MEDNAX enhances patient-centric healthcare with highly secure cloud services from Microsoft 365

Today’s post was written by Darren Handler, director of IT research and development at MEDNAX Health Solutions Partner.

Profile picture of Darren Handler, director of IT research and development at MEDNAX Health Solutions – As part of a great IT team at MEDNAX, it’s fulfilling to see how our technology innovations—such as our clinical research, outcome reporting, and patient data management solutions—all contribute to better health in the communities that our affiliated medical group practices serve across the United States. At MEDNAX, we see Microsoft 365, which includes Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security, as the latest step in a digital transformation that reinforces the symbiosis between smart technology and the innovative, attentive patient care that has always defined our company. – We work as a team to improve patient health, and today we are embracing cloud services to help us work more efficiently toward that goal. As we continue to grow, we are committed to delivering a modern workplace that brings a geographically dispersed workforce closer together and helps us attract new talent to drive innovation in patient care. Microsoft 365 cloud services that offer ubiquitous access and workplace collaboration apps are helping us recruit and maintain top talent, so we can continue to provide the best possible patient care. – Using our wealth of patient data to understand how to improve healthcare across MEDNAX–affiliated entities has set us apart from the beginning. Today, we are gaining greater insight into our data with Microsoft Power BI. In the past, data was trapped in our on-premises databases, available only to those who could use complicated BI tools on our workstations. Now we are unlocking this data and making dashboards and reports available to our employees on their mobile devices. – Simplifying how employees communicate with each other is a powerful way to foster innovation and best practices across the organization. Our physicians wanted to discuss clinical findings and new protocols without being confined to a computer in an office. With Microsoft cloud services, they are better able to share data and ideas with each other. That’s because physicians embraced groups in Outlook as a rich collaboration tool that allows for sharing files, scheduling meetings, and exchanging email all on a highly secure, mobile-friendly platform. Today, they are free to check in on these discussions from anywhere. Fostering this open dialogue among physicians leads to better, patient-centric care. – MEDNAX has always valued technology as a powerful way to stay true to our mission: “Take great care of the patient, every day, and in every way.” Moving to Microsoft 365 is helping us ensure that we continue to deliver on that promise.

Darren Handler

Read the case study for more on the how MEDNAX is using highly secure cloud services from Microsoft 365.

Risk management firm Willis Towers Watson to save $3 million in move to Office 365 Blogs: On the Office blog, Microsoft details how Willis Towers Watson (WTW) benefited by using Office 365. WTW operates worldwide in more than 140 countries with 40,000 employees. Eoghan Doyle, WTW’s global head of Infrastructure and Operations, describes how the use of Microsoft cloud technologies and services helped digitally transform WTW into a leading global risk management firm:

“Willis Towers Watson drives business performance for our clients by helping them unlock potential. We aim to do the same for our global workforce. The Microsoft Secure Productive Enterprise E5 solution provides the advanced enterprise security, collaboration and intelligence from Office 365, which our colleagues can use to drive business results. By globally adopting Secure Productive Enterprise solutions, we can increase business agility and productivity, while delivering integrated technology in support of our business objectives. We look forward in particular to cloud-based telephony, interactive self-service business analytics and advanced threat protection to empower everyone in a mobile-first, modern workplace.” Blogs: WTW was able to save approximately $3 million in operating costs by using Office 365, as well as other Microsoft products and services, including Skype for Business. Microsoft continues to build and grow its cloud capabilities with new security and compliance features, including a faster eDiscovery analysis workflow and better security AI to help keep Microsoft customers more secure. Stay tuned for more news on how Microsoft can help companies grow and evolve by doing more in this “mobile-first, cloud-first” digital world. announces Collage, brings disconnected info together, all within Outlook Blogs:, a company that develops Outlook add-ins for Office 365 users has announced today Collage, a new add-in that brings together information from different cloud services, social tools, and more to make the email client much more useful. The company calls its Collage the “first topic computing solution” that will help workers address information overload, all within Outlook. Blogs: The Outlook add-in can connect Office 365 users to various services and tools such as Salesforce, Yammer, Zendesk, and more, and the company says that its Collage technology leverages machine learning and Microsoft Graph to add topical context to your information. “ Collage eliminates app noise and removes the need for workers to open multiple, process-specific applications and email chains by automatically organizing them by topic within Outlook,” shared the company. “The advanced, topic-driven sidebar allows workers to see the big picture while staying focused on the topic at hand—be it a specific product, customer, project, campaign or service.”

Collage works with Outlook on the Web, Outlook 2013 or later and Outlook 2016 for Mac, but be aware that you must have an Office 365 or Exchange email account to use it. If you want to try it, you can get the Outlook add-in on the Office Store.

Microsoft searching for the cause of yesterday’s massive sign-in outages

It has been a rough couple of weeks for Microsoft’s cloud connected services. With back to back outages of some of its most frequented services, Microsoft technicians are looking to pin point the cause of the disruption.

Earlier this week, Office 365, Skype, Xbox Live and a few other onliine services went down and would not allow users to sign into them from around 1:00 pm U.S. EST until 6:00 am ET.

According to report from MSP mentor , there were several attempts to restore services such as OneDrive and Outlook, but all failed despite Microsoft technicians running into similar problems last week.

As Microsoft technicians continue to look into the outage, they are reaching a conclusion that, “We’ve determined that the previously resolved issue had some residual impact to the service configuration for OneDrive.”

Even with the team narrowing in on residual effects caused by a previous patch, they are still cautious to fully attribute this weeks issues to last weeks problems.

Fortunately, as Microsoft looks further into the matter, they’ve managed to deploy another patch to address this weeks issues which is getting users back up and running.

Three ways to find the current day in Outlook calendar views

The current day can be hard to find in a busy calendar. Here are several workarounds that can help. Blogs: Visually tracking the current day in relation to the rest of your scheduled events is important. Unfortunately, today is often hard to spot in a busy calendar. To make matters worse, how Outlook highlights the current day has changed from version to version. In the earliest version, Outlook did nothing to differentiate between the current day and other days. In the most recent version, Outlook 2016 distinguishes the current day with a thick border at the top—that’s it! In this article, I’ll show you three ways to help the current day stand out in a busy calendar. Blogs: I’m using Outlook 2016 (desktop) on a Windows 10 64-bit system. There’s no downloadable demonstration file. For the most part, I’m using Month View, but other calendar views are relevant. To simplify the discussion, I’ll refer to the current day as today throughout this article. For 365 subscribers, only #1 works in Mail 365.

1: Jump to today

By default, Outlook 2016 distinguishes today (the 10th) with a thick border, as shown in Figure A. The boldly highlighted day (the 6th) indicates the selected day. You might expect today to receive just as much visual attention, but as you can see it doesn’t.

Figure A

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The selected day is easy to discern; today isn’t.

The quickest way to find the current day in to click Today in the Go To group on the Home tab. (In Mail 365, Today is to the far right with the view options.) As you can see in Figure B, the selection highlight distinguishes today. Of course, as soon as you select another day, you lose that visual advantage.

Figure B

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Today and the selected day are the same.

If you prefer keyboard shortcuts, press Ctrl+T. If that doesn’t work, press Ctrl+G, enter today in the Date control (Figure C), and click OK. Today works in Week View and Work Week View. If your workweek doesn’t include today’s day of the week, clicking Today will display it temporarily. If you have multiple calendars open, clicking Today selects the appropriate day in the active calendar.

Figure C

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Use the Go To Date dialog.

2: Use a bland format for appointments and events

To the best of my knowledge, there’s no conditional format rule that will highlight today. All conditional formats rely on fields, so you must have an event for every day—and nobody wants to work that hard. The problem isn’t that today doesn’t stand out, it’s that everything stands out. All events and appointments use the default calendar color, unless you categorize them. Doing so might help, but it can also make for a too-busy calendar—too many colors will be distracting. Today will stand out better if other items fade a bit, and you can accomplish this by adding a conditional format that uses a bland highlight for all uncategorized events. The bland color you use will depend on your calendar’s color. The example calendar is blue, so let’s use a light gray.

SEE: Windows 10 power tips: Secret shortcuts to your favorite settings (Tech Pro Research)

To begin, click the View tab and then click View Settings in the Current View group. In the resulting dialog, click Conditional Formatting. Next, click Add and enter a meaningful name for the rule. From the Color dropdown, choose a bland or contrasting color (Figure D).

Figure D

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Choose a bland or contrasting color for the new rule.

At this point, click Condition (bottom-left) and then click the Advanced tab. From the Field dropdown, choose Start (Figure E). Then, from the Condition dropdown, choose Anytime (Figure F). Finally, click Add To List and click OK three times.

Figure E

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Choose the Start value.

Figure F

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Choose a Condition value.

Thanks to the formatting rule, Outlook displays all uncategorized events in gray (the color you selected above). The thick blue border at the top of today isn’t any brighter or bigger, but it is easier to spot with most of the other events in gray. This isn’t a silver bullet by any means, but it might improve your ability to quickly find today in a busy calendar. This conditional formatting rule works in all views, not only Month View.

3: Highlight today’s appointments

There’s one more way to make today stand out if you have an appointment or event that day. You can add a conditional format that highlights that event differently on the actual day of the event—today! It’s a bit convoluted, but it works. You’ll start the same way as before. First, click the View tab and then click View Settings in the Current View group. In the resulting dialog, click Conditional Formatting. Next, click Add and enter a meaningful name for the rule. From the Color dropdown, choose a contrasting color that stands out. Then, click Move Up so this rule takes precedence over the bland color you added previously, as shown in Figure G.

Figure G

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Create a new rule for today’s appointments.

To continue, click Condition. On the Appointment And Meetings tab, choose Starts and Today from the Time dropdowns, as shown in Figure H.

Figure H

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This rule will work with events and appointments that occur today.

To bypass recurring events that might interfere, click the Advanced tab. From the Field dropdown, choose Frequently Used Fields and then Recurring; doing so will automatically fill Equals and No. If that doesn’t happen, choose those values. Then, click Add To List (Figure I) and click OK three times. As you can see in Figure J, the new rule highlights today’s appointment, whereas all other uncategorized items are gray. (The green appointment on Tuesday is a previously categorized event—don’t confuse it with the blue border above today.) Regardless of the selected day, today is easy to spot. Tomorrow, this rule will highlight the appointment at 11:00 on the 11th and the appointment on the 10th will be gray.

Figure I

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Add the new condition to the rule.

Figure J

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The rule highlights only today’s events.

If this rule doesn’t work as expected, check its placement (Figure G). Outlook must apply this rule before it applies the bland highlight rule.