PDH Departments Take On New Communication Tool

Enviromental Team
Thursday, 6 April 2017
A new communication system at Portland District Health is bringing staff closer together.

PDH is one of the first health services in the world to introduce Workplace, a version of Facebook that is secure and can be used internally by workplaces for easy communication.

PDH Director of Health Informatics, Claire Holt, said the system was being successfully introduced as a pilot program.

We're using it for anything where previously we would send an email for group distribution, Ms Holt said.

Now we can post to a group on Workplace and everyone at PDH has access to it.

Primary care, administrative services, catering and environmental services are extensively using the system.

In particular our Environmental staff have taken this new tool on as their main means of keeping in touch with what's happening within the hospital and using it has a tool to communicate within their department. It's not always easy for the environmental staff to gain regular access to computers as their busy role keeps them on the ground throughout the whole hospital without the access to hospital IT access. Many of the environmental staff have now downloaded the Workplace App on their own smart devices allowing them easy access to the communication tool.

Workplace is also being used by staff members who do the same job but on different rosters so they can see if there have been changes to processes for the role.

Anything that needs to be communicated we can post in our closed group, Ms Holt said. Staff can quickly check what is happening.

Workplace has a chat functionality like Facebook messenger which is being used by PDH to fill shifts. If someone has called in sick, we can send a message to all people who could fill that shift, Ms Holt said. We just have to send the message once and people can respond to say they are available or not. It is much easier than ringing people and everyone can see if there has been a response.

Workplace is available in a readily accessible App so staff and casual staff can have it on their phone or they can access it from the internet.

There is potential for casual staff who may not have access to PDH emails to look at it from home, Ms Holt said.

Workplace is mostly used by companies with offices in different locations and Ms Holt said there was potential for PDH to connect with other health services to strengthen regional collaboration.

We're one of the first health services in the world to use it but we're showing how it can be beneficial, she added.

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