Surplus - interactive quality manual

The case
Surplus Zorggroep
Launch date
For Surplus Zorggroep we created an interactive quality manual based on Drupal. The manual consists of rich search capabilities (including text inside documents) and social activity around the documents. Next to the creation and publishing process of quality documents, the platform offers an integration with a nationwide used external quality document library.
Project description
What was the reason for the project? Which objectives have been set for the project?
Surplus Zorggroep offers a varied range of care, housing and welfare in West and Central Brabant. For nursing care, home care, day care and care in residential groups clients can go to Surplus. Surplus has 2200 employees and 1400 volunteers at its disposal. The core values ​​of Surplus are “close, active and personal”.

Quality documents serve as a manual or protocol in order for employees and volunteers to do their job the best they can. Surplus asked Finalist to rebuild the quality manual, improve its searchability and create social activity and use cases around the contents of the manual.

Surplus asked Finalist to develop a modern interactive quality manual. The previous quality manual from Surplus was not used sufficiently. The system couldn’t be used outside a Surplus location or via a device other than a computer. It wasn’t interactive and information was hard to find within the manual. Furthermore, Surplus needed a centralized location to find internal as well as external quality documents in order to provide a single place for employees to go to when working in the field.

Have these objectives been achieved?
Drupal was used as a proven interactive platform. A document management structure combining document creation (workflow), generation of pdf versions and storage of extensive document metadata is interwoven in a set of pluggable modules that can be implemented as part of a collaborative workspace. Social activity is offered through ‘experiences’ that can be added by team members themselves, to share use cases and thoughts about their day-to-day job in relation to the manual.

The result is a quality manual, intended to make quality documents and information easily and quickly available to Surplus employees at all possible locations and devices. The interactive nature of the handbook ensures that employees can share their experiences with colleagues in relation to the documents, provide feedback and write experiences related to the information. The manual has also been integrated with a widely used external quality system: the Vilans KICK portal. With this, nationwide applicable care protocols are made accessible and presented in the quality manual. The employee is shown all relevant information on the basis of his search term(s) and can apply filtering via facet navigation for quick and easy searching.

Are there specific facts and figures that may be of interest to the jury?
Finalist has chosen a people-oriented UX approach in the analysis phase, in order to achieve a good design of the handbook. In various interactive sessions the key stakeholders of Surplus were involved in the realization of this design: it was a joint effort. Agile project methodology was applied in the realization. By means of various partial deliveries, it was possible to process progressive insight during development. The end result was not fixed upfront but could be adjusted by Surplus by working closely together at any time.
What were the main (technical) challenges in the project and how were they overcome?
Search results that are offered to end users are driven by an Apache SOLR integration combined with the need to search through the actual text of the documents. This was achieved by using the Apache Tika component, that interacts with the Search API attachments module. Quality documents basically are nodes that store the documents as attachments. The node offers Drupal native versioning options as well as the metadata, which is searchable as well.
The biggest challenge was to have the documents go through a specific routine or workflow in the creation process of a document, from concept to final. One of the goals was to have a workflow which demanded more than one reviewer to approve the document in a certain stage, which is not the usual method, so this required extensive hooking into the Workbench moderation module in order to have multiple reviewers approving at the same time.
Cron is used to trigger notifications about various actions that involves the editors and reviewers (e.g. renew documents, authorize or review documents etc.).
Printouts of the documents required a timestamp, this was created by using the fpdf library to apply the timestamp on the fly.
Editors mostly upload Microsoft Office documents (Excel, Word), but in the search frontend users only have access to these source documents in certain cases. In most cases only a pdf version should be offered. Libreoffice has strong conversion skills and is able to create pdfs from a wide variety of document types (excel, word, etc.) . Libreoffice conversion is fired when a node is saved.
Vilans KICK portal offers nationwide applicable care protocols. These are made available as part of the interactive quality manual. A search initially is served by SOLR, but a background search is fired against the KICK portal framework.
Community contributions
How did the project contribute back to the Drupal community, eg. modules, patches, translations, documentation, sprints etc.?
For this project we applied various patches for the following modules: workbench moderation notes and media.