Having a single place to find providers, locations and specialties is a basic need in the trenches of any health care system. But, at the time, it was surprisingly difficult to build at Providence Health & Services, because the data is spread out far and wide, and system-wide search tools were either unavailable or not specific enough for the business.
Oregon's Providence Medical Group (PMG) staff in particular had problems answering caregiver and patient questions about clinic resources. This hunt for answers consumed at least four staff-hours a day, and the answers were frequently wrong or conflicting. Their information came from three different sources maintained by separate departments - an Excel spreadsheet, document file on a shared drive, and a SQL database. If one source didn't have the information, they'd go to the next.
They had been asking Information Services for over seven years to build them a solution without success. Initial project discovery revealed the simplest and lowest cost solution would be one they built themselves. They were the closest to the pain. They just needed help leveraging the out-of-box capabilities of their SharePoint intranet web site to fill their needs.
Design, development, and implementation of a digital solution included PMG leaders and users on the development team. This close relationship made it possible to clarify business requirements down to the detail and suggest business process changes that led to a better digital product. It also inspired PMG staff to head out into the field and take photographs all the clinics so the interface would look complete.
The work pulled all data and documents into linked SharePoint lists and libraries on two different department sites, which respected authority boundaries and made the data easier to maintain. Responsibility for maintaining facilities data, for example, was in the hands of the Real Estate and Property Management, while responsibility for maintaining medical group data was given to PMG's subject matter experts.
The web app also had multiple views of clinics organized into tabs for location, specialty, and clinician name. Each tab displayed a different set of vertical tabs on the right. The interface stored the last combination of horizontal and vertical tabs selected as a browser cookie, so users could pick up where they left off when they returned to the page. The results section gave basic location and contact information for each clinic, taking advantage of SharePoint's user lookup feature.
Clicking on a result opened a customized SharePoint Display Form that aggregated data from four separate lists - Facilities, Clinics, Clinicians, and Specialties.
The product arrived on time and on budget in better shape than anyone expected. It put answers in front of anyone able to access SharePoint. Data remained current and accurate because the interface for making updates was familiar and easy to use by subject matter experts in the business closest to the data. PMG had no benchmarks for measuring success, but the move to SharePoint was widely viewed as an major time and hassle saver. This Oregon-focused single page web app survived six years of organizational churn on minimal maintenance until folded into an enterprise web app fueled by Master Data.
Designer/developer from concept to code using out-of-the-box parts and client-side development only. Carried product through SharePoint 2007 to 2010 upgrade and ongoing improvements.