South African private hospital group, Mediclinic, has taken new strides in internal collaboration with Microsoft South Africa and Intervate, A T-Systems Company.
Mediclinic Southern Africa is a private hospital network operating in South Africa and Namibia, which is focused on providing acute care, specialist-orientated, multidisciplinary hospital services and related service offerings.
It is a wholly owned subsidiary of the South African based international private healthcare group, Mediclinic International, which currently has three operating divisions – Mediclinic Southern Africa which operates 52 private hospitals in South Africa and Namibia, Hirslanden, which operates 16 private hospitals in Switzerland and Mediclinic Middle East which operates two private hospitals and nine clinics in the United Arab Emirates.
Mediclinic International was founded in 1983 and listed on the JSE (Johannesburg Stock Exchange) since 1986.
Mediclinic strives to provide globally benchmarked patient safety and care that lives up to its brand promise of ‘Expertise you can Trust’.
Regular and reliable communication with its extensive network of doctors and medical practitioners is therefore a vital factor to Mediclinic’s ongoing success. As such, it is critical that the organisation consistently endeavours to align its interests with the healthcare practitioners responsible for patient care.
Although Mediclinic’s traditional communication system of network marketing managers, newsletters, emails and roadshows had proven effective in the past, the organisation had a marked requirement for a dynamic and secure platform that doctors could use at any time to access general and individually tailored content authored centrally by Mediclinic.
With this in mind, the Mediclinic marketing and communication team began investigating a viable solution.
After careful evaluation, Mediclinic made the decision that Microsoft SharePoint would be a fitting platform to facilitate secure information and document sharing with its network of doctors and healthcare services providers.
By offering a collaborative and easily accessible platform, Microsoft SharePoint provided a suitable solution to the challenge of broad-based communication within the Mediclinic group. After agreeing to engage in a pilot project with a view towards extending SharePoint access throughout its corporate network, the organisation began to workshop the business requirements with Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and internationally recognised Enterprise Information Management and SharePoint specialist, Intervate.
The business requirements specified a secure portal that could be accessed using Mediclinic’s existing identity and access management solution, Microsoft Active Directory. Furthermore the solution had to be intuitive, easy to use and accessible on touch-screen tablets and mobile devices.
The Intervate design team - comprising solution architects and UX specialists - proposed a modern UI (formerly metro UI) design that would be built using HTML5 and CSS3 and the bootstrap responsive framework to produce a solution that was both visually attractive and intuitive, touch-screen enabled and responsive to multiple form factors scaling down to mobile devices.
The bespoke Doctors’ Portal solution, based on the Microsoft SharePoint 2010 platform, went live in February 2014 following 12 months of analysis, design, implementation and training.
“We devised a comprehensive set of training videos for the network marketing managers to ensure that the adoption and change management challenges that we have experienced on other projects were adequately addressed. However we discovered that most users found the solution intuitive and relied on the videos for reference only,” comments Allan van Riel, Technology Consultant at Intervate.
The launch and subsequent training sessions greatly assisted the change management and the adoption of the solution, it was a job really well done by the Mediclinic marketing and communications team, adds van Riel.
The benefits experienced within Mediclinic as a result of its decision to introduce a tailored Microsoft SharePoint 2010 solution for doctor engagement and communication have been numerous, says Tertia Kruger, Mediclinic Corporate Communication Manager.
“Doctors have responded positively to our newly implemented SharePoint solution. Many have commented that it’s exactly what they’re looking for in terms of communication solutions and that they are proud to be associated with a healthcare group that champions innovation and a forward-thinking approach”.
“We are on our way to meeting our required objectives. To date we have 3000 active users on the Doctors’ Portal, while word of mouth and a targeted strategy is encouraging new registrations.”
Mediclinic’s engagement with Intervate was also a positive experience, adds Kruger.
“The entire process was well run and maintained consistently throughout. The professionalism and experience each team brought to the table undoubtedly contributed to the project’s success. We look forward to engaging with Intervate in the future”.
“The solution pushes the perceived boundaries of conventional SharePoint solutions by changing the user interface and therefore the experience through the use of HTML5 and CSS3, which SharePoint 2010 facilitates with ease. The use of the modern UI allied with a responsive design is very relevant in business scenarios where the primary access is via mobile and touch devices in the field. This solution is a great example of using SharePoint for more than a traditional intranet or document management solution and is a great case for showing that SharePoint solutions when designed by experienced architects and UX professionals can deliver highly innovative solutions across the enterprise information management stack”, comments Roxanne Pearce, UX Designer at Intervate.