Working as the Director of Marketing & Communications at Intranet Connections, I have the opportunity to interact with a number of our stellar customers and prospective customers from a variety of industries. Most recently, I have spoken with a number of end-of-life-care facilities, palliative care facilities and/or hospices about their use of healthcare intranet software.
This segment of customers and prospective customers are unique and have very specific needs in the way they utilize intranet features. Although in some ways they also need access to the same information and communication tools that many other organizations rely upon, such as a Staff Directory, Online Forms, Document Repository, Department/Team Sites, etc.
For the purpose of this blog however, I’ll be focusing on specific needs and requirements that palliative care facilities and hospices have.
With the primary purpose of any hospice or palliative care facility being to provide care, dignity and security for their patients, there are many ways intranet software helps these exceptional organizations deliver on this goal with the following:
Of course the goal of any internal communication system would be to improve communications and better connect employees. In an organization comprised of not only healthcare professionals, but also volunteers this can be a challenge.
Intranet software can help facilitate better communication channels with a variety of internal communication tools, such as a comprehensive Staff Directory that includes a Staff Org Chart to show not only who reports to whom, but also the location in which each staff member works.
Using a Healthcare or Hospice Intranet can also provide a central place for your hospice or palliative care facility to share the latest news for your organization as well as changes in the healthcare industry that may impact your facility or staff.
The intranet provides a centralized location to notify staff when there has been a policy or procedural update that all staff must be aware of and comply with moving forward to provide patient care.
For example, if your organization now requires an additional patient security or well-being check in each of your facilities at a particular time of day, you can broadcast this change on your intranet and require staff members and volunteers to read through the updated policy and agree to comply with this change, all of which can be tracked within the Read/Agree feature on your Healthcare Intranet.
Ensuring that all your staff and volunteers are well informed of the events and activities that take place in your facilities is easy to do on your intranet.
For example, organizing the schedules of your many volunteers at your various facilities can be a tedious task and hard to communicate effectively to all parties that need to be in the know. Through using Event Calendars or Community Calendars on your Healthcare Intranet, you can easily maintain volunteer schedules, organize community events and much more – all in a central location that you can continually share with your staff and volunteers. This completely eliminates the need to keep paper-based calendars that must be organized and printed monthly, which can be a high cost to any healthcare facility.
Ensuring your palliative care or hospice staff is adequately trained to take care of the valuable patients at your facility is a primary concern for most healthcare organizations. Given the variety of health concerns your patients face your staff must be well versed in a myriad of procedures and care techniques. A Healthcare Intranet can also help your facility with staff training.
Onboarding a new staff member can be a taxing and tedious task at any healthcare organization, particularly one with time-sensitive and care-intensive patients, such as your palliative care facility. With a combination of online onboarding and one-on-one onboarding, you can get your new staff members up to speed faster. The types of onboarding procedures that can be facilitated online through your intranet are:
These onboarding and training features on your intranet can also be used to organize and train existing staff on new Operational Policies & Procedures. One of our stellar hospice clients, Cari Jones at Pathways Hospice, shared her organization’s experience using Intranet Connections in their facility for training and educating staff, saying:
“Intranet Connections has been the perfect intranet solution for Pathways Hospice. We not only educate our staff through our intranet, but also keep them connected while they are out interfacing with patients and caretakers. As a happy customer with Intranet Connections for over 5 years, we have experienced how their robust intranet can flex and grow with our organization’s needs.” – Cari Jones, Media Communications/IT Support, Pathways Hospice
Beyond training staff, often many palliative care/hospice facilities also manage volunteers that spend their time with the patients receiving care. If your organization is lucky enough to have a team of volunteers, this also means organizing, training and engaging with this group on an ongoing basis.
A Healthcare Intranet can also help deliver the medium that is most accessible to the variety of volunteers that serve your organization, providing information and training as well as active feedback forums online.
You can easily set-up a Volunteer Site on your Healthcare Intranet to provide all the resources volunteers need to engage with your organization and staff in a central location, without giving volunteers access to the rest of your intranet. This means you can have Volunteer Forms, Volunteer Training, Volunteer News, Volunteer Events and much more in one area to access as you onboard new volunteers or simply update your volunteer information. You can also have volunteers track the time they spend at each facility or with each patient through Online Forms.
At this point, I have heavily focused on the communication, collaboration and training benefits of having an intranet for your palliative care facility and/or hospice, but there are also measurable operational benefits to having a Healthcare or Hospice intranet.
For example, having all your organization’s documents, policies, procedures, forms in one place can help your staff locate the resource they are looking for quickly and efficiently. With Enterprise Search, staff members can get more accurate search results even for resources they may not know the exact name of with predictive Auto Suggestion that actually formulates and returns search suggestions based on the content and data of your specific intranet. This all translates to providing more accurate search results to your staff quickly.
Obviously, having the resources on your Healthcare Intranet available to your staff no matter where they need to access it from is required for most hospice and/or palliative care facilities. Most of your staff are working one-on-one with patients daily, not sitting at a traditional desktop workspace, which means your intranet needs to be as flexible and adaptive as your workforce.
Speaking with a variety of end-of-life-care facilities, many have shared with me their staff now heavily rely on tablets as they interface with patients. These tablets need to provide them access to the patient information they need while caring for individuals as well as information required to fulfill their day-to-day work tasks, such as completing forms, providing patient care feedback and more. Having all areas of a Healthcare Intranet accessible to staff from mobile access points is incredibly important and beneficial to providing the best care for patients and the best support for staff.
Ideally, any hospice and/or palliative care facility would prefer to use an intranet made just for them, with the features and tools designed to organize and operate the way your facility runs. With a Healthcare Intranet from Intranet Connections, you get to take advantage of the healthcare communication, collaboration and efficiency tools that have been built directly into our healthcare intranet platform from working with over 160 healthcare organizations to date.
With this blog, I’ve only touched on a tip of the iceberg on the many ways your organization can utilize the more than 100 features built into our Healthcare Intranet. If you are interested in learning more, request a Guided Tour of our Healthcare Intranet today from one of our Healthcare Product Specialists that can share how facilities, like yours, are using intranet software to improve communications, collaboration, productivity and much more.
If you’ve used intranet software at your hospice and/or palliative care facility and would like to share how it has benefited your organization, please comment below.