Hospital’s intranet brings order to chaos

Turns out Norton Healthcare employees wanted quick information on raises, vacation days and discounts, not floods of email. And what about when a patient wants his dog to visit?

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A few years back, employees at Norton Healthcare in Louisville, Kentucky, were pleading for mercy.

“We get so many emails, we don’t know what to do,” internal communications director Mary Jennings recalls hearing. “We don’t know what’s important. We don’t know what’s not important. And we get five minutes in front of a public computer, and then I’m off on a patient computer, charting, etcetera.”

The solution? The 13,000-employee hospital system overhauled its intranet, Nsite, creating a one-stop portal with information on everything from benefits to dealing with a patient’s stroke.

In a business where 75 percent of employees work out on the hospital floors, Norton shows how a simple-looking but well-organized intranet can address communications needs.

Whereas the old design drew 252,000 views a month, that number now tops 3 million, Jennings says. Nsite has afforded the hospital system significant savings in printing and mailing costs; Norton has decreased its employee publications from a bimonthly to quarterly. The organization also hosts the employee handbook there, so it no longer has to print and distribute it when changes are made.

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