SharePoint – The Real Opportunities for Healthcare
by Keir Bradshaw
Microsoft 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.