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Operation Smile dreams big with Microsoft Azure – Part 2

04 Jan 2016
Operation Smile dreams big with Microsoft Azure – Part 2

By Chris Bryant | Senior Vice President of Enterprise Applications and Technology, Operation Smile

In my last blog, I wrote about how Operation Smile is taking advantage of a Microsoft Azure hybrid solution to scale our efforts on medical missions. It will enable us to not only collect data locally but save it to what I like to call the mothership in the cloud. Our employees and volunteers will be able to capture information in areas without an Internet connection and then sync that data to the cloud when they’re back online. That means we’ll be able to gather information on a local level but analyze it on a global level across all the countries we operate in.

One of the ways we plan to use our Azure hybrid solution is to streamline how we identify and recruit patients who need our help in areas we haven’t yet reached.

For example, when Honduras utility workers are out reading meters, they knock on doors to ask if anyone in a household has a cleft condition. In the past, they collected the information on paper, and it would take multiple steps and involve multiple people for us to receive it. We’re now working on a mobile app that the meter reader will use to capture the prospective patient’s data at the patient’s doorstep—on whatever device they’re carrying, be it Windows, IOS, or Android—in areas where they might not be able to connect to the Internet. When they’re back online, the information can be instantly and securely uploaded into our medical records database, which is housed in our Vitro Software EMR in Azure.

We can then use analytics and GIS mapping to identify regions where there are still a number of children with cleft conditions and plan missions to those areas. This will help us with our goal to eradicate the backlog of cleft conditions entirely in countries such as Honduras.

Since we serve a global, dispersed patient population, it’s incredibly valuable for Operation Smile to have a single, secure place for all patient data in the health cloud. Information is powerful, and our Azure hybrid approach gives us the ability to do the kind of analytics we need in order to efficiently scale our efforts. We dream of being able to reach more and more children every year. To do that, we need every donor dollar to go further. Our hybrid strategies will allow us to recognize economies of scale and work smarter as we seek to heal ever more smiles. Being able to analyze global data that’s consolidated in the cloud will empower us to more efficiently approach future missions and expand our reach.