How a single application and re-platforming the Ohio Department of Health's Intranet drove their desire for transformation
In early February 2018, Ohio's Department of Health (ODH) had a decision to make: continue to access their applications by logging into multiple portals or be one of the early adopters of the Ohio Digital Experience (ODX) single sign-on functionality. This wasn't an easy decision to make, as Health has over 100 individual applications that would need to be migrated. The Department of Health (ODH) saw the potential benefits of consolidating its access with the ODX single sign-on functionality and determined that one application would serve as the pilot. “ODH’s ability to efficiently serve Ohio citizens, public health partners, health care providers, and all of our constituents will be enhanced by participating in the State’s Identity Management initiative, the OH|ID. The new platform will not only reduce operating and maintenance costs, but improve the user experience for all visitors to the ODH’s website.“ says Nathan Huskey, ODH's IT Director.
The application selected to pilot the single sign-on transition would be a high-touch one- the timekeeping application that every ODH employee uses. Prior to this initiative, users had to log into a separate portal from the ODH intranet to access the timekeeping application. Users' needs and the overall user experience was kept at the forefront of the design process to ensure that ODX would provide users more streamlined access to their timekeeping application. In October 2018, the concept became reality as ODH’s timekeeping application went live on ODX. However, ODH was just getting started with continuing to improve their employees’ user experience.
Running in tandem with the single sign-on effort, ODH moved full steam ahead with ODX to re-platform their intranet with the goal of de-centralizing content ownership and increasing intranet accessibility for ODH employees. Previously, access to update content was strictly guarded, and at times, delayed the release of information and updates that employees needed. Additionally, access to the legacy portal was limited to only those within ODH offices. No one operating remotely or in the field could access the ODH intranet, creating a disconnect for those employees. Jaime Erickson, ODH’s HR Director and one of the key Project Managers for the ODX project explains the benefit of partnering with ODX for their intranet, “Previously, our website offered users a generally poor experience. Although there’s great information for our constituents, the content was not interactive and was essentially just words on a page. Through ODX, we could completely recreate our website with a fresh, modernized look. The templates and branding used within ODX are consistent across other State agencies’ sites and offers interactive content that really appeals to users.”
ODX provided the Department of Health with the opportunity to truly re-structure its content in a manner that would be intuitive for users to access information and to remove dated content that had been dormant for some time. Live as of September 2018, users have enjoyed the flexibility to access current content wherever they are, on any device they choose. Ms. Erickson states, “It’s a massive leap forward for our remote and field operatives to be kept up to date on what’s going on within the agency. This new flexibility for remote and field operatives is a big win for us.” Russell Kennedy, ODH’s Communications Director adds “The new website offers many more possibilities to highlight the great work ODH is doing, much easier navigation, and an enhanced search feature to better guide users to the information they need.”
With the benefits clear, the Department of Health continues to partner with ODX on more applications and site content. Plans are being developed to migrate a second wave of applications marching toward total single sign-on functionality across ODH’s 100+ applications. ODH has also been working with over 250 content creators across 150 internal programs and sections to import, syndicate, and craft over 3,000 pieces of content for a re-platforming of their externally facing site, one of the largest restructurings of an agencies’ site to date within the ODX program. ODH continues to develop their digital strategy into one that provides both constituents and employees the best access and experience possible.
More Success Stories to come!
For questions related to onboarding to OH|ID and ODX, please contact Derek Bridges at firstname.lastname@example.org or Elizabeth Robinson at Elizabeth.email@example.com. For general inquiries, please contact the ODX mailbox at firstname.lastname@example.org.