Hospital operating room

World Health Day Sheds Light on the Internal Communications Demands of Frontline Medical Staff

Tuesday, April 7 marks the World Health Organization’s World Health Day. This annual observance couldn’t be more impactful as it is now during the COVID-19 pandemic as healthcare workers across the globe are on the front lines caring for patients. 

From labs to testing sites to temporary tents to hospitals, these warriors are not only providing high-quality treatment and care, but also leading public dialogue to address fears and questions and, in some instances, collecting data for vital clinical studies. 

This year’s World Health Day is focused on nurses and midwives. As technology continues to advance medical care, nurses have even expanded roles in performing life-saving procedures. That’s why communication with these front-line associates and physicians is so paramount to help deploy efficient and effective protocols, especially during this global pandemic. 

Four years ago, St. Elizabeth Healthcare’s leadership understood how vital it was to engage associates spread across six different hospital locations and more than 100 physician and specialty offices. St. Elizabeth, a Cerkl client, with 10,000 associates, physicians, and volunteers working on various shifts and tasks ranging from cafeteria staff to neurosurgeons.

Developing a unified message with various hospital initiatives and important policy and protocol communications was top of mind as Sarah Wice-Courtney, Director of Communications and Public Relations.

“We have critical information that our employees need to know as well as hospital system news that they can elect to receive,” Sarah says. “Cerkl gives us the capability to create a truly personalized communications experience based on associate roles and interests. The result is automated, intelligent  content delivery that is sent on associates’ preferred schedule and within the communications channel they choose.” 

Targeting communications to associates plus giving them choice on delivery communications channel and time frame is the right formula that engages the entire workforce from cleaning staff to top specialty surgeons. 

Through RSS feeds, St. Elizabeth is able to deliver a wide variety of content that reflects the diverse interests of its associates and well as compliance-driven communications. According to Sarah, shifting from the tight confines of a traditional newsletter has made the St. Elizabeth IC team “feel more like an online newsgroup.”

Lately, Sarah and her team have been working nonstop to communicate critical business continuity communications during the crisis. Having RSS feed from top medical and epidemiology sources auto-populate their content management system has allowed them to easily push out relevant pandemic content to inform their medical personnel.

Broadcast intranet personalization extends the personalized experience to St. Elizabeth’s intranet so associates and physicians can see what information is featured for them based on their job role and interests. 

The St. Elizabeth Internal Communications team has received many positive associate reviews that specifically mention their love for their personalized newsletters. Cerkl matches associates’ personalized content preferences with company news that eliminates time spent weeding through emails that don’t affect their job roles or interests.

Greater engagement and the simplified flow of information is helping with associate retention, says St. Elizabeth’s Communications Coordinator, Chad Schwalbach. “Since our use of Cerkl, our open enrollment engagement continued to increase.”

Having sent over 35,000 communications so far with Cerkl, Sarah says it “allows us to make our newsletter a very reliable resource to our associates which contains relevant information that they want to hear and learn about.”

For more of our internal communications resources and tips, check out the Cerkl blog.

I'm a strategic business partner who is passionate about supporting clients' internal communications programs in order to personalize the employee experience and give life to a brand's message through storytelling.