Children's Mercy Hospital Intranet

Children’s Mercy is a nationally recognized pediatric hospital that prides itself on patient care. With this intranet redesign, they were ready to extend that caring attitude to their employees by providing a more useful and usable way to access internal information.

Specialties: Good for Hospitals, Bad for Intranets

Each medical specialty housed policies, tools, and information on their department's intranet pages. The different groups spent a lot of time working within these departmental pages, so the intranet was getting plenty of use. However, each department had created its own style of content, so there was little consistency around images and layout. In addition, the walled-off nature of each department’s site meant that the company was missing out on opportunities for shared knowledge. Diagnosis: the dreaded “silo” — the most common threat to intranet health.

A New Approach

We started out by breaking down content pages and examining all the elements. We did a content inventory, to figure out exactly how big a task the project team was facing in cleaning up and reorganizing their content. Based on the tools and information we found, we created a navigation map and identified how we’d expect users to navigate based on key tasks. The CMH project team — an outstanding partner throughout the project — went to their key stakeholders and content owners, to reinforce the message, and to make sure everyone understood and agreed on this new way of organizing information. We also developed a visual design that allowed the departments to maintain some individuality, yet keep a common brand.

Healthy Numbers

In baseline usability tests done prior to the redesign, employees were able to successfully complete 18 key tasks about 44 percent of the time. After the new intranet was launched, that success rate doubled to 88 percent. That's the kind of result that makes everyone feel better.