Automating Healthcare
Solving business problems with savvy automation

People Profiles

Business problem
Every business needs a robust corporate directory with as much information as possible about each worker. We had only a very basic directory provided by our paging vendor, which could not be extended or integrated with other data sources and did not offer a fully customizable display.

Everything about everyone
This was where all the work with "foundations" (see Foundations articles) paid off. We had solid data about every person in the organization, including their jobs and their computer system accounts. Over time, we added every other available bit of data about workers.

  • To the extent possible, each bit of data is linked to either an action or to additional data.
  • There are several different views of People Profiles, depending on the permissions of the user. The two most commonly used views are for regular users who are looking up:
    • Someone else
    • Themselves or someone below them (at any level) in the supervisory tree
  • People Profiles actually contains very little original data; with the exception of aliases, virtually all data are pulled from other systems.

Standard view
Shown below is the view when looking up someone else:

  • Searches may use any combination of four criteria
  • Searches assume that criteria text may be a fragment, so Last Name = "dever" will return Dever, Devereaux, Deverell, Deverix, etc.
  • Searches include any alias, so the results for "Dever" may include a Murphy if, for example, that Murphy has an alias of Devereaux.
  • Pager number linked to standard paging popup
  • Supervisor name linked to supervisor's People Profile
  • Department number/name linked to supervisory assignments for that department
  • Department manager name linked to manager's profile
  • E-mail address linked to Outlook for new message
  • E-mail distribution lists linked to automated profile page for that distribution group
  • Display name in People Profiles is fully customizable. If display name varies at all from payroll name, the payroll name is displayed as an alias. Additional aliases can be added in People Profiles, making it easier to find workers who change their names or who are known by nicknames.

Each of the last three links shown above is only displayed when data exist for that link. When clicked, each link exposes the detail for that section (shown below) if that person is the:

  • Responsible manager for any cost center(s).
  • Official owner of any documents posted on the intranet.
  • Official owner of any policies.

Detailed view
For someone viewing their own profile — or the profile of someone below them in the supervisory tree (at any level) — quite a lot of additional information is displayed (shown below as "Restricted information"). Note that the labels for Phone, Location and Fax are now hyperlinked to a form to submit updates.

  • User information (shown below) includes information useful for IT support staff who need to verify a caller's identity, such as data of birth or last four digits of SSN (only displayed for help desk staff).
  • Private information includes payroll data and personal contact information (to see samples, click these links):
  • Intranet application permissions is a complete list of all intranet applications for which this user has any special permission, including the permission level granted.

  • Computer accounts (shown below) includes a list of all computer system accounts or security badges ever issued for this person, the status of the account, and (where available) the last time the account was used (to see samples, click these links):

Account detail for IT
For certain IT staff, additional data about any user's computer accounts is displayed (shown below).

Users frequently ask how to correct their information. To simplify this process, a list of all the key data elements is provided, identifying the data source and a method for corrections. Where possible, a hyperlink is provided to an e-mail message, pre-addressed to the correct administrative mailbox.


  • People Profiles is regarded as a critical tool by staff throughout the organization, based on feedback during intranet usability testing.
  • Anecdotal feedback from former workers emphasize that they find nothing to compare with People Profiles at other organizations, regardless of size or relative resources.

Lessons learned

  • Always leverage existing processes for keeping data updated; adding manual updates just for the corporate directory is not sustainable and will eventually fail.
  • The more systematic reinforcement the better (i.e., linking the availability of detailed information in People Profiles to supervisory assignments helps reinforce the importance of keeping supervisory assignments accurate).

Posted 6 May 2008


Custom Applications
ADT Event Alerts
Clinical Operations

Integrated Clerkship

On-call Schedules
People Profiles
Chronic Disease

Security Badge Requests
Charge Capture
Mental Health Treatment
      Plan Tracking

Earned Time Calculator

Supervisory Tree
E-mail Distribution Lists
User Access Requests
HR Requests
Employee Health &

Interpreter Dispatching
Generic Patient Registry
Conference Room

Tuition Reimbursement
Equipment Rental
Code Cart Tracking
Nursing Audits

Show me the data
Growing a Data

Building a Data Portal
Reporting on Full Auto

Intranet Design
Driving With Databases
Speeding with Static

Transparent Security
      and Permissions

Redesigning the

Who works here?
Organizational buckets
System access: Who
      has what?

System access: Use
      it or lose it

Integrating Security

Integrating Provider

Creating A Supervisory

Data Quality Dashboard


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