Bringing new employees into the fold was a major headache at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center. Giving them e-mail, network and Internet access was taking an average of 12 days at the 520-bed, acute care, community-teaching hospital in Englewood, N.J., says Gary Wilhelm, manager of business and financial systems. In seeking a way to streamline and automate the forms-management process, Wilhelm began his investigations considering the possibilities of enhancing Microsoft's Office 2007.
Working with i3 Solutions, Sterling, Va., and IntelliSafe, Chesapeake, Va., Wilhelm has not only embarked on a process to transform the highly manual procedures which had characterized new employees' human resource (HR) experiences, he now has the whole healthcare organization clamoring to be included.
Using Microsoft's SharePoint 2007 platform, i3's and IntelliSafe's technology enhancements automated the workflow and digital signing of secure forms and virtual documents. All new-hire forms are now online. Once completed and a digital signature created, the signature is stored in a vault for future use. This was very quickly implemented, says Wilhelm: 99.9 percent was out-of-the-box Microsoft.
And it's easy to use, he says. With one-half hour of training, users can build a document with SharePoint Designer. "If you can build a (Microsoft) Outlook rule, you can build within SharePoint," he adds.
Once Wilhelm started working with SharePoint to put forms on the Internet — and once the hospital saw what it could do, the project mushroomed. He now has plans to replace the healthcare organization's current Internet site with SharePoint, put all departmental forms online (not just HR) and automate other forms electronically.
As a community hospital, Wilhelm did not have a big implementation budget and stresses the cost effectiveness of this product choice. "I was able to install SharePoint and get the shell up and running and customize the page myself." To buy a portal site, he would have had to consider the added costs of consultants to get that far, he explains.