Health Information Technology & Services (HITS) recently launched Microsoft Teams across Michigan Medicine, for use by faculty, staff, and learners. This secure digital workspace brings together conversation and content into one platform, enabling more efficient productivity, cloud-based convenience, and collaboration across Michigan Medicine. The Teams launch is a major milestone of Michigan Medicine’s broader Microsoft 365 effort.
Teams is a powerhouse app, seamlessly combining chat, video/voice, calendar, file-sharing, document collaboration, and many other features into one application. “Now that we’ve brought our existing tools together into one interface, we can look ahead to improvements in how we work,” said Michael Warden, senior director of HITS Business IT. Teams will be a front door to many new Microsoft tools and features, including AI-driven learning and wellness tools. These tools hold to potential to simplify our daily work and even make small improvements to our mental health.”
Teams is also replacing Skype for Business as Michigan Medicine’s primary chat tool. Skype for Business will be retired on March 31. For those using a persistent chat group in Skype for Business today, business communications should be recreated in Teams, and patient-focused chats should move to MiChart Hyperspace Secure Chat.
Connecting University of Michigan, Michigan Medicine, and University of Michigan Health-West
The productivity and collaboration landscape at U-M is complicated, with many options and entry points. HITS is working with Information and Technology Services (ITS) and University of Michigan Health-West partners to develop a roadmap that better integrates our disparate systems.
For example, today Michigan Medicine and U-M campus offer two separate versions of the Microsoft 365 (M365) suite, each accessed through different login credentials. This means users’ accounts do not sync and users cannot chat or collaborate across the two environments. This is due in part to security protocols – the Michigan Medicine 365 instance is designed for high data sensitivity. See the U-M Safe Computing Sensitive Data Guide for full details.
In the short term, Michigan Medicine users who leveraged the U-M campus Microsoft 365 instance (accessed via UMICH Level-1 credentials) should switch to working in the Michigan Medicine 365 instance to chat and collaborate with their Michigan Medicine colleagues. Gain access by signing into any M365 app with your Michigan Medicine (Level-2) credentials. More information on how to sign in to M365 on a CoreMac or Core Image PC is available in the Michigan Medicine Help Center.
If you’re unsure which U-M instance of 365 you are currently using, click on your initials in the upper corner of the application you’re working in. There you’ll see your name and email address listed. If a ‘med’ email (firstname.lastname@example.org) is listed, you’re in the Michigan Medicine instance, designed for high data sensitivity.
Longer term, HITS and their IT partners are working to unify access to Teams, allowing colleagues outside of Michigan Medicine to join as guests or trusted partners. “Federated access in Teams will allow us to connect across the state as well as across campus, enabling the kind of seamless collaboration and sharing of information our users need and value,” Warden said.
“For Michigan Medicine, we see great value is aligning to the M365 suite across University of Michigan Health. Doing so ensures that our collaboration tools are secure, and the ability to use these tools across the state as our enterprise grows helps us to reach other business objectives and build more value for our patients.”