Disparate to Synchronized: Optimizing Internal Communications
THE CLIENT CHALLENGE
Leaders at a regional not-for-profit health system wanted to optimize their internal communications to unify and streamline messaging across eight hospitals, dozens of physician offices and 20,000-plus employees. The organization needed to ensure corporate communications cascaded systematically to all teams and to improve each clinic’s individual methods for sharing information.
Already one of the largest not-for-profit health systems in its state, the organization was experiencing tremendous growth. Knowing this, our goal was to establish best practices for individualized and customizable information-sharing while promoting the benefits of being part of a larger health system.
We began by conducting a thorough audit of each practice’s internal communications. This involved surveying employees, interviewing leadership at each hospital, conducting focus groups with middle management and identifying the most powerful information-sharing methods at each clinic. We distilled our findings into a recommendations document, which we presented to system leadership. Based on that feedback, we developed a formal plan outlining ways to leverage existing tools and adopt new practices to align the cadence and content of the subsidiaries’ internal communications.
We then created a range of asset templates tailored to each practice, including newsletters, one-pagers and meeting agendas. Corporate communications were integrated into the individual hospitals’ existing newsletters and presented alongside subsidiary news and updates. We synchronized all newsletters so that system-level communications were broadcast simultaneously across all facilities.
The system streamlined its internal communications, aligning corporate and hospital messages for a stronger association between the two. By tapping into the information-sharing tools of individual hospitals, leaders were able to build stronger recognition that each facility was part of a larger system, while preserving their own culture, autonomy and sense of individuality. Best practices were established that fostered a hand-in-glove approach to corporate and hospital communications.
In a large health system with a growing need to streamline its internal communications, it is essential to forge information channels that:
Strengthen the sense of connection between corporate and hospitals
Craft Formatting Tools
Establish system-wide cadence of information- sharing so no team members are left in the dark
Simplify internal communications that, especially in the wake of COVID-19, may have become overly individualized and complex
Conduct Communications Audit
THE WIDER LANDSCAPE
Barriers to Synchronizing Corporate and Hospital Communications:
Implementing supplementary tools at hospitals of various sizes
Assimilating community hospitals into the larger health system
Repairing inconsistent messaging across organization
Engaging individual employees at every level of a massive system
practices adopted new information sharing tools
hospitals centralized through internal comms
Want to connect with your team members in more meaningful and organized ways?