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Communication Portals Should Be a Top Priority in Healthcare
As the healthcare industry continues to transition towards more robust digital environments, governance and internal communication are more important than ever.

Internal Communication Portals Should Be a Top Priority in Healthcare

Healthcare associations have unique needs for internal communication. There is a growing demand for user-centric, communicative and adaptable digital frameworks that ensure the accountability of roles and bring ease to decision-making processes for e-health initiatives.

As you may know, there is tremendous pressure on these associations in the digital landscape to meet user expectations, deliver value and scale effectively both in terms of capabilities and cost control. In this new reality that presents itself today, we see that it has not fundamentally changed this dynamic - but it has radically accelerated it.

With the increasing adoption of digital tools for healthcare and the economic impact of miscommunication, we want to look at some key reasons why health care communication portals should be a top priority. But first, let’s take a look at a 6-step framework to help build an effective communication strategy. 

Building a 6-step framework to communicate health strategies

We live in a world of Amazon expectations. Users expect an experience that is fast, delivers relevant content intuitively and provides value. Your members what to connect when they want, how they want and about the things that are relevant to them. 

This means different types of content across different channels. When properly implemented, intranet portals offer a coherent delivery of experiences to members and stakeholders, increase engagement and allows a true and meaningful story to be told regarding the organization’s vision, mission and direction. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) for example, share similar goals as many medical associations when it comes to communication:

"To provide information, advice, and guidance to decision-makers (key audiences) to prompt action that will protect the health of individuals, families, communities and nations.”

Your communication strategy should follow some basic principles to ensure effectiveness. The information should be:

1. Accessible

To reach priority audiences, communicators need to identify their ability to access necessary to improve overall health. Empowering audiences with the information they need to make decisions can be life-changing.

2. Actionable

Understanding the behaviours and attitudes of your target audience heightens the success of your communication. Messaging should address barriers and encourage key stakeholders to take the recommended steps to action. 

3. Credible

Build trust between your organization and decision-makers. The more relevant and transparent the information is, there is a higher likelihood the communicated actions will be taken.

4. Relevant

Know your audience and guide them effectively to remain relevant. The relevancy and communicative timeliness of the information relayed to families and their significant others are crucial.

5. Timely

Collaborating and sharing information from around the globe across all health issues will provide timely guidance and advice for audiences to have the information they need when they need it. 

6. Understandable

Provide information that is easily digestible by everyone. Some of your audience have backgrounds in medicine, others don’t. Tailoring messaging to be both technical and non-technical is essential to increase comprehensibility. 

Respond to critical situations

A huge challenge you may encounter is the ability to move fast, efficiently as well as operate securely at scale. This is true not only for external users but for your internal users and stakeholders. 

Having a platform that can optimize the deployment of the most up-to-date reliable resources while also establishing the governance of information publishing is critical, now more than ever. The National Center for Biotechnology Information estimates that the healthcare industry wastes over $12 billion annually as a result of communication inefficiencies

This means having the ability to scale and respond to new challenges and opportunities without scaling costs. When global crises arise and take hold globally, as we have seen in the past, health care organizations will be tested on their ability to adapt to change. 

A proper communications framework will help create strategies to support and achieve health outcomes. Proactive strategic planning - how to communicate, when and to whom.

Hundreds of changes must be made to corporate intranet homepages, ensuring they contain critical, up-to-date information for staff about the programme, management, and staff initiatives, and regular features on individual staff members from around the world.

Collaborate effectively with all members

Medical associations are expected to be a community and information hub as a base from which to brand-build and become top of mind to members and stakeholders. 

An essential strategic complement to external communications initiatives, internal communications is crucial in building credibility and trust by influencing the way employees talk about the Organization with one another and with outside partners and stakeholders. 

Staff who know how they are clearly connected to the Organization’s mission, values, and goals are uniquely positioned to be brand ambassadors, nurturing a shared sense of identity and demonstrating value to people everywhere.

Take for instance APHA Connect, an online community for the American Public Health Association. Their solution has made it easier than ever to connect with thousands of public health professionals.

 

American Public Health Association intranet portal login screen
Screenshot from the APHA Connect portal Login homepage.

 

Cutting edge internal communication tools are fundamental to serving employees and external stakeholders, the rationale for consolidating multiple websites into one makes a central web presence easier to manage and provides relevant information for all.

Deliver more actionable healthcare information

Employees need clear information, not more information. That means that communicators need airtight control over everything that goes through the funnel. 

Working with many different groups of physicians who want to provide health and wellness expertise requires a variety of content posting authorizations to ensure the correct and relevant information is being published. Collaboration on these types of health and wellness reports can be a huge undertaking, and we get that. 

The positive resulting factors of a cloud intranet platform are measurable in many instances. The American Medical Association (AMA) saw an increase in daily use adoption from 4% to 54% leading to a more engaged, happier, and connected workforce. 

 

American Medical Association internal portal login screen
Screenshot from the APHA Connect portal Login homepage.

 

Justin DeJong, Vice President for Internal and External Communications at AMA expressed the benefits of a more connected internal platform,

“It brought our organization into the modern digital age, with a platform on which we can continue to build a truly digital workplace that not only enables, but encourages collaboration, connectivity, and efficiency.”

Empowering medical associations with the ability to provide logistics support for Town Hall and other “all staff” meetings, with internal communications points of contact for management departments greatly enhance associations ability to work smarter, effectively connect across departments and functions, improve work patterns and better contribute to the development of digital culture.

One thing is for certain, OPIN understands that digital trends extend into your industry every day. This is why we work with many healthcare organizations to provide them with digital advancements to stay ahead of the curve. On the backbone of ambitious platforms such as Drupal, we have built the world’s largest intranet portal and assisted numerous healthcare organizations in their digital solutions.

Reach out to us and find out how we can help you implement your new strategic communications platform.

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Ryan is a passionate storyteller who thrives on challenging the status quo. He is an avid researcher with a keen analytical mind able to strategize on sales and marketing decisions by analyzing data and behaviours across various industries and technologies.