A ServiceNow Portal for Regulating Biomaterial Utilization

Customer

The Customer is a governmental institution responsible for regulating the utilization of human biological samples by medical institutions, research centers and private individuals.

Challenge

The Customer’s legacy solution didn’t allow ensuring the compliance of their business processes with legislation concerning biomaterials’ security and ethical requirements, which is why they needed a different way to organize their internal business processes. The new solution needed to encompass a web portal for external users and an internal operations app. The web portal intended to help medical specialists, scientific researchers, and the general public to interact with the Customer concerning the usage of biological samples. And the internal operations app was to help the Customer meet legal requirements while following the specific procedure of reviewing, approving and handling inquiries of portal users.

Solution

To achieve these goals, the Customer chose ServiceNow as a hosting platform for their solution since it allowed building both the portal and the app that would support appropriate procedures of handling portal inquiries.

To develop the solution, the Customer commissioned two companies specializing in ServiceNow custom app development – ScienceSoft and our partner – to work in close cooperation on the project.

Web portal

Together with our partner’s technical experts, ScienceSoft’s ServiceNow implementation specialists reflected the three parts of the portal’s audience (researchers, medical specialists, and the general public) in 3 matching user roles. Depending on these user roles, we implemented corresponding sets of functionality as was required by the Customer:

  • A researcher can submit a request for biological material utilization, request needed consultations regarding the use of biological samples and see reports on the status of their requests.
  • A medical specialist can use the portal to request relevant consultations and receive information on the limitations and restrictions regarding the usage of their patient’s biological samples as well as see the FAQ section.
  • A citizen can come to the portal to read legislative acts and understand their rights and obligations concerning biological material utilization, request consultations, limit or restrict the usage of their biological samples and see the FAQ section.

The ServiceNow platform was a good fit for building this functionality since it allowed organizing the portal’s content and its relevant capabilities in the form of self-service. And besides that, it provided an easy way of connecting the portal with the internal operations app.

Internal operations app

On the opposite side of the portal, the joint ServiceNow team created a custom ServiceNow app for managing the inquiries of portal users. To do that, we moved their complex system of a dozen business processes onto ServiceNow rails and made sure the app’s workflows were in line with respective legal requirements concerning the procedure of handling sample utilization requests. For example, when researchers submit sample utilization requests on the portal, the requests are sent to the app and assigned to responsible employees of the Customer. To help them manage the requests effectively and ensure legal compliance, we implemented a 4-step research request life cycle. It included such stages as:

  • Verifying information in the request form.
  • Checking the credibility of sample requests.
  • Updating the requests with new details.
  • Approving or rejecting requests.

We also enabled the Customer’s employees to work with legal agreements, agreement change requests, currently studied samples, usage limitation or restriction labels, etc. All of these entities have their own life cycles implemented according to the Customer’s business processes. Additionally, they are all interconnected so that the Customer can see entities’ dependency maps, for instance, whether a usage limitation label for a particular sample affects any legal agreement signed with a researcher.

Besides implementing the Customer’s business processes, the team set up various user convenience features, such as entities’ status change notifications (both for app and portal users), reports, chats for employees, etc.

Results

Jointly with our partner, ScienceSoft’s ServiceNow specialists have developed a ServiceNow portal that serves as the Customer’s hub for collaboration with scientific researchers, medical specialists, and the general public. It allows the Customer to easier engage these three groups into the process of using biological materials. Additionally, the joint team developed an internal operations application for the Customer to process inquiries and requests of portal users more effectively and keep in line with legal requirements.

Now, the Customer uses a convenient and reliable multifaceted solution. They are satisfied with ServiceNow as a hosting platform and plan to extend their usage of the platform to the ITSM module.

Technologies and Tools

ServiceNow: Service Portal Designer, Knowledge Management, Automated Testing Framework, Reporting, APIs and Integration Tools.