Leading private healthcare provider adopts a complete Modern Workplace Hub with Microsoft 365
HCA has been providing healthcare for over 50 years. They began with a small hospital founded by doctors in the US. Today, HCA is one of the leading private healthcare providers in the US and the UK.
From complex, acute inpatient care and surgery to primary care, outpatient and day-case treatment, HCA UK provides expert medical care across a network of hospitals, outpatient clinics, GP practices and NHS partnerships.
The existing intranet at HCA Healthcare UK had fulfilled its lifespan and was no longer seen as fit for purpose. A new platform was required, making use of SharePoint Online and associated Microsoft 365 technologies.
HCA turned to Intelogy to design a new UK-wide intranet that provides a “one-stop shop” for everything staff need, promotes two-way communication, and improves the ease with which staff can browse and discover content.
The existing intranet had been in place for 6 years. Its initial purpose had been met, but as time passed the needs and aspirations at HCA UK had grown beyond the capabilities that were available in their existing solution. A new, modern intranet was needed to bring about a completely fresh approach to internal communication, collaboration, information sharing, and cultural representation. The new intranet needed to remove bottlenecks and allow staff to take ownership of their own areas, with support as needed, and introduce a new strategy to provide up-to-date, critical information to staff (both clinical and non-clinical) in a way that is easily reachable, as well as accessible on any device.
Intelogy began with a series of scoping discussions with a central project team led by the Head of Organisational Development. During these sessions, we gathered an understanding of the existing intranet, the benefits it provides, and the pain points that staff are finding. From here we documented initial needs and opportunities for the new approach, along with key “must haves”.
We then moved on to a series of workshops with representatives from across HCA UK. These interactive sessions gathered a comprehensive view of how people work, how they want to work and the needs that they have in their daily work lives. Additionally, we discussed the views of attendees at a personal level for how they interact with others, and their views on how the intranet could be made a more beneficial place to visit for business, personal and cultural reasons.
The outputs of all sessions were consolidated and presented back to the central project team with recommendations from Intelogy for how we should progress, and an outline view of how the new intranet could work, based on our experience and expertise.
Additionally, Intelogy constructed a brief (anonymous) survey which was sent to all staff. This survey covered how they feel about the existing intranet, and the importance they place on certain key attributes for a new one. It also provided space for any other thoughts and feedback they wished to provide. Staff were given the opportunity to volunteer to participate in further discussions and help guide the direction of the project. The results of this survey were thoroughly analysed and proved invaluable in helping the direction of design.
Once all information had been consolidated, we were able to construct an initial prototype of the intranet in a development environment, accompanied by a detailed initial solution design document which we presented back to the team at HCA for discussion and approval before moving into the next phases of work.
The design of the solution was refined with relevant stakeholders (including technical validation through their IT teams) to a point where we were ready to build. The build process involved a number of representatives both from HCA UK and Intelogy throughout, gathering feedback as needed to ensure the direction of travel was on point. Additionally, we attended regular steering committee and governance board meetings with wider business representatives where we communicated on all relevant aspects and worked with them to ensure we were meeting the requirements as agreed, as well as ensuring any compliance aspects were identified and mitigated.
As far as possible, a solution using out-of-the-box features was desired. The importance was placed on visual appeal, accessibility and quality of content. With this in mind, we built out the new intranet with the following features.
The Home Site
The solution as a whole was constructed using SharePoint Online’s hub site feature, with a central “home” site at its root to connect everything together.
The home site brought a new, refreshed and welcoming window into the organisation for staff, giving them access to:
- Key news and announcements across HCA UK
- Quick links to useful tools
- A central search bar (built using the PnP Framework) providing quick access to critical content across the intranet (more on this later)
- Promotional areas to highlight certain sites on the intranet (refreshed by the central Communications Team on a monthly basis)
- News from HCA Healthcare in the US
- Events and notable dates
Prior to launch, we set this site to act as the root site of the tenant, and also purchased a dedicated web domain which re-routes traffic here, making it easier for staff to remember where to go on any device.
At launch, there were an initial series of departments that were represented within the solution. Each site was created with consistency in mind so that it provided features such as:
- Events and notable dates
- Departmental news
- Search (using the same search as the home page, but pre-filtered to the site’s associated department)
- Departmental introduction and overview (written by a senior member of the team)
- Key or common resources
- “Meet the leadership team” pages
- Key contacts
- Upcoming notable dates
While the sites were designed with consistency in mind, we allowed for variation as needed to cater for specific needs and desires.
Each HCA UK facility was given a space of its own to promote their space, provide information and share updates.
As with all other sites, a search mechanism was placed front-and-centre on the home page of each facility site which, when used, provided search results pre-filtered to that location. This allowed visitors to quickly find information, resources and policies specifically for that location.
The sites also had personal bios for their leadership teams and other key staff members, enabling visitors to get to know people there, as well as understand the nature of that side of the organisation through news, events and specialist pages.
Business hub sites
A number of business hubs were created for central go-to places that provide resources not only for role enablement but personal and professional growth. For example, a central portal dedicated to infection prevention and control was created with a wealth of resources that apply across HCA Healthcare UK. A Wellbeing Hub was also created to provide a wide range of help for staff, including videos, webinars, and contact points within HCA’s Mental Health First Aiders group.
Content & Resources
Across all feedback that we received from staff, some stand-out consistencies involved better access to key content, as well as better access to FAQs.
With this in mind, we migrated content from the legacy intranet into a central, structured location and built out a clean method of metadata application. Included in this, we created a simple interface to manage FAQs (using a SharePoint list) which also contained consistent metadata.
The content within here has designated owners assigned, who are responsible, on an annual basis, for checking and validating that materials are up-to-date and relevant. This is made easier through a regular process (built using Power Automate) that automatically reminds staff, and enables escalation should there be any issues with keeping materials updated. It also enables easy visibility for site owners to view all materials approaching their review date, as well as those that have passed it.
A critical aspect of the solution was to provide staff with better access to the many policies that are in place (clinical and non-clinical). Previously, staff needed to access a dedicated location to search across policies, and there was a clear benefit to being able to incorporate this into the new intranet.
Using PowerShell, we generated an automated (hourly) process that would take any content that has been modified (since the last run) in the central, on-premises library and copy it to a dedicated location on the intranet. If a policy was anything other than active, it was excluded from this process (ensuring that staff only ever have visibility of active, validated materials). If a policy has been made inactive at the source, this property would trigger a Power Automate Flow to delete it from the intranet.
Metadata was automatically transferred with the documents, allowing us to seamlessly integrate policies into the intranet search engine using PnP to provide a modern, refinable search experience. This was tested extensively with a great many people and was tremendously well received. Staff now had a “one-stop shop” for all that they needed.
It was clear from the start that search would be the backbone of a successful, new platform. We made heavy use of PnP, aligned with a consistent metadata structure across content so that a powerful search engine would be in place that centralised results for content such as:
- Central resources (which themselves were managed by an automated content lifecycle process)
- Site pages
This gave staff a much-improved method of gaining quick access to anything they needed from anywhere on the intranet, as well as the ability to refine their results based on specific needs.
Security & Governance
We worked very closely with the Information Security and Governance team at HCA UK to ensure that all required elements were implemented to their satisfaction. They became an essential part of the project, and working together towards a mutual goal allowed us to achieve everything required.
A clean security model was implemented across the intranet, using a dynamically populated group for all staff access (read-only) and centrally managed groups for ownership access which themselves had an approval process associated for membership.
Results/ Client benefits
HCA can now benefit from a complete Modern Workplace Hub and all its features. This new environment allows for much greater connectivity for search, as well as consistent navigation and branding. The key benefits provided by this solution include:
- Far greater access to key content (including corporate and clinical policies) through a central search interface, allowing filtration according to a number of properties
- A central location for key communications across the organisation
- Greater confidence in the relevance and quality of information thanks to annual review cycles (enabled using Power Automate)
- A great new way to socialise cultural topics with everyone at HCA UK, give people a stage, and bring everyone together
- A platform that can be managed by any number of staff to act as a “go-to” for information and guidance on a great many topics
- A design that enables growth. This is just the beginning.
The intranet has been met with significant praise from across the organisation. Staff quickly saw the value and embraced the solution and within just a few days many thousands of people had become making use of its content and features. Interest grew even before launch, with requests from staff who wanted their presence on the intranet in new hubs and other sites, allowing us to build a strategy and plan for growth early on.