Need better communication among staff in your hospital or health clinic? IT guru MARCUS DERVIN from WebVine writes about how intranet system SharePoint can help improve the collaboration and manage information in the healthcare environment …

SharePoint is applied in almost every developed industry on the planet, and healthcare is no exception. Hospitals and medical clinics have discovered the benefits SharePoint can bring. For example, WebVine has delivered a SharePoint Intranet to the Vision Eye Institute, which performs eye surgery such as cataract removals and eyesight corrections. The company uses SharePoint to communicate and share information and knowledge between the Institute’s many offices and clinics.

Hospitals arm their doctors and nurses to do their rounds with ipads rather than a clipboard. The notes and information gathered is entered into SharePoint forms, which are then stored against patients’ records. An entire patient’s history can be stored in SharePoint, looking them up can be just searching on their name, ID, address, phone number. And then updating and adding new entries is quick and easy to do.

In this way the entire medical history of a patient is accessible, rather than leafing through notes which only deliver a partial view of a patient’s history.

SharePoint is used for doctors, nurses and other hospital staff to access critical information such as rosters, timesheets, and updates. For example where patients have moved to different wards, how many hospital beds are available, what the backlog is in Accident and Emergency.

Also hospital doctors can share information with each other using SharePoint’s social capabilities such as blogs, wikis, newsfeeds or other social plugins like Newsgator. For example, if a doctor makes a discovery that a certain treatment is working well for a certain condition, s/he can post this information for other doctors to access. These posts could be tagged with conditions or even body parts like #kidney #kidneystones. Then more information can be gathered and accessed from these terms.

Clicking on the term #kidneystones can bring all of the posts that doctors and nurses have entered for this condition. The value of SharePoint in this instance is literally life changing.

In many clinics SharePoint can be used to manage appointment bookings, doctors availabilities and calendar information, product and services information, policies and procedures.

So the next time you are visiting the doctor, health clinic or even hospital, just remember, you may be getting treated by a doctor, but they may be relying on SharePoint to get you better.