Healthcare intranet: can it benefit your organization?

By Gabe Scorgie

10 min read

Healthcare intranet: can it benefit your organization?
Illustration by Kevin Yu

It doesn’t matter what country you live in, knowing the administrators of your healthcare organizations are providing the best possible care is important. What many don’t realize, the ability for your personal information to be shared securely, providing caregivers with the ability to collaborate and access resources within the organization is of equal importance.

That’s where a healthcare intranet comes in.

Some of the key features of a healthcare intranet include but aren’t limited to:

  • Secure communication
  • Access to patient information
  • Resource sharing
  • Collaboration tools

The purpose of this blog is to discuss some of those key features — and more, what to think about before implementing an Internet, plus some of the challenges and pros and cons.

So let’s get started.

Understanding healthcare intranets

A healthcare intranet is a private and secure network or online platform used within a healthcare organization. This could be a hospital, clinic, or any health-care related facility. It’s designed to facilitate internal communication, information sharing, and collaboration among professional healthcare workers and their staff.

The technology makes it possible for authorized individuals to exchange information, access resources and patient data, and communicate securely, all while complying with strict privacy and security regulations such as HIPAA in the US or PIPEDA in Canada.

Essentially, the intranet serves as an internal website portal that’s tailored to the needs of healthcare organizations, enhancing their efficiency, coordination, and patient care.

Key features and functionalities

We’ve already mentioned a few but let’s go into a little bit greater detail of the features and benefits of a healthcare intranet:

  • Secure communication: This ensures that professionals can exchange messages, emails, and patient related information while ensuring data privacy
  • Resource sharing: The portal serves as a central repository for important documents, policies, guidelines, and forms, making it easy for staff to access and reference whatever relevant information they need
  • Collaboration tools: This could include tools for project management, collaborative workspaces, and scheduling that can help teams work efficiently while coordinating care
  • Staff directories: A directory with contact information for all employees facilitates communication and collaboration within the organization
  • Security and compliance: The intranet must comply with healthcare data security standards, using robust security measures to protect sensitive information

The potential of implementing a healthcare intranet

There are several potential advantages to implementing a healthcare platform. To name a few:

  • Streamlined access to information: By centralizing important resources and patient data, healthcare intranets can make it easier for staff to access and share information quickly, meaning they can ultimately make better informed decisions.
  • Improved collaboration: Thanks to its collaborative tools, an intranet can help facilitate teamwork and knowledge sharing, both of which are essential in a complex healthcare setting.
  • Better efficiency and productivity: With things like task management, scheduling, and document version control integrated, an intranet can help streamline workflows and administrative tasks which will ultimately allow healthcare professionals to focus more on patient care.
  • Increased analytics and insights: An intranet can provide valuable data on usage and engagement, which can allow administrators to identify trends, areas for improvement, and help them to better allocate resources.

The Cons of Using an Intranet 

Now for something of a reality check. Don’t get me wrong, healthcare intranets specifically and intranets in general are great, but they’re not the be-all and end-all. Let’s discuss some of the cons of using an intranet.

Just how reliable are they? 

The truth is, many intranets are doomed to failure, and the very thing you’ve put in place to help with workflows and communication could thoroughly disrupt it. A few reasons for failure include:

  • They clutter and break: A lack of clear governance can lead to employees uploading content without guidelines or standards, which can lead to a haphazard — and sometimes duplicated — accumulation of information. Additionally, the framework can fall apart, leaving you with a broken intranet.
  • They create silos: Some intranets are structured based on departmental needs and functions, which can lead to each department having their own space on the intranet — creating silos. Additionally, some intranets have hierarchal access control, giving higher level employees greater access and control over the intranet than an employee at a lower level.
  • They can quickly become outdated: If an intranet isn’t properly updated and maintained, information can become obsolete or redundant. Additionally, technology can become obsolete, or administrators may fail to keep the software up to date with security patches and version upgrades.

Moving past reliability issues, implementing and maintaining an intranet of any kind can be expensive and time-consuming. Here are some things to consider:

  • Initial setup costs
  • Software licensing
  • Development and customization
  • Maintenance and updates
  • Content management
  • User training
  • Data security
  • Integration with existing systems
  • Scaling and upgrading
  • Troubleshooting and support
  • Content governance

So for all the benefits derived from a traditional intranet, they’re not perfect. Are there any better options for the modern workplace? Yes. There are 21st century employee platforms that address several of the problems some intranets create.


Platforms that connect people

Find out why orgs are ditching their old intranet in favour of platforms that help build energized, high-performance workplaces.

Show me why


Improved communication and collaboration

One of the drawbacks mentioned when discussing traditional intranets was that they can create silos, or stifle collaboration and communication between departments and teams. In contrast, many of today’s intranets or employee platforms have the opposite effect. Here are some examples:

Enhanced communication among health care professionals

Use an employee success platform to improve communication in the following ways:

  • Real-time messaging: Many employee platforms include chat or messaging features, meaning that healthcare professionals are able to communicate in real time. This could be especially valuable when discussing patient cases, sharing updates, or for quick consultations with colleagues.
  • Notifications and alerts: Platforms have the ability to send notifications and alerts for important updates, such as patient status changes, critical lab results, or new messages.
  • Surveys and feedback: In some cases, an employee platform may include tools for gathering feedback from colleagues, helping healthcare organizations refine their communication and collaboration process.

Facilitate collaboration and information sharing

By means of a variety of tools and features, an employee platform can facilitate collaboration and information sharing by:

  • Videoconferencing: Integrated videoconferencing enables face-to-face communication, even when team members aren’t at the same physical location. This is very effective where remote work may be involved or where there’s a need for virtual team meetings as it promotes a sense of presence and engagement.
  • Collaborative workspaces: Some platforms offer digital workspaces where teams can gather information, discussions, and resources related to a specific project or task. This centralizes knowledge and allows for better information sharing.

Streamline workflows and reduce inefficiencies

If you’re looking to improve communication and collaboration by streamlining workflows and reducing inefficiencies, here are a few ways an employee platform can help:

  • Task and project management: Task management features can help healthcare teams assign, track, and prioritize any task that’s related to patient care. This ensures accountability, transparency, and efficient workflow management.
  • Integration with Electronic Health Records (EHR): A platform that’s integrated with an HER system allows healthcare professionals to access patient records directly. This eliminates the need to switch between systems, reducing data entry errors and saving time.

Enhanced access to information and resources

Just like an old-school intranet, a modern employee platform is an excellent portal to information and resources. Here’s how:

  • Centralized information repository: The platform can serve as a central repository for a wide range of information resources. This could include medical guidelines, policies, procedures, best practices, patient records, and even educational materials. Having all that in a single location makes the information easy to access.
  • Search functionality: Robust search functionality makes it easy for professionals to quickly locate specific documents, patient records, or resources. This reduces the time and effort needed to find essential information.
  • Mobile access: If mobile apps are provided along with the platform, this makes it possible for healthcare professionals to access information and resources from anywhere, whether they’re at a patient’s bedside, in a clinic, or on the go.

Considerations for implementing healthcare employee platform

If you’ve decided that your facility needs an employee platform, there are some things to think about before jumping in. Start with these:

Assess your organizational needs and requirements

  • Conduct a comprehensive assessment of your organization’s communication, collaboration, and information sharing needs. Identify any pain points, challenges, and opportunities for improvement.
  • Ask for input and feedback from both healthcare professionals and staff with regards to their specific requirements, including access to patient data, communication preferences, and workflow demands.
  • Consider how the platform can align with your organization’s strategic goals, such as improving patient care, enhancing collaboration, or reducing operating — excuse the pun — costs.

Select the right healthcare platform

  • Spend some time evaluating the different employee platforms available in your market. Consider factors such as ease-of-use, scalability, integration capabilities, and the level of customization the platform offers.
  • Ensure that whatever platform you choose aligns with your organization’s specific needs, supports secure data storage and transmission, and is capable of accommodating future growth.

Plan and execute the implementation process

  • Develop a detailed implementation plan that will outline the project’s timeline, milestones, roles and responsibilities, and resource allocation. Make sure to consider the actual transition to the new platform, how you migrate data, and any training requirements.
  • Put a dedicated project team in place that includes IT professionals, healthcare administrators, and end-users. Define clear project goals and success criteria.
  • Be sure to run a pilot of the program was a small group of users to test its functionality, gather feedback, and make any necessary last-minute adjustments before rolling it out organization wide. 

Do you need HIPPA compliance?

As a healthcare provider, you’ll need to decide if you want an employee platform that will include compliance HIPPA, since not all platforms do.

Even without compliance, an employee platform is an excellent way to get your employees connected and keep them that way.

Bring your people together

Challenges and mitigation strategies

Implementing an employee platform within an organization can come with various challenges. Here are some of the most common along with mitigation strategies:

Address resistance to change and overcoming adoption barriers

Challenge: Employees can resist adopting a new platform due to fear of change, concerns about disruptions to their workflows, or skepticism about its benefits.
Mitigation strategies:
    • Clear communication: Clearly communicate the reasons for the change, emphasizing the benefits for employees and the organization. Address any concerns and be transparent about the transition process.
    • Involve users: Involve healthcare professionals and staff in the platform selection process and encourage their input. This can foster a sense of ownership and reduce resistance.
    • Pilot phase: Conduct a pilot phase with a small group of users to test the platform, gather feedback, and make necessary adjustments before rolling it out organization wide. This helps ensure success.

Ensure user training and support

Challenge: Inadequate training and support can hinder user adoption and lead to frustration among employees who may struggle to use the platform effectively.
Mitigation strategies:
    • Comprehensive training: Develop a comprehensive training program that covers the technical aspects of the platform as well as best practices for using it.
    • User guides and resources: Provide user-friendly guides, tutorials, and resources that employees can reference when they encounter difficulties.
    • Help desk and support: Offer responsive helpdesk support to address user inquiries and issues promptly.

Manage data migration and integration with existing systems

Challenge: Transferring existing data and integrating the employee platform with other organizational systems can be a complex task and prone to data errors.
Migration strategies:
    • Integration planning: Work with IT experts to plan and execute seamless integration with existing systems.
    • Data mapping: Before migrating, map out the data structure to identify what needs to be transferred and where it should be placed on the new platform.
    • Data backup: Implement data backup and recovery procedures to safeguard against data loss during migration.


Intranets, especially the more modern employee platforms, can be beneficial to any organization, including healthcare.

Here’s a recap of some of the benefits we’ve discussed here:

  • Improved communication between healthcare professionals and staff
  • Enhanced collaboration, which can lead to better patient care
  • Serves as a centralized information hub for easy access to critical data
  • Efficient document management and sharing
  • Better task and product management for streamlined workflows
  • Reduced inefficiencies and administrative burdens
  • Better promotion of knowledge sharing and continuous learning

A healthcare intranet can be a valuable tool that empowers healthcare organizations to adapt to their evolving landscape, improve patient care, and meet the demands of a rapidly changing industry. Its potential to bring together professionals and staff in a collaborative and efficient manner positions it as an essential asset to the sector.


Platforms that connect employees

Find out why orgs are ditching their old intranet in favour of platforms that help build energized, high-performance workplaces.

Show me why

Gabe Scorgie

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