ZIFFPAGE TITLEPortals to the People

By Connie Winkler  |  Posted 2005-05-23 Print this article Print

Today's enterprise portals are polished, professional machines—a breed apart from their scruffy skunk-works ancestors.

Portals to the People

The push for enterprise portals comes from all directions. In 2003, when Canada faced a public health emergency with an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the country's health workers were scrambling to get the latest notices and alerts.

To deliver information more quickly to health-care professionals, the government of Ontario established the Smart Systems for Health Agency (SSHA), which is in the process of creating a portal for the province's thousands of doctors, nurses and other public health workers.

"There's so much material out there about various new protocols to adhere to that trying to communicate all that information by fax or e-mail or [postal] mail is not efficient," says Peter Popowycz, senior technical specialist for the project.

SSHA, based in Toronto, has already launched a portal for Ontario's 24,000 physicians. That site, which is built on Plumtree's portal software, offers thousands of medical journals and information sources that doctors once had to acquire separately. The goal is for the physician's portal to become the doctor's daily desktop, Popowycz says, providing online access to health records and prescription drug information.

"Having a central site that everyone knows and is organized so information is readily available is going to be a huge benefit," he says.


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