial intelligence and data and analytics can increase the chances of more successful treatment. 

THE LARGER TREND
Providence St. Joseph Health has a tradition of forward-thinking investments and partnerships. Back in February, PSJH announced its acquisition of Seattle-based healthcare technology company Lumedic, developer of a blockchain-based revenue cycle management platform.

Based on blockchain technology, the Lumedic end-to-end revenue cycle management platform deploys distributed ledger technology, smart contracts, and machine learning.

The health system claims it will be the first integrated provider-payer system to establish a scalable blockchain platform for claims processing.

This past month PSJH also acquired Epic consultancy Bluetree. PSJH, one of the largest Epic customers, made the acquisition to help diversify its revenue and help advance its mission of better patient care.

In February, it launched a new pop health company, Ayin Health Solutions, meant to help providers "maintain stability in a shifting healthcare market" by offering services that can help organizations keep costs down, improve care and ease into population health management.

ON THE RECORD
"Our ambition is to accelerate Providence St. Joseph Health's digital transformation and to build new innovations together that are designed to improve health care delivery and outcomes," said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, in a statement.

"Providence St. Joseph Health has been on a journey to transform health care and achieve a vision of health for a better world," added the health system's CEO, Dr. Rod Hochman. "Together, we'll support doctors, nurses and all caregivers by equipping them with innovative tools and technology that make it easier to do the vitally important work of improving lives."

Nathan Eddy is a healthcare and technology freelancer based in Berlin.
Email the writer: nathaneddy@gmail.com
Twitter: @dropdeaded209