Western Health moves to SharePoint

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Western Health moves to SharePoint

Secure content sharing and collaboration between 5000 workers.

Victoria's Western Health is rolling out a SharePoint environment to improve information flows for its 5000-strong workforce.

The platform, which is being put together by SharePoint specialist OBS, replaces an Objectify content management system. Implementation is expected to be completed sometime next year.

Western Health executive director Jason Whakaari said the SharePoint platform was selected as an "off-the-shelf, best-of-breed" system to handle intranet and internet, document and records management and business processes.

SharePoint is also expected to underpin a secure extranet site where executive and board meeting material is to be uploaded — accessed securely using two-factor authentication.

Whakaari said the upgrade had been prompted by Western Health's growth as well as rapid changes in web technologies.

"Objectify, which we have been using for some time, was appropriate when we implemented it," Whakaari said.

"However, we knew it was time to review how we could deliver what the business required more dynamically".

He said the new platform would enable the company to "rethink how teams can rapidly share content securely".

It would also enable cross-department collaboration to occur with "minimal or no IT involvement" to set up.

"The staff member would simply move the file into a container and select the intended staff they wish to participate," Whakaari said. 

"The file maintains a column listing which lets people know who has access, which removes any [potential] confusion later on." 

Whakaari said the upgrade is part of an organisation-wide Western Health Strategic Plan and ICT Strategy, with the chief aim of aligning each business unit to act as a cohesive whole.

"Simply put, we try to think in terms of one Western Health," Whakaari said.

"The collaboration supported through SharePoint aligns very well with this key Western Health objective." 

Western Health enacted a change management plan to translate and redesign practices and content for the new platfom.

"To help ease the transition we favoured not taking a big-bang approach," Whakaari said. 

"Western Health ICT involved staff early to help transition content so nothing is left behind."

The SharePoint-underpinned intranet would coexist with its Objectify-underpinned predecessor during a transition phase.

"Once the majority of the content is on the new platform the default destination for our Intranet will be changed to allow the least amount of disruption to the business," Whakaari said.

He declined to reveal the cost of the upgrade, but said Western Health was satisfied that the value from the initial deployment and ongoing future efficiencies justified the investment.  

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