NHS Digital to boost staff communication with Azure integration

NHS Digital

NHS Digital, the information and technology partner of NHS, is planning a systems integration to improve communication among the staff members of the national healthcare organisation.

The information, data and IT systems provider will bring in integrated system which will help NHS staff members to log into a variety of applications and services using their NHSmail credentials.

As part of the new plans, NHS Digital will integrate NHSmail with Office 365, which will allow NHSmail users to access both Microsoft Exchange and Skype for sharing patient details securely.

Not only all NHS employees, but all the organisations commissioned to provide NHS services can use NHSmail credentials.

NHS Digital revealed that it will first synchronise the NHSmail directory with the cloud-based directory Azure AD. This synchronisation is slated to be completed by April, said the department.

Following which, NHSmail will be integrated with Office 365 (O365) services, which is scheduled to be completed by August.

NHS Digital service director Neil Bennett said: “This synchronisation of NHSmail to Azure AD and integration with O365 is part of our long-term vision to bring about greater collaboration across the wider health and care system.

“It means information can be more readily and securely shared between health and care organisations and teams can collaborate more easily.”

Through the integration, NHS staff will get to access a number of applications and services by  using their NHSmail credentials, thereby simplifying their jobs further.

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It would not only make NHS efficient, but also benefit the patients as the integration will ensure the confidentiality of patients’ information while communicating.

NHS Digital revealed that O365 services will be hosted either in the EU or US data centres while NHSmail Exchange and Skype for Business services will continue to be hosted on the NHSmail data centres, located across England.

The department added that there will be no change seen by users of NHSmail in how they currently access it and at the same time there will be no additional license costs coming out of the synchronization process.