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The Polyclinic: Better connecting care providers

At a glance

When one of the largest multi-specialty clinics in the Seattle area wanted to better connect with its physicians and staff, we helped build a cohesive communication platform that makes employees’ lives easier. The Polyclinic Pulse serves up timely news and updates, including clinical and insurance information.

what we did

  • Microsoft SharePoint design and development
  • User research
  • User experience design
  • Change management

The current healthcare landscape is focused on value and outcomes. To provide that value, healthcare organizations are searching for ways to share knowledge and standardize best practices and clinical guidelines. In this environment, technology is vital.

“In healthcare today, there’s a much greater need for better use of technology to collaborate and get information to people in an efficient way,” says Brenda Ding, healthcare practice leader for Slalom Seattle. “Portals have become an integral part to helping that collaboration effort.”

The Polyclinic, a network of physician-owned and -operated clinics in the greater Seattle area, wanted to use technology to improve company-wide communications and strengthen the connection with its providers. To do so, it wanted to leverage its existing intranet site, Pulse. But first, a revamp was in order—its site was outdated, hard to navigate, and largely untouched by employees.

Connecting employees to the “mothership”

Our portals and collaboration and healthcare experts worked with The Polyclinic to design and build a user-friendly platform that would enable the providers and employees to more easily share information.

The team conducted extensive user research and interviews to help answer “what does it mean for employees to feel connected to the mothership?” says Sai Shankar, practice area director in Slalom’s portals and collaboration practice.

They found that employees felt like the intranet site, built in SharePoint 2007, was dated and that important information was hard to find. And when employees did manage to find the content they were looking for, it was often outdated as well.

The Polyclinic wanted the updated site to reengage employees and improve company-wide communications. It envisioned a platform where employees could easily identify new content that was useful, relevant, and accurate. In addition, it wanted to improve the quality and delivery of corporate communications.

The Polyclinic Pulse

The revamped Pulse site is a “one-stop location” for users to access everything they need, says Shankar.

Built in the latest version of Microsoft SharePoint, Pulse serves up news, announcements, and at-a-glance performance metrics, including both patient-centric metrics (new and arrived patients) and internal announcements, such as events, new hires, and newly-published wiki entries.

“We wanted to help users accomplish their day,” says Guilio Pellegrini, Slalom UI/UX designer on the project.

The Polyclinic has taken advantage of the site’s sharing functionalities. For example, there’s Insuropedia: The Polyclinic’s knowledge library for all things insurance. Want to know what insurance is and isn’t accepted by The Polyclinic? Insuropedia has the answers—ranging from specific details around insurance types to pictures of sample insurance cards.

Pulse’s Applications feature consolidates important links and applications specific to the user. The quick directory search allows users to easily find and connect with other employees.

Pulse also enables The Polyclinic to clearly communicate important news and alerts.

Breaking down silos

“Pulse allows us to quickly share news to our entire staff from a central location,” says Tracy Corgiat, The Polyclinic’s VP of marketing and development.

But it’s not just access to news that’s making a difference, says Christopher Follmer, practice management training specialist at The Polyclinic. “We’ve benefited from the central repository of clinical information. It allows our clinical staff to quickly and easily access the information they need to best serve the needs of their patients.”

The end result is a modern platform that “breaks down silos and allows people to engage with the organization,” says Shankar. “It’s a one stop location for everything, whether it’s people, process, content, news, or applications.”

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