We were approached by NHS Wessex to help them build a document management tool which allows staff to create, store and search for abstracts of learning. Research showed their staff were creating a wealth of resources and learning outcomes which have the potential to benefit frontline care and working practice. Yet without a way of sharing these with the wider health care community the research was being lost.
With no central place to publish this information we built a system which allows staff members to co-author abstracts of learning before publishing their findings. To ensure a successful project we had to overcome a number of key obstacles allowing for an easy user experience powered by a complex system.
Easy search and accessibility within such a large database was fundamental to success. For this reason, the search and categorising functions take centre stage. An ultra simple approach, focussing in on how users can find the information they’re looking for was implemented. With a range of options such as filtering by categories and sorting by options we ensured the tool was useful and accurate.
Information in the health profession must be reputable to be useful. All abstracts are able to be co-authored. These authors can then request members with more experience to mentor and direct their findings. This builds better outcomes. Discussion tools also allow peers to feedback on how useful the research is for them. With the aim that reach would be built upon in years to come.
As the system has an understanding of different permission levels we allow certain qualified users to mark and score the outcomes. With sorting options via the search all users are able to find the best abstracts quickly.
Simple user experience ensures the user feels comfortable in the environment, whilst quickly providing them with the information they need. A colour coding system maintains clarity of search results to build a familiarity with the categories that are most relevant. We chose a design tone that was suitably serious but inviting at the same time.
As with most of our systems we used SilverStripe CMS which helps us create a more robust, secure and scalable platform for our customers. Data import and export functions also allow the detailed interrogation of data offline.