Skip to main content
Building a shared modern hospital web portal for a health system
Medical Library Association Annual Meeting (2016)
  • Basia Delawska-Elliott, Providence Health & Services
  • Isaac Huffman, Providence Health & Services
  • Heather Martin, Providence St. Joseph Health
Digital resources have provided the opportunity to expand services. In 2014 Providence Health & Services libraries embarked on creating a shared web portal for the large not-for-profit health system that spans 5 states. Faced with legacy web portals, limited resources, and mandated technical requirements, the system-wide library aimed to create a new universal web portal to serve our mobile savvy patrons. Methods: An assessment of the current digital landscape uncovered many information gaps. These included hospitals with no library website, resources controlled by a librarian gatekeeper, out of date holdings, and challenging interfaces. Using user feedback and staff expertise, the library web portal team identified a number of specifications. Technical requirements included a simple visible URL, a single sign-on for all users, easy remote access, a mobile access interface, and user-friendly navigation. Interface goals included local library staff links, a discovery search page and meeting IS mandated requirements. Content goals included the ability to create curated content and a single universal digital collection. The ultimate goal was to create a library web platform that provided access to resources with limited training. Using a digital mock up the library group tested six successive interface designs which helped inform further design specifications. Results: In the first 6 months since launch the main page views increased from 2,581 to 22,078 views per month. At the current 5% growth rate we will reach our target of 30,000 monthly user sessions in 2016. While difficulties navigating internal IT structures originally delayed offsite access, standard URL, and mobile design, all three access points launched in February 2016. Growth and user satisfaction were aided by meeting library design specification, using a catchy superhero theme, and creating an easy interface that highlighted search. Conclusions: Creating a shared web portal has increased user satisfaction in library services and has grown library page traffic. The site has been widely praised as an improvement in look and functionality. The library looks forward to increasing future offerings over the next few months and meeting the user

  • hospital libraries,
  • web design,
  • medical libraries
Publication Date
May 17, 2016
Toronto, ON, Canada
Citation Information
Basia Delawska-Elliott, Isaac Huffman and Heather Martin. "Building a shared modern hospital web portal for a health system" Medical Library Association Annual Meeting (2016)
Available at: