Microsoft Azure deployed in 220 Australian dental clinics

Microsoft has delivered one of the first hybrid cloud solutions in the Australian health industry to consolidate patient information for more than 220 dental practices.

It has implemented a Windows Azure hybrid integration tool for Dental Corporation, which specializes in taking responsibility for accounting, payroll, support staff, equipment, and maintenance.

The cloud-based solution leaves medical professionals with their own preferred systems, while generating the data Dental Corporation needs to make its businesses more efficient, and patient services more flexible, accommodating, and proactive.

Dental Corporation executive manager, Kellie King, said the company wanted to build an electronic picture of every patient’s dental health and habits that could in turn deliver better healthcare, and help turn Dental Corporation from being a reactive to a proactive service provider.

“We’re taking the concept of intelligent, life-long healthcare forward, because one part of healthcare always knows what the other is doing. With the help from cloud-solutions integrator, Breeze, the company decided on a hybrid cloud model to extract essential data from each practice without altering their existing systems.

Breeze installed Cloud Data Manager on each practice network.

This product contained a data-extraction program coded in .NET allowing the appliance to identify activity on the practice network, replicate changes, and forward them via a URL to a service bus hosted in the cloud with Windows Azure.

King said the company put its energy into the basic principle involved: developing a flexible integration layer that can be seamlessly deployed in any practice.

“Now, we can go into each dental practice and install one small appliance that the professionals don’t even notice. It means we can search for and extract all the data we need to run a multi-practice health business — including patient records.”

The service bus consists of a data-processing engine, powered by Microsoft BizTalk Server 2013 that integrates all the practice data.

Then the data is staged, cleansed, and consolidated before being formatted into standard reports and sent from Windows Azure to a database at the Dental Corporation head office.

King said, because all the data integration occurred in the cloud, the solution was easy to expand.

“At the dentists’ level, there was absolutely no pain, and therefore no resistance, and with the integration layer hosted by Windows Azure in the cloud, we can scale up without costly, large-scale IT projects — we are bringing practices in at a rate of 10 per month,” she said.

The firm’s parent company now plans to adopt the solution to help build its integrated patient-care services.