Enhancing patient care using an intranet in 5 easy steps with Locala Community Partnerships

Providing NHS community healthcare to over 400,000 people in Kirklees, West Yorkshire, Locala Community Partnerships needed to communicate critical information on the move to their team of geographically distributed clinicians, so they could concentrate on delivering the best possible care for their patients.

Using Interact’s intelligent intranet software, Locala successfully helped to enhance patient care in the following 5 ways:

1) Making clinical information accessible, anytime, anywhere

Locala historically stored all of their critical clinical documents in a shared drive that was only accessible from certain locations and which had no search functionality. This made it difficult for clinicians to access the information they needed to do their job on a daily basis.

As Bobby Evans, Web and Intranet Co-ordinator for Locala told us, “There are always communications challenges in a distributed organisation, and that was our case. We wanted to explore how new technology solutions, and specifically intranet solutions could help our clinicians access the documents they need quickly and easily, and ensure they are always up to date.”

Locala’s intranet – which they call Locala Community – is now the single point of access to critical clinical information and resources for the whole organisation including the clinicians out in the community who have full access to the intranet via new 4G smartphones. All documents are regularly updated so employees know that the information they access is the most up to date version and with Interact’s intelligent search functionality finding it is simple and fast.

Enhancing patient care using an intranet in 5 easy steps with Locala Community Partnerships critical information

2) Reducing administration to help increase focus on patient care

With patient care at the top of the agenda for Locala they wanted to identify where time could be saved so that it could be re-directed to where it mattered – the patients. Time consuming administrative and clinical processes were identified as an area that could be greatly improved. For example, Locala’s new starter on-boarding process required six paper based forms to be filled out by managers and then sent on to the relevant departments such as procurement, IT and HR for further processing!

By using Interact Workflow & Forms Locala has been able to create leaner processes that have saved the organisation significant amounts of time. Evans comments, “With Interact, managers fill in a single form online and the relevant information is forwarded to the right departments instantly. Managers save nearly a day of administrative work, and new starters get the equipment and training they need much faster.”

3) Making remaining compliant with strict NHS regulations an effortless task

With a reliance on email communication and out-of-date documentation stored locally on clinician’s laptops, Locala wanted to find a better way of sharing strategic information and best practice as well as maintaining compliance with NHS regulations.

With version control and mandatory read functionality as standard, Interact has made it easy for Locala to remain compliant with a full audit trail and version roll back. Specific information can be marked as a mandatory read and tracked so those users who haven’t read it are issued with a reminder.

Evans comments, “Team members can access all the clinical information they need to work safely and productively to deliver the best patient care, from NHS treatment and prescription guidelines to HR forms and procurement catalogues.”

4) Embedding a culture of blogging to promote unity and best practice

Communicating with dispersed teams and giving them a place to share best practice and ideas for improving patient services was a challenge for Locala. With mass emails clogging inboxes, Locala knew they needed to embrace social tools as a better way of communicating and enabling their frontline employees to share knowledge and experience.

The Interact Blogging tool within Interact provided them with a platform for communicating with colleagues across the organisation. “Our Chief Executive was one of the first people to embrace blogging as a way of communicating with distributed managers and teams” says Evans. “His blogs are extremely popular and he actively requests that people comment on them.”

Leading by example the CEO has created a thriving blogging culture at Locala. Evans continues, “Because many team members spend so much time out of the office, they often find it difficult to talk to colleagues in person about their experiences and ideas for improving patient services. We now have around 100 people sharing their experiences in blogs and more than 1300 people reading them regularly, which is a really impressive result for us.”

Enhancing patient care using an intranet in 5 easy steps with Locala Community Partnerships comments

5) Giving employees an easier way to collaborate with Interact Team sites

With a wide variety of teams working across the organisation on a variety of projects including new business bids with sensitive information, Locala wanted to make it easy for employees to collaborate in a secure environment reducing the reliance on email.

Using Interact Teams on their intranet, Locala is able to support seamless information sharing across the organisation as Evans explains, “With Interact, we can set up teams within Locala Community and set permissions to restrict access to authorised colleagues only. This helps us to reduce requirements for email communications between team members dramatically, and makes it much easier for them to collaborate on bids.”

The results

Locala Community has provided the organisation with a platform that gives their distributed clinicians fast access to the critical information they need, when they need it regardless of device or location, and made it easier to communicate and collaborate across the organisation.

As Evans explains, “With our Interact intranet and new 4G phones, clinicans can get even faster access to the information, documents and resources they need, saving them time and helping them focus on meeting patients’ needs.”

You can see Locala Community in action at Interaction Intranet Conference on September 17th in London.