HSE rolls out new intranet
Work on a new intranet for the Health Service Executive (HSE), which provides information and services for more than 100,000 employees, has been completed.
The new intranet, which went live in November 2007, is built on a Content Management Software (CMS) developed by Dublin-based pTools.
HSEnet is intended to provide a single unified location for internal online content. As well as providing up-to-date information such as news, briefings, reports, contact directories and medical libraries for the HSE's staff, a number of affiliated agencies such as the Department of Health, the Department of Finance and hospitals will have also access to the intranet.
Since its initial launch, HSEnet has received more than 750,000 page impressions per month. The HSE expects this to increase to more than 1 million page impressions in the coming months following the completion of the project.
Initially, up to 50,000 users at 25,000 desktops are able to avail of the intranet but this will rise to more than 100,000 users shortly.
"As one of the largest employers in the State it is essential that we have a system that allows for ease of communication between over 100,000 staff members, regardless of location. HSEnet represents a significant communications and business tool for HSE staff nationwide and makes briefing a workforce of thousands a simple matter," said Stephen McGrath, head of Internal Communications, HSE.
The HSE's ICT and communications division has used pTools to build out the intranet and deploy it to a multi-server distributed hosting environment. Key features of the system include advanced workflow and content compliance; rapid deployment and in-built Web2.0 features; Microsoft SharePoint integration; clean code accessibility standard; content security marking; search engine optimisation; and multi-site content syndication.
In addition HSEnet will use pTools eForms and pTools GeoMapping functionality to rapidly deploy online forms to staff and to geographically associate content within HSEnet.
pTools claims to be the biggest provider of CMS systems in Ireland. It estimates that as many as one in ten people in the country log on to a pTools intranet system.
The company's managing director, Tom Skinner, told ENN that the new intranet is one of the largest ever deployed in Ireland.
"The project was first tendered in 2006 and we've been working with the ICT and communications division of the HSE on the intranet since then. It's a system that provides first point information for staff and at the moment we're at Phase One of the project which is primarily to do with dissemination of information," said Skinner.
Given the recent debacles involved in rolling out Personnel, Payroll and Related Systems (PPARS) and Financial Systems and Payments (FISP), Skinner admits that there was pressure to deliver a cost-effective workable system for the HSE.
"I think that anything which gets built for the HSE is going to come under the spotlight. This is a good value-for-money project that's been successful and is a perfect case study in deploying great technology to a large organisation," he concluded.