SharePoint – The Real Opportunities for Healthcare

March 1, 2013

by Keir Bradshaw

Keir BradshawMicrosoft SharePoint has become one of the most popular Microsoft Office products on the market. Coming from humble beginnings as a mere document repository for col­laboration purposes, SharePoint has turned into a content management system powerhouse as an essential tool for businesses across every in­dustry, including healthcare. After four generations and an incredible evolution of the product, Share­Point, according to Microsoft, is the
fastest-growing product in the com­pany’s history.

The evolution of SharePoint for hospitals and health systems

Microsoft SharePoint has evolved into far more than its original pur­pose. In 2003, the first official SharePoint product was released as two basic applications: SharePoint Services and SharePoint Portal. With its limited capabilities and nonintuitive interface, SharePoint 2003 generated little enthusiasm among users, and that poor reputa­tion persists in the healthcare in­dustry, despite the product’s newfound strength and popularity.

By 2007, Microsoft had already developed SharePoint into a very different product. This time Share­Point was a part of the Microsoft Office suite, and it had true content management capabilities for the first time. However, the scarcity of SharePoint experts who could design or develop custom healthcare sites made working with this application very difficult – and very expensive.

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