CHAN Healthcare is an industry leader in internal auditing, and their auditors are some of the top experts in process development. They have leveraged years of experience to create a fine-tuned auditing process that allows them to efficiently achieve high-quality results for their clients. CHAN works with nonprofit hospitals improve their operational efficiency and help them proactively mitigate risk.
CHAN Healthcare came to Enliven with a desire to reboot an outdated and under-utilized internal auditing application called Audivate. While transitioning from an installed to a web-based application, CHAN had identified opportunities for improvement that fell outside of their team’s core competencies—namely, user experience and an approachable user interface design. We initially stepped in to help in these areas, but soon our engagement grew to additionally include full-fledged development, database engineering, and technical project management.
CHAN has perfected the art of healthcare auditing, and have incredibly advanced processes in place. Though their auditors are some of the best in the business, their technology and software system didn’t match the complexity of their system.
With previous iteration of Audivate, auditors were not highly engaged in their software. This caused auditors to hold on to data for long periods of time, then document the results of their audits all at once. Because the application was difficult to use and they avoided logging in until absolutely necessary, and would essentially have to re-learn the system each month, resulting in a high volume of IT support requests.
In addition to being difficult to learn and use, the original version of Audivate had poor responsiveness, bugs, and a design that was difficult to navigate, so auditors didn’t trust the application and weren’t comfortable pouring in large amounts of data. It was difficult to share information between auditors, and knowledge sharing depended on word-of-mouth.
With the lofty goal of establishing the new Audivate as a trusted source for CHAN auditors, we introduced and enhanced several features that would increase efficiency, reduce mistakes, and overall help CHAN’s team become even more successful:
Highly Structured, but Customizable Workflows
There are several different types of audits within the healthcare industry, most of which require unique pockets of information. The application should include a variety of templates and workflows that streamline the auditing process, but maintain enough flexibility to empower the user to override and edit as needed.
Team and Client Collaboration
Software should be optimized for collaborative work with features like notifications and commenting, internal chatting, and contributor ‘roles’ to establish checks and balances on each project.
Because external stakeholders participate in the audit process, the product should support the integration of a third-party team. It should include additional security features to ensure that guests have the appropriate permission and can get to the right information.
Audivate is to be at the center of each audit CHAN conducts, so it should integrate with all other systems including time tracking, authentication, and analytics.
“The biggest thing for us was that we didn’t know what we didn’t know; we knew that we had a problem, but we didn’t know exactly how to solve it. We were looking for someone to say, ‘Oh, yes, we’ve been here before, we understand the challenges that you’re having, and we can get you to a solution.”
Bart Cross, CHAN CIO
The End Product
As the leading provider of internal audits in the healthcare industry, CHAN Healthcare has access to a lot of research and resources. While designing Audivate, we wanted this information to be extremely simple for auditors to access.
Often we created content repositories directly within Audivate, but we also integrate with other systems, such as SharePoint, to pull-in key content and deliver it directly within the application.
With these resources at their fingertips throughout the application, auditors are able to complete their work faster and more efficiently, but also bring about increasingly valuable insights.
Definitive Change Tracking
Remember the feeling of spending hours typing out a paper or project, only to lose it all after forgetting to hit ‘save’? Because auditors spend so much time making and typing out their observations, we created a seemingly small feature with a huge impact to reduce the chance of losing information.
With change tracking, every UI element that accepts user input is monitored and auditors are notified when they have unsaved changes within any of the text boxes. This type of feature builds implicit trust of the application, which further drives engagement.
Automated Deployment and Testing
After the initial relaunch of Audivate, we continued improving the application with regular releases. Our automated deployment system allows updates to move through several environments with the push of a button. It creates repeatability and consistency between environments, which ultimately makes the application more reliable. It reduces the chance of human error, and allows us to remotely push out new releases with confidence.
In addition to automated deployment, we wrote a test suite to help us test new releases quickly. The test suite goes through the application on a regular basis as if it was a user to validate that key features are working.
Audivate has been met with nothing but positive responses. CHAN Healthcare hires auditors with experience in other companies, so we’ve been happy to hear how many people have a background with different software but are all very impressed with how great Audivate is.
The business value of the project was recognized in a big way—usage of the Resource Library grew 20-30%. Metadata mining began to be used to report trends to clients that effectively saved them hundreds of hours of on-site auditing time. And the fundamental business processes that CHAN had already nailed down were now seamlessly integrated into their day-to-day application. This program not only provides great value to CHAN Healthcare, but allows them to increase the value of their service to client. With this program, audits have an elevated level of consistency and quality.
Our greatest success in this project was seeing end users have a change of heart toward Audivate, and even begin to praise our partners on CHAN’s internal IT team for the dramatic improvements. The same users who were frustrated by the previous application were able to provide valuable feedback in the redesign process, and then had the satisfaction of seeing their input come to life in the final product.
“[Our auditors] like how the application's organization is more compatible with their brains—things are compartmentalized in a way that makes sense and to the way they're doing their workflows and actions. Instead of [users] having to modify themselves to the system, we worked pretty hard to make the system match their process. The users see a great value in that they don't have to relearn the system every month and they use it more frequently because it doesn't fail or cause them any trouble. It saves us a lot of time and makes people happy.”