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Providence St. Joseph in Renton, Wash. (GeekWire Photo)

Microsoft and Providence St. Joseph Health announced a new partnership Monday designed to bring the healthcare institution’s vast clinical data and the software giant’s artificial intelligence and cloud capabilities together. The goal is to modernize Providence’s clinical and administrative IT departments.

Starting at a hospital near Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash., the two organizations will implement new technologies and shift operations to the Microsoft platform. Providence’s 119,000 caregivers will begin using tools including Microsoft Teams and Dynamics 365 as part of the initiative.

The pilot will launch at a Providence St. Joseph Health hospital in the Seattle region. The exact location is to be determined. Microsoft and Providence plan to eventually expand the new system to other Providence St. Joseph-affiliated hospitals across seven states.

The initiative is similar to a partnership launched by Microsoft and UCLA in May that applies artificial intelligence to heaps of clinical data. Microsoft is investing heavily in the healthcare industry.

“Our ambition is to accelerate Providence St. Joseph Health’s digital transformation and to build new innovations together that are designed to improve health care delivery and outcomes,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement.

Providence will migrate the clinical data it hosts in eight data centers onto Microsoft Azure. Using Microsoft tools, the healthcare giant hopes to improve the quality and efficiency of care at its hospitals.

For example, Microsoft and Providence want to reduce the time it takes to identify cancer cases using natural language processing and machine reading technology.

“This is an opportunity to bring together our clinical data from disparate sources and present them to clinicians in a meaningful, relevant way so they can make well-informed decisions that improve outcomes for the patients,” Rod Hochman, M.D., president and CEO of Providence St. Joseph Health, told GeekWire in a statement.

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