May 2021
5
Mins read

How to Deliver Care With An Intranet For The Healthcare Industry

For the healthcare industry, access to big data has allowed everyone to benefit from comprehensive studies and research data that were previously in the hands of individuals operating in isolation. The ability to compare data from thousands of patients and healthcare workers has resulted in vast improvements in patient care and treatment management.

The 21st century healthcare workplace leverages an eco-system of software and devices to provide a first-class patient management experience. Since modern healthcare is delivered by teams rather than individuals, a well-designed Intranet is the expected tool for supporting healthcare teams in delivering and supporting the best possible outcomes for both patient and healthcare workers.

Impact of technology on Healthcare

Technology is so much a part of our daily lives that we often overlook its pervasiveness. As consumers, we use the Internet to research and purchase the goods and services that fill our homes. 

As employees, we use an Intranet to share information and work more efficiently and productively with team members at our location and people working remotely. And as patients, we expect technology to empower and enable healthcare providers to assess, diagnose and treat us as quickly as possible to relieve our discomfort and even save our lives.

Yet, like any other workplace, the health care industry suffers from:

  • Lack of workplace communication between healthcare teams, departments, physicians, doctors, and administrative and support staff. 
  • High staff turnover rates
  • Low staff morale (overworked, understaffed, and stressful work environments)
  • Lack of adequate training and development
  • Performance issues – in this case, poor patient experiences undermined by lack of communication and stressed workforce planning

How Intranets improve the healthcare industry

Within the healthcare industry, the primary benefit of a well-defined and well-designed Intranet is the:

  • Facilitation of effective workplace communication between departments that may also be geographically isolated from each other
  • Better workflow of day to day processes, including policy management, as well as eliminating paper-based processes using online forms 
  • File sharing and management allow healthcare organizations to comply with strict HIPAA standards while providing medical and administrative staff access to clinical documents and files. They can provide better care more accurately, expeditiously, and cost-effectively if they have centralized access to information.
  • Delivery of a unified platform for access to operational content, directly affecting patient management and improving team communication, collaboration, and knowledge sharing
  • Time & Cost reduction through movement towards a digital workplace
  • Adaptable solutions to provide partner or patient data and messaging on demand. Including a HIPAA-compliant patient portal or a health partner portal that provides notifications, records, patient notifications, and partner information.
  • Simplification of the provision of training courses, and
  • Increased interaction between staff, and ultimately, the delivery of quality patient outcomes.

You should expect the following improvements from the deployment of an Intranet solution within your healthcare workplace:

1. Better communication between teams

Communication is critical for all workplaces. The lack of communication is the fundamental ingredient of failed projects and strategies across many organizations. It can mean the difference between continuity of wellness or something more devastating within the healthcare environment.

Inside a healthcare operation, including hospitals, medical centers, or aged care facilities, employees usually work in small teams of specialized experts who possess a wide variety of skill sets. Each department or group has a role to play in patient care, with the overarching goal being a successful, quality outcome. 

Internal communication delivered by an Intranet facilitates the flow of information throughout all tiers of the organization. It leads to better service delivery and patient care — the adoption of electronic medical records and the digital hospital. Healthcare teams have instant access to a centralized source of patient information and documentation. An Intranet provides administrative and clinical healthcare delivery teams with the ability to access information, collaborate, and communicate with other groups so they can deliver improved patient care.

Video source: What is a Digital Hospital?

2. Reducing staff turnover and improving morale

It’s the fact that we live in an age of instant gratification. Once considered a stigma, “job-hopping” has become common amongst Generation Y/Z searching for job satisfaction. When staff feels frustrated by a lack of communication and support, both engagement and morale are affected. 

In the healthcare setting, this can have disastrous repercussions for patients, where the institution also suffers. In any industry, employees who feel undervalued and isolated eventually begin to look elsewhere to achieve satisfaction. It also affects the morale of other employees who are left behind.

Employees are often separated from one another in specialized departments. As is common in most healthcare settings, communication becomes difficult, and a silo mentality can flourish.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has predicted that there are around 29 million nurses worldwide in 2013. An additional 9 million nurses and midwives will be needed by 2030. The healthcare industry is already dealing with nursing shortages, making the need for a collaborative and engaging internal communication model for Employee engagement an even greater necessity. 

Further, a recent study identified that 80 percent of the U.S. workforce reported feeling stressed because of ineffective company communication, a 30 percent jump from just one year ago. Also, 63 percent say that they are ready to quit their jobs, and 70 percent feel overwhelmed because of broken communication methods and fragmented information.

Building a strong organizational culture is paramount to achieving a high level of staff engagement, which reduces current staff turnover and attracts motivated and talented recruits. Effective and consistent communication is also necessary if an organization hopes to attract and retain top performers. This reinforces staff engagement and collaboration across the broader organization, leading to increased team performance and role satisfaction.

3. Training and development

In any workplace, especially within the healthcare industry, there is a great need to keep abreast of changes in technology, operational procedures, and industry best practice.

Encouraging ongoing learning is a crucial method of engaging employees and increasing job satisfaction.

An Intranet-based training program is an ideal way to onboard new staff. It updates the skills and knowledge of existing staff members. For the modern knowledge worker, not all work is performed physically within the workplace. Employees work remotely using mobile technologies. Accessing training content and files within the corporate Intranet facilitates ongoing learning and upskilling of employees. It’s also highly cost-effective when compared with more traditional forms of corporate education.

Mobile Intranet Security

Intranet security is one of the major concerns put forward by organizations planning, designing, and implementing an Intranet. At the same time, standard security practices are followed and enforced. It’s good practice to develop a company policy on the access and use of the organizational Intranet and ensure that the key stakeholders review it regularly.

A successful Intranet over time is a highly valued asset for the organization. As it drives and influences success and ensures all team members remain aligned on corporate strategy.

As such, monitor users to ensure protocols are maintained and secure.

Get started with CentricMinds

If you would like to find out how a CentricMinds could help your healthcare organization or hospital thrive and succeed with a new Intranet, please contact us. You can also start a free 14-day trial of the CentricMinds Intranet platform and start opening new communication channels across your hospital care team members.