HUS's Office 365 environment requires continuous development

15.05.2020

Quick facts

  • Work with the cloud-based Office 365 environment started in HUS a few years ago
  • 28,000 professionals, user groups are heterogeneous
  • Modern tools need to ensure that genuine focus stays on healthcare
  • Patient information systems and care schedules are located on the intranet, so performance is very important
  • Sulava’s Trusted Advisor works as an essential part of HUS’s information management

The vision of HUS University Hospitals says that HUS’s service production is competitive. This is also essentially related to Office 365 tools and their management, where Sulava acts as a close partner of HUS.

HUS, Finland’s second largest employer, employs about 28,000 professionals with very different job descriptions. As part of the University of Helsinki, HUS organization has 338 different job titles. This also creates significant challenges for modern tools, as they need to serve everyone in the right way.

HUS Information Management introduced the cloud-based Office 365 environment to the organization a few years ago. The package includes a large amount of internal and third-party services. The key ingredient is the intranet which is utilized by among other things patient information systems. The use of Microsoft Teams has also started in many parts of the organization and its utilization is currently being expanded.

“There are Office 365 users from professors and surgeons to nursing staff and other facility workers, which means that there are really many different user profiles,” says Juha Siitonen, HUS’s information systems manager.

“Consideration of external systems and modern technologies, such as artificial intelligence and even robotic process automation (RPA) also brings its own additions to the technical entity. Together with Sulava, we are constantly striving to develop and improve this.”

Reliability and efficiency are the key elements

There are many important factors to consider in HUS IT systems and the digitization of the hospital organization in general. Modern tools need to ensure that the organization can genuinely focus on healthcare get rid of the old paper world, and be able to do things digitally.

The tools need to be up-to-date so that employees can react quickly to changing situations. There is no longer any need to report all things separately and, for example, shift lists are always up-to-date. In many places, digital reaches beyond your own organization. For example, in the joint virtual hospital of the health districts Terveyskylä, citizens can use the systems to monitor and influence their own care path. The service is already used by a few hundred thousand people.

”As a result, digitalisation should help people to stay as far away from the hospital as possible,” Siitonen points out.

Sulava Trusted Advisor as a continuous support of HUS

The HUS IT team, focusing on managing Office 365 systems includes two HUS experts and a Sulava senior consultant, who brings a wide range of expertise and insight into development work. The Trusted Advisor works for the client company on a regular basis, according to a pre-agreed plan. The background support is provided by the entire Sulava team of experts. This way the consultant has always someone with whom to spar ideas and Sulava experts can be asked to help whenever necessary.

At HUS, the idea of Sulava’s Trusted Advisor service is to look at the big picture right down to the small details. The consultant constantly analyzes the environment investigating to find a faster and better services for end users.

”We don’t have very deep technical know-how about Office 365 ourselves and we get it from Sulava,” Siitonen says.

“We have now been cooperating with Sulava for about a year. In my experience, one of the biggest benefits of having a Sulava Trusted Advisor with us is that the consultant is able to investigate things thoroughly and resolve them. These are the most essential results and a real benefit for us.”

Every millisecond counts

Key roles for HUS’s Office 365 team and Sulava consultant include taking care of the service system architectures, overseeing vendors, and finding and handling grievances both internally and with external partners.

For example, with the original online intranet migrated to SharePoint, HUS had a lot of performance issues that have been addressed internally. Also new types of monitoring systems have been created, and those were developed with Microsoft consultants. Because of all this, problem areas have been identified and solutions found. The service has accelerated and usability is now at a good level.

“Every millisecond improves usability and its importance accumulates in such a large organization. The intranet is one of the most important of our services, because there are, among other things, patient care instructions and shift lists,” Siitonen says. ”Sulava has managed to solve such challenges, which have caused us headaches, efficiently and expertly.”

Helsinki University Hospital HUS

More than half a million patients receive treatment at HUS -Helsinki University Hospital- every year. HUS hospital district employs approximately 28,000 professionals for the benefit of all patients. HUS is responsible for the special medical care of the residents of 24 members. In addition, the treatment of several rare and serious diseases is centralized nationwide in HUS. HUS is Finland’s largest healthcare player and the country’s second largest employer.

Author: Juhani Lassila
Published in May 2020