Intranet Site for Medical Practice

Joel Brown
Joel Brown used Ask the Experts™
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We are wanting to setup an Intranet site for our medical office and we're looking for suggestions.   There are lots of providers available but we'd like to keep it simple without spending a huge amount of money.

We're looking for something that will provide a place to post ads, department information,  file sharing etc;    

Thanks for any help you might have ....

Joel Brown
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James RodgersWeb Applications Developer
Commented:
There are lots of providers available, - what do you mean by providers? third-party software vendors? is it medical office specific software?examples?

post ads, department information, file sharing etc;  - why would you need ads on an intranet, intranets are intended for internal/intra-office use.
Top Expert 2004
Commented:
If you're running this site within your office, the easiest spin-up would be to create a small server in the office, install a service stack (I prefer LAMP, or at least WAMP, but the appropriately abbreviated WIMP will suffice), and use a simple CMS like Wordpress or Joomla to create a site.  I understand this sounds like a lot, but any decent web developer will be able to get this going in less than a week, depending on the complexity of your site needs.  

If you want to use an actual hosting provider, you should first understand that that scenario would mean your intranet site is now public, i.e., on the internet.  Given that you intend to use this for information I suspect should remain private and/or covered under HIPA, I very highly recommend you do not go this route.

Also, I recommend using a file server for file sharing, not a web site.  Proper tools, and what not.

If you don't have the skill set to accomplish this in-house, or just want someone else to do it, I recommend finding a local developer.  Perhaps a student or part-time IT worker looking to supplement their income.  You can also consider creating a "Gig" here on EE, but my first choice would be for someone with local presence.
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
If this is a medical office, you likely will need to use a system that is HIPAA compliant.  That narrows down your choices (i.e.  you can't use Joomla or WordPress, or probably any of the free intranet systems).  It's my understanding that HIPAA compliant software is not cheap.
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Top Expert 2004

Commented:
@zephyr_hex:
>>> you likely will need to use a system that is HIPAA compliant

Does this apply if the site is accessible only internally, as opposed to being online?  Can you point to resources on the requirements for internal-only web/file services in the context of HIPAA?

Sorry to derail/hijack, but this seems relevant...
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
I know from experience (people who work in the medical industry, and we've had this kind of discussion).  The HIPAA compliance is required regardless of whether it's internal or external software.

Just a quick Google turned up:

quote
http://www.hipaajournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/HIPAAJournal-com-HIPAA-Compliance-Guide.pdf
Top Expert 2004

Commented:
Excellent information, zephyr_hex.  Thank you.

@jtbrown1111: So you can scratch just about my entire answer...  neither Joomla nor Wordpress is going to provide those kind of safeguards out of the box.  The alternative is to do the site, but make very, very sure no patient information is ever put on it.  It would be fine for office-specific memoranda, MOTD, training docs, etc.  If you want something like a patient portal, or an internal site to transfer patient-specific images/information, you're going to need to go big.
Joel BrownIT Director

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Commented:
We have decided to use WordPress to build our internal site open only to those on our network.   Thanks for all your help and information ,  greatly appreciated ...

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