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Untangling complexity with a powerful enterprise search

Faced with many complex sources, the Norwegian Electronic Health Library turned to Enonic for efficiently curating, cleansing, and distributing search data to healthcare professionals.

Introduction

The Norwegian Electronic Health Library (Helsebiblioteket.no) is a publicly funded online knowledge service, providing free access to updated medical knowledge. Through the library, healthcare professionals and students in Norway have access to search within a wide array of medical sources.

Established in 2006, the Health Library is part of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. It includes data sources like clinical point-of-care tools, scientific journals, databases, patient leaflets, guidelines, and procedures from both national authorities and renowned professional institutions. The library also collects web resources, publishes news articles, and translates systematically reviewed research and makes it accessible to Norwegian readers.

Challenge

The sources used by the Health Library are extremely varied, ranging from open material like the Norwegian Health Directorate, NAV, and RELIS, to encyclopedias like UpToDate, BMJ Best Practice, and Legevakthåndboken. Having such a diverse and complex set of data sources requires a powerful enterprise-grade search in order to deliver meaningful and user-friendly results to the users of the library.

In 2017, the Health Library’s team was dissatisfied with their current solution in regard to three aspects: high cost, suboptimal code, and largely absent service. Every change request demanded excessive use of time and resources, and the operations and server infrastructure were both unstable and expensive to maintain. All while having multiple different sources which required special treatment with crawling and indexing.

The Health Library was therefore in a bind: their current solution was becoming increasingly more expensive, while at the same time they could not start from scratch—something their budget would not allow.

Solution

In late fall 2017, the Norwegian Electronic Health Library had a meeting with Enonic. Already being a CMS customer, the Health Library discovered that they could make use of Enonic’s existing and integrated search engine, and at the same time save money on licensing. Enonic was interested, and offered to develop an enterprise search solution in collaboration with the Health Library.

The collaboration resulted in Enonic Explorer, released as an application on the Enonic Market in July 2020. Enonic Explorer enables highly customisable collectors, which the Health Library uses to transfer unique and disparate data sets into one solution.

The Health Library has also had beneficial use of Explorer’s synonyms and stop-words functions. The former lets users build thesaurus lists to match custom vocabulary, while the latter lets users define words that are interfering with or are irrelevant for the search results.

Results

With Enonic Explorer, the Norwegian Electronic Health Library has received an intuitive user interface making it easier to get a complete overview of activity, as well as monitoring and verifying that every crawl works as intended. While the sources are very different, Enonic has been able to solve the indexing in a satisfying way for the Health Library.

Thesauri are used to translate search terms from Norwegian to English in order to get search results from English language sources. Maintenance and development of these thesauri have become substantially easier, something which is of highest importance for the Health Library. Furthermore, the stop-word functionality gives the Health Library team the possibility to handle e.g. “treatment for,” “treatment of,” and “treatment against” in a similar manner.

Enonic’s support system and community also makes it faster to perform changes on the solution than the previous installment. Direct access to developers is an important part of the Health Library’s total experience.

Technical overview

  • Enonic Cloud Enterprise – Enonic XP in a clustered environment
  • Enonic Explorer
  • Custom collectors
  • React front-end
With Enonic, we have a partner that is present and available. The sources we index are very disparate, and Enonic Explorer solves this cleverly.
Kjell Tjensvoll, Acting Department Director