A Global Leader in Aging and Brain Health Wins Big with Blended IT
Healthcare Institutions Save Time and Reduce Development Costs by up to 90 Percent with Cloud-Based Portal
A global leader in aging and brain health, Baycrest wanted to more easily share resources with other healthcare organizations in Canada and around the world. By using a blended IT approach and working with a Microsoft Partner, Baycrest developed eHealth2Share, a cloud-based portal based on Microsoft Office 365 that allows hospital workers to share information and expertise. By reusing software applications and electronic forms, eHealth2Share will help healthcare institutions save weeks of employee labor time.
Baycrest offers a comprehensive system of care for aging patients and one of the world's top research institutes in cognitive neuroscience. The organization wanted to improve efficiency by sharing information and expertise with other hospitals in Canada and around the world. Healthcare officials realized that cloud technologies could help Baycrest develop a centralized information hub without investing a lot of time or money.
Blending forces with an award-winning Microsoft Partner, Baycrest built eHealth2Share, a centralized information portal that allows healthcare providers to share a range of information, including electronic forms, policies, software applications, training programs, and best practices. Baycrest developed the portal by using Microsoft Office 365, which provided an affordable way for organizations to access and share documents using the Microsoft Office applications that most employees are already familiar with.
With eHealth2Share, healthcare organizations can save time and lower development costs by as much as 90 percent by downloading software applications and electronic forms that other institutions have already produced. They can also improve care by more easily sharing knowledge and expertise with colleagues at other institutions. In addition, employees can save time by sharing electronic forms, policies, best practices, and employee training programs.
“It can cost [US]$10,000 to $40,000 every time a healthcare institution needs to develop an electronic form,” says Terrie Tucker, Director of eHealth at Baycrest. “By sharing standardized forms on eHealth2Share, hospitals can download forms that already exist, make the minor edits needed, and have a customized form and associated workflow ready to go, with substantially less investment in staff time and effort.”
By utilizing a blended IT workforce, developing the portal made it possible for Baycrest to create eHealth2Share quickly and at low cost. “We wouldn’t have done this if we had to maintain it internally and had to worry about security, access, and all those types of things,” Tucker says. “The fact that it’s in the cloud and someone else is managing the servers is what made it all possible.”
More and more companies are discovering the benefits of employing a blended IT workforce. This approach includes using a mix of full-time employees, independent contractors and temporary workers. A blended IT solution provides for the best possible financial and strategic business outcomes.
Already, Baycrest is seeing the benefits of eHealth2Share. Employees are saving time and labor by downloading documents developed by other institutions and then customizing these documents to meet their specific needs. Baycrest has posted several software applications to eHealth2Share for other institutions to download free of charge, potentially saving them thousands of dollars in development costs.
“By openly sharing best-in-class electronic forms and e-learning modules, healthcare institutions can save weeks—and even months—of time that it takes to create them,” says Tucker. “It’s all about sharing resources and saving public taxpayer dollars.”
To date, about 40 healthcare providers at 40 institutions have subscribed to eHealth2Share, including all the major teaching hospitals in the Toronto area. Baycrest eventually hopes to extend the portal to healthcare institutions around the world. Tucker believes the portal will be especially useful for smaller healthcare organizations and those in remote areas that don’t have the same resources as larger, urban-based institutions. “This is truly an innovative use of cloud services in the healthcare sector,” she says. “It presents a huge opportunity for knowledge exchange and relationship building. Ultimately, this has the potential to save healthcare institutions a lot of time and money.”
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