By Sean Duffy, VP, product strategy, Igloo Software
The pandemic has fundamentally changed the way people in the healthcare industry work – whether they are frontline or office workers. However, navigating the hybrid work environment can be an uphill battle without the modern tools that allow twenty-first century healthcare workers to communicate, collaborate, and share knowledge.
As we enter a post-pandemic world, healthcare executives must acknowledge that the “The Great Resignation” has hit every industry and respond accordingly by implementing robust digital workplaces to meet the needs of all employees – regardless of their location. However, just launching a digital workplace is not enough. Healthcare organizations must ensure that their digital destinations can scale on-demand to meet their team’s evolving communications requirements.
To create a digital workplace that drives efficiency and employee satisfaction, healthcare organizations must:
Provide access to information
Successful digital workplaces allow healthcare organizations to discover untapped potential by unearthing know-how and expertise that are often locked up in drawers, hidden in local drives and stored in employees’ minds. In addition, modern intranets must deliver accurate, consistent and HIPAA-compliant information to all employees to enable critical knowledge sharing and increase productivity.
Keep employees in the know
With rapidly changing internal protocols and frequent updates to various other policies, your digital workplace needs to make it straightforward to brief your team on any changes to their workflow. When COVID-19 hit, Mass General Brigham’s intranet became critical for keeping the organization’s 78,000 workers up to date with the latest information on managing the virus. The digital workplace became a centralized communication hub for Mass General Brigham’s entire network of hospitals, specialty hospitals, community health centers, long-term and home care services, publishing updates every day to keep all staff informed and connected.
Mass General Brigham also benefited from the ability to publish, manage, and disseminate policies, procedures, and documentation to their entire network. With intranet capabilities such as this, your workforce will be empowered to help mitigate risk and meet compliance requirements, which prevents crucial tasks and procedures from falling through the cracks.
Make it easy to navigate
Be sure to prioritize user experience and make your digital workplace easy to navigate so employees can identify where they are in a workplace and how they got there. Enabling a search function is the easiest way to prevent your workforce from getting lost or hitting a roadblock when looking for files, articles, subject matter experts and beyond.
Open doors to connect with colleagues
Your digital workplace should include a directory that serves as a central place for employees to find experts and to navigate the organizational structure. The best digital workplaces have a searchable knowledge base and guide – making it quick and effortless for physicians, nurses, clinicians and administrators to find information and collaborate with colleagues. Additionally, robust publishing tools and workflows enable leadership to push out organizational updates and people-related announcements within the company directory, keeping your team consistent and current across every touch point.
Foster encouraging workspaces
While giving employees the tools they need to succeed is crucial, it is equally paramount to make them feel included and part of the team. Now more than ever, healthcare employees deserve recognition for their hard work and dedication. Digital workplaces can boost morale by providing employees with a dedicated space to share stories, highlight inspiring moments and acknowledge how team members elevate patient care outcomes. The best digital workplaces also include forums for employees to communicate ideas and ask for help.
Creating a functional and effective healthcare digital workplace requires a deliberate strategy. Healthcare organizations must evaluate and implement solutions that address employees’ pain points and benefit the entire team. When employees have access to the right technology suite that is tailored to their specific job duties, healthcare teams can thrive in the hybrid work world.