United Health Services
Background:United Health Services (UHS) is the largest comprehensive healthcare system and leading private employer in the Greater Binghamton, N.Y., region. With more than 60 locations, the system is composed of providers and supporting organizations serving a population of over 600,000 people. Learn more at https://www.nyuhs.org/.
UHS partnered with theEMPLOYEEapp in 2019. Less than a year after having the mobile communications tool, their communications strategy was put to the test as the COVID-19 pandemic began to sweep across the United States.
“As a healthcare organization, we [were] on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic…we launched our app for employees a little less than a year ago, but it has never been as important to our organization as it is now,” says Steven Perlin, who manages internal and external communication at UHS.
UHS, as a large healthcare organization serving populations in New York, had providers and nurses dealing with COVID-19 daily and senior leaders, managers, and admin all behind-the- scenes, working to keep their community safe and informed. In an unprecedented situation, they were constantly having to update and change policies and it was critical that these changes be communicated to their teams quickly.
THE APP: UHS CONNECTION
With most of their non-hospital locations closed, elective procedures canceled, and the staff reduced to only essential employees, UHS had to rethink staffing, but they didn’t want to lose the line of communication with their staff that were temporarily at home. These employees had no access to Intranet, which was going to be a hub of COVID-19 information. The team quickly realized that the app was the best way to reach their entire staff.
“The app became one of the most important ways we were able to communicate with all of our 6,000 plus employees to keep them up to date, whether they were at home in quarantine, on the frontlines, or in an office,” says Steven Perlin.
And the UHS Connection app became the one-stop-shop for all COVID-19 related information. They put clinical instructions there, restrictions, policy and procedure changes, scenarios for almost every COVID-19 situation you could think of, HR information, and more. They even had letters from their President and CEO thanking staff and preparing them for what was coming and videos about the different, new programs going on at UHS like their “Daily COVID-19 Task Force” report and their “Nursing Connections” report. In addition to all the critical information, they also posted the feel-good stories about their team and the local community all working together to fight the novel coronavirus.
“The app became our lifeline to the employees who were home and here working every day,” Steven Perlin says. “We have had more and more people sign up and tell us how happy they were to be able to get these updates right on their phone. In this time of extreme uncertainty, we were able to bring information right to the people who needed it, which wouldn’t have been possible without the app and theEMPLOYEEapp.”
- UHS switched from a rarely used collaboration tool to theEMPLOYEEapp, which met their employees’ need to access critical information no matter where they are.
- With so many employees working in different places, the UHS Connection app allowed the internal communications team to reach employees where they were from the frontline to the office and their homes.
- Since COVID-19 communications started being shared on the platform in the U.S. they have seen a 10x increase in post views.