Background:Excela Health, a leading provider of advanced medical care in Pennsylvania, employs more than 735 physicians and allied health professionals in 35 clinical specialties and has more than 4,900 employees and 797 volunteers. Founded in 2004, the healthcare system merged four hospitals, dozens of physician practices and numerous outpatient services including two medical malls. Patient satisfaction, clinical quality and safety were immediate system priorities, and Excela realized that employee engagement contributes to outcomes in all three areas. So the Western PA health system decided to focus on internal communication and employee collaboration by developing and executing a strategic communications plan that included the Excela Mobile App.
Major issues affecting Excela (similar to those of the broader healthcare industry) included:
- A highly disparate workforce – with a coverage area including more than 100 locations, Excela Health provides both inpatient hospital care, outpatient services as well as homecare and hospice.
- A non-deskbound workforce – 80% of Excela Health employees are not deskbound, which left e-mail communication and consumption of company-related communications largely unread.
- A generational workforce – while only 20% of Excela Health’s employees are Millennials – individual’s dependent on their mobile device for the consumption of information – Excela expects that population to double in its workforce by 2020.
- Ineffective Physician communication – with a large and mobile medical staff, Excela Health faces increasing challenges to meet the communication needs of an increasingly diverse physician population.
After reviewing several solutions available, theEMPLOYEEapp was selected as the mobile app for employees solution that would allow the organization to quickly and effectively address its challenges. In a short timeframe post launch, Excela achieved a number of key results:
- Today, 94% of Excela Health rates patient safety as either excellent, very good or acceptable. That’s an increase from 75% in 2012. Excela considers this a key metric in measuring employee engagement, which was partially driven by increased communications through the Excela Mobile App.
- Tactics of the strategic communications plan, including the use of the mobile app for employees, seem to have had a halo effect on other metrics including turnover rate (YTD: 11.5% on a goal of 13.5%) and perception of teamwork within units (top quartile in the nation).
- The Internal Communications surrounding the launch of the Excela Mobile App won the Silver award in the Employee Communication Program entry category for the 34th Annual Healthcare Advertising Awards.