Enabling effective internal healthcare communication with HIPAA compliant email

Improve the quality of staff relationships, increase efficiency, and profoundly impact patient safety.

Research shows that effective communication in healthcare institutions improves the quality of staff relationships, increases efficiency, and profoundly impacts patient safety.

HIPAA compliant email is an effective way to keep the lines of communication open which reduces liability risk, and ensures that staff members have the information they need to do their jobs well.

Team communication leads to employee satisfaction

Effective internal communication helps employees feel connected to their coworkers and the organization. This, in turn, leads to higher levels of employee satisfaction and engagement.

According to studies by Watson Wyatt Worldwide, engaged employees perform better, miss 20% fewer days of work, are more supportive of organizational change, and have lower turnover rates.

Better employee engagement leads to better care

Engaged employees are also more likely to provide better care. In fact, Gallup has found that nurse engagement is the number one predictor of mortality variation across hospitals.

A recent Advisory Board study found that every 1% increase in hospital employee engagement correlates with a 0.33-point increase in the facility’s Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems overall hospital rating, which affects Medicare reimbursement. The study also showed that a 1% increase in hospital employee engagement is tied to a 0.41-point increase in patient safety grades.

How to safely use email to communicate with staff

Healthcare email marketing is an easy and efficient way to communicate with your staff en masse, but covered entitiesmust always consider HIPAA compliance implications.

Many large healthcare organizations require business associates to not only sign a business associate agreement (BAA) but also fill out a security questionnaire, but the majority of mainstream email marketing providers won’t do either of these things.

Even if your email communication doesn’t include protected health information (PHI), it’s prudent to partner with a vendor that will sign a BAA in any case, to make sure you are only working with partners that take email securityseriously.

As evidenced by the massive SolarWinds hack last year which affected over 18,000 companies, a vendor’s security vulnerabilities can create a backdoor into your own IT system, which hackers could use to install malware or other cyberthreats.

Share the big picture

Employees want a big-picture perspective of where the organization is headed and how they contribute to that vision. An effective communication program should be the voice of your organization and foster teamwork and collaboration, ensuring that every employee knows their role and responsibilities.

Share good news

Hospital staffers rarely hear about what is going well or what they’re doing right. Authentic kudos can drive engagement, so don’t miss an opportunity to share positive stories about the organization or superstar staff members.

Send targeted messages

Make sure any message you send is relevant, timely and targeted to the affected staffers only. For example, people may only be interested in messages about their specific workplace location, or regarding specific departments.

Find the right cadence

It’s important to clearly communicate the right information at the right frequency, however. Sending too many superfluous emails trains employees to expect junk. This goes hand in hand with only sending pinpointed messages to the affected segments of your staff.

Conclusion

Hospitals and healthcare organizations have unique needs when it comes to internal email communication. They are large and complex organizations where the stakes are high—if the proper information isn’t shared it can literally mean the difference between life and death.

Employees can help carry their institutions through this tumultuous time in healthcare if they understand where the organization is going and how they, personally, can contribute. It’s up to communications leaders to get that message through.

HIPAA compliant email marketing can be a great tool in your toolbox for keeping workers informed, engaged, and motivated to do their jobs well.