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First Australian provider to implement Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare

By Ryan Morris-Reade
Wed 20 Apr 2022

Bethesda Health Care is the first provider in Australia to implement Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare technology in its new mental health clinic.

Bethesda Health Care has announced that the new mental health clinic in Cockburn will be the first medical facility in Australia to install Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare as its Patient Administration System (PAS). It will utilise Velrada, Microsoft's growth partner of the year, as its implementation partner.

Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare brings together capabilities from Microsoft Azure, Dynamics 365, Microsoft Power Platform and Microsoft 365 to create a secure and connected patient experience. Bethesda can leverage the features and functionality of these platforms to explore new care models. The consumer is in control of their care, and with consent, clinical staff can access a complete history of the care and support given and proposed.

Dr Neale Fong, Bethesda's CEO, says adopting Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare comes at a critical time for West Australians, with demand for mental health support rising across the state.

"Having a cloud-based system allows an incredible amount of important data to be exchanged from multiple operational and clinical sources, creating more connected consumer experiences, where the consumer is in control of what is shared and who it's shared with," he says. 

"Bethesda's new-generation PAS will change how consumers access and receive state-of-the-art mental health support, and how they, their families and support networks interact with doctors, nurses and other parties."

The PAS will bring together protected health information from disparate systems into a solution based on industry standards to help create a longitudinal patient record. This data can then support consumer care and clinical insights, data analytics, machine learning and potential for AI. 

"The Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare platform delivers better health outcomes by making patient data truly accessible," says Velrada director, Jennifer Evans.

"Velrada is delighted to be part of this Australian-first project, which we hope will be a model for others around Australia and beyond, looking for new ways to improve the delivery of mental health services.

"Velrada can take advantage of our industry knowledge and expertise and work very closely with Microsoft and the Bethesda team to design and implement an exciting solution that will change the way mental health services are delivered. The consumer and health practitioners can work together for better health outcomes."

By using Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, Bethesda can now offer customers and their medical practitioner's direct access to their patient history. Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare records, a consumer's 'episode of care' that allows more personalised and tailored care plans based on their needs. It can track a consumer's care plan both as an inpatient and out-patient as part of Bethesda's wellness centre, keeping the customer informed and ensuring the highest level of care. 

Microsoft Australia chief medical officer, Dr Nic Woods, says, "A key focus and unique aspect of this approach delivered by Velrada, Bethesda and Microsoft enables transitions from the community to inpatient and back into community care as smooth as possible for consumers, patients and their loved ones.

"There has never been such a need to provide new and connected services for people affected by mental health issues. This is a huge step in supporting care across often very complex needs, and one that Microsoft is very proud to be taking with Bethesda and Velrada."

He says by harnessing the power of cloud technology, Bethesda will be able to evolve how it engages consumers and patients in their care, to significantly improve outcomes for both patients and staff.

Bethesda's purpose-built mental health facility in Cockburn, Western Australia, will have a wellbeing centre, consultation rooms and 45 overnight beds that will expand to 75 beds in 2023.     

It will provide needed amenities for Perth's southern suburbs, in line with Bethesda's high-quality services. The clinic will take a patient-centred approach, delivering an upmarket facility that responds to Bethesda's vision to provide high-quality healthcare in line with the values of excellence, respect and compassion.
                        

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