The following is an excerpt from a presentation highlighting my work on the Athens Regional Health System (ARHS) intranet. My role as Senior Web Engineer included both programming and database administration of the intranet known as Ian (Information As Needed). Ian is an ever-changing project that evolves to meet the needs of ARHS.
If you are interested in growing a more successful business by employing a highly functional intranet, please use the Contact link at the top of this page.
Ian – Past, Present and Future
- Basics Features – News, Staff Directory, Weather, Menu, Forms
- WebMagic – Trouble ticket system
- SEC Management – Complaint management
- Payroll Deduction
- Payroll Action Forms
- PTO/EIB/Bereavement Requests – Leave request forms
- Call Scheduling – On-Call self-scheduling system
- Scheduled Procedures Log – Patient Preregistration
- Downtime Log and Barcode Labels
- Check Stubs
- Performance Appraisals
- Job Requisitions
- Job Postings
- Job Applications
- Annual Requirements
- Employee Surveys
- FormBuilder – Self-service forms and reporting
- IanPages (Portals)
- Medical Staff Credentialing
- PPEC/SCRC Tracking – Corrective actions tracking
- AMS Clinic – Anticoagulation Management Service
- Room Scheduling and Events Calendar
- Premium Pay Reporting – Helps reduce overtime spending
- NICU TPN Order Communication – Tool for calculating neonatal pharmacy orders
- Security Badge System Maintenance
- Clinical Calculators
- iMail – Internal Mail
- Payroll Deduction By Badge: Use your badge to payroll deduct your cafeteria purchases.
- N95 Fit Test Scheduling: Scheduling tool for EHC.
- TakeCharge Reports: To help with budget constraints, new reports are required to track insurance discounts.
- ART – Access Request Tool: Replacement for UAC.
- ian Redesign/Facelift: Improved user experience.
- Migration to PolicyTech: Clean up documents on ian. Deadline: 13Apr2012
- WebMagic Improvements: Improve management of purchase tickets, notification, call age and eventually call scripting.1
- ACE 3.0: The online job application system is due for an upgrade to make use of new technologies and lessons learned.2
- Purchase Order Management: Purchase request tracking and budget compliance.3
- Medical Staff Management: Improve privilege delineation and renewal process.4
- Replace iMail with Zimbra and Messaging
- Video Streaming
- Blogs / Enhanced ianPages
ian – An Intranet
Much like the Internet, ian is a collection of tools and applications. The key difference between ian and the Internet lies in the custom programming and collation of disparate data to provide a cohesive multipurpose tool. Serving almost four million pages each month to an average 1,500 users everyday, ian is more than just a compilation of links. Tools such as the performance appraisal system and the neonatal TPN tool have allowed departments to eliminate FTEs. Other tools such as SimpleQuiz have improved safety compliance from levels around 60% to 99% while also providing an ROI in excess of $100,000 per year. To save money and make results easily and widely accessible, ian was used to survey for ARMC employee satisfaction.
Convenience, Accuracy, Timeliness
Almost all ian content is user-generated either in news, ianPages, forms/docs or any other area of ian. One of the ways we achieve convenience, accuracy and timeliness is through self-service. Portals such as the Nursing portal are built on ianPages technologies and presented using a different template. By leveraging the ability to quickly publish information via ianPages, we have guaranteed our users the ability to generate convenient, accurate and timely information. Additionally, ian is the corporate intranet, available to all ARHS staff.
Drawing 1: Ian is available to everyone on the ARHS network. Business rules are written into the applications to ensure that, for example, requisitions are created for the right areas and approved by the right people. By enforcing relational data rules, the logical link between requisitions, postings, applications and employees is not broken.
Ian is written primarily in ColdFusion 9 with an Oracle 11g database back-end on a pair of Fedora Core 14 servers running in a primary/standby configuration. Where necessary other languages such as php and perl are used. Job applications, check stubs and patient pre-registration are hosted on a secure server running ColdFusion 7 and an older version of Fedora Core. To reduce our security exposure, the secure server relies on encrypted XML files for data storage. TheVault also runs on ColdFusion, Oracle and Linux. iMail runs on Linux but uses PHP.
Drawing 2: The SPL imports data from disparate data sources to create work queues that help improve the timeliness and accuracy of registration and improve collections at the point of service.
Scheduled Procedure Log (SPL)
Ian uses both imported and selected data to provide an overview of the work that goes into ensuring payment for services. The SPL took a paper process into the digital realm to improve the timeliness, accuracy and convenience of the process which ultimately leads to increased collections. At one point, the CashLog was an ian-based tool that generated receipts for payments at the sign-in areas and provided end-of-day reports that went to accounting for reconciliation and processing. While the tool was available on ian, Patient Access was able to adjust their processes to identify factors that could improve collections.
Security In Ian
Authorization in ian is handled using three different methods. The Access Control List (ACL) handles access to documents and URLs. The Ian Role Administrator (IRA) allows fine-grained access within our web applications so that certain users can view only certain parts of pages. A few instances of hard-coded access remain in some of the older ian applications.
There are also a few applications such as webMagic that have a level of access control built-in for self-service access to portions of an application.
Authentication is handled inside the Oracle database using the userid and password. The key is used as secondary authentication within applications like check stubs and appraisals. The SSN is only used in ian by the owner of the SSN and is currently used only for check stubs and appraisals and when the authenticity of the user is imperative.
Data on the ian servers are stored in the Oracle database using standard Oracle security best practices. Data on the secure web application server that is used for external access to check stubs, job applications and patient preregistration are stored only temporarily until it is moved to ian. For the limited time that the data are on the secure server, usually less than 15 minutes, they are stored in encrypted XML files and secured by file system and web server access control facilities.