NHS employees in Scotland will now use Microsoft’s collaboration and communication platform Teams to work while
battling the coronavirus outbreak.
NHS Scotland has now rolled out Microsoft Teams to over 160,000 of its personnel, including those working at the front line in the
Scottish Ambulance Service, in hospitals, Health Protection Scotland and NHS24, as well as members of health boards.
Microsoft Teams allows staff to securely share, upload and work together on files simultaneously from any location. Along with being able to communicate with fellow employees via video and audio calls and instant messaging, Scottish healthcare employees can also use it to host and attend virtual meetings.
Chief Executive for NHS National Services Scotland Colin Sinclair said:
“This unprecedented event, combined with a lockdown of the UK, has led to an unequivocal need to open up digital communications to help the NHS save lives. In response to the challenges of the pandemic, NHS Scotland has accelerated the rollout of Microsoft Teams, so that it is available to all of our staff.”
The Chief Executive said the technology from Microsoft was helping enormously by allowing NHS staff to quickly adapt to the state of emergency. An intended rollout of Teams was already in the works but with backing from the Scottish Government, its adoption has been accelerated drastically from months to weeks. He added:
“I thank the IT teams whose determination has made this possible within challenging timescales. There is much work ahead, but I encourage all NHS colleagues to use Microsoft Teams as their secure communication and collaboration tool as we respond to support Scotland’s health and wellbeing in these unparalleled times.”
Teams will enable healthcare workers all over Scotland
to work together despite restrictions imposed on travel, and from remote working and isolation or quarantine requirements
Clinical director for Clinical Informatics, Dr. Paul Campbell, stated that the use of Teams had proved invaluable for the clinical side of NHS Scotland ,reducing the requirement for meetings in person and streamlining communication and coordination of information and strategies. He also commented that it was bringing clinical teams together, in many cases crossing disciplines and boundaries allowing them to work more efficiently.
The clinical teams can now use the Microsoft solution to create an instant network for communications that supports home working, and it has allowed them to create and distribute guidelines for staff.
Microsoft made its Teams platform free to all staff at the NHS, enabling them to communicate quickly with their colleagues. The software giant has worked in close conjunction with the Scottish Government, Digital Health and the NHS as the COVID-19 crisis has continued.
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