How a Large Health Care Organization Improved SharePoint Adoption and Provided Flexibility Across Sites
VisualSP’s customer is a 100-year-old, $3.4B not-for-profit healthcare provider. It is the fifth largest employer in its state of operation, comprised of 23,000 workers—primarily clinical doctors and nurses across five hospitals and multiple private practice offices. Managing technology demands is a group of approximately 700 developers, administrators, and technicians. Within the IT organization are two SharePoint architects responsible for maintaining its SharePoint platform.
One of the primary demands this organization has for SharePoint is file storage and management. Eighty-five to ninety percent of employees use SharePoint weekly, with every site collection administrator directing users to adopt the platform. There are multiple access points, including a nurse portal and a physician portal.
A key mandate for implementation was to innovate and automate the platform to suit various lines of business. The two SharePoint architects had to implement its platform while providing user support for the entire organization—doctors, nurses, medical school instructors, students, and others. Consequently, the team’s limited resources were constantly under pressure and often experienced delays responding to user requests as SharePoint was being migrated from one version to another.
In an effort to improve user adoption, the organization decided to hold hour-long training sessions at various locations. A traditional classroom approach was used, with Microsoft Powerpoint presentations as the primary learning modality. But the sessions were unsuccessful as users often forgot training by the next day.
User adoption was slow. There was little time to accelerate adoption other than holding training sessions, which proved to be ineffective. VisualSP’s champion, one of the lead SharePoint architects for the organization, knew they had to find a solution to lagging adoption. He had come to this organization from a large defense contractor where he had successfully specified, deployed and administered the VisualSP Help System. He recognized a great fit for the solution at his new workplace.
During a site migration to SharePoint 2016, this SharePoint architect and his team explored several alternatives for boosting user adoption without relying on IT support or classroom training. They looked closely at the VisualSP Help System via a trial of the solution and felt that it could solve their organization’s adoption challenge. “We really liked the contextual nature of the VisualSP solution.” stated the lead architect. Shortly thereafter—with the approval of the IT Applications Manager— the team rolled out VisualSP at the location in its state of operation.
In order to build momentum for wider VisualSP implementation, the SharePoint team discussed with managers across the organization what was coming with SharePoint 2016, including new functionality and workflows. There was concern about what user adoption might look like under their current training/user support approach, so those managers agreed to add VisualSP to their sites. Managers were brought on board first then they rolled the Help System out to their end-users. The migration to SharePoint 2016 and subsequent introduction to VisualSP took place in February 2018.
This large health care organization was able to customize the VisualSP Help System to service the unique needs of each department. For example, doctors and nurses within this large, diversified hospital system have a history of using SharePoint as a file repository. So the capability of the VisualSP system to present training content in any of the file types supported by SharePoint was a distinct advantage.
When asked about the primary advantage of implementing the Help System, the team lead responded, "the ease of customization and tailored training available to fit [each department’s] needs". In fact, ease of installation, ease of use, and the quality of training content delivered all received high marks from this organization.
The ribbon tab provided by VisualSP has been converted to a document quick-access system. No longer do users need to search document libraries or scroll through lists for the information they need. Rather, on a site-collection basis, the ribbon tab can be counted on to include pertinent documents directly within a user's SharePoint experience.
According to the team lead, some sites have custom apps and different forms that can be added to the ribbon just for a specific site. Overall knowledge management has improved across the organization. And what about the impact to the small SharePoint administrator team? "We have achieved a 50% reduction in support tickets as a result of implementing VisualSP!". The IT group and line-of-business management are both thrilled with the results.