Clinics directory

  • 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.

  • Clinics directory
  • 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.

Clinic locations, clinicians and specialties

  • 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.

  • Clinic Page

    An informative list of cards linked to more detailed clinic information.

  • 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.

    Avoiding anything to do with a SQL database in this case freed up everyone to focus on interface development and data quality. Progress was tangible to the business, so the business side of the team felt comfortable finding functionality flaws and contributing to ideas for improving product form and fitness. Since SharePoint Search did not integrate well with this kind of client side development, a simple JavaScript search box was used instead.

  • Search drop list

    A JavaScript enabled search box for finding a clinic by name.

  • 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.

  • Horizontal and vertical tabs

    Three horizontal tabs with separate vertical tabs.

  • Clicking on a result opened a customized SharePoint Display Form that aggregated data from four separate lists - Facilities, Clinics, Clinicians, and Specialties.

  • Custom SharePoint display form

    More than just showing the data, each tab and form live-linked to clinician bios, phone numbers and availability.


  • 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.

Under the hood

  • SharePoint
    • 1 tabs page
    • 1 code-behind page / CSS / JS
    • 1 script library
    • 4 lists (three Clinics lists on one site, and Real Estate list on another site all three combined on page and display form)
    • 1 custom display form
  • Web Design
    • Business analysis
    • Composition and usability
    • Image rendering
  • Tools
    • Inkscape
    • Notepad++
  • Protocols
    • JavaScript
    • jQuery
    • jQuery Tools
    • jQuery Library for SharePoint Services
    • HTML
    • CSS
    • XSL, XSLT


  • 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.