The Niagara Health System (NHS) now known as Niagara Health (NH) is a large multi-site hospital organization that was created in 2000 to provide services for residents across Niagara region (1,854 km2). There are 6,000 staff, physicians and volunteers who are all committed to providing extraordinary care. Similar to many organizations, crystalizing communication to unify staff in a common imperative can be challenging. Additionally, when geographic catchment, legacy cultures and perceived disparities in resources are superimposed, the ability to bridge identity and culture around key organizational imperatives becomes increasingly difficult.
In 2014 as the organization was preparing for their accreditation journey, there was consensus that the NH unique geographic and cultures necessitated an innovative approach to integrate Required Organizational Practices (ROP’s) in a standardized way across all sites to augment learning, reinforce priorities and advance high quality safe care. The communications team developed a strategy anchored in a visual that:
- represented each of the six sites through land marks of Niagara Region enabling staff to see themselves and reinforce their own pride within the journey;
- used ‘gamification’ to increase awareness and engagement which aligned with our younger workforce;
iii. incorporated greater face-to-face communication/visual cueing which was highlighted by staff and;
- measured accountability, compliance and adoption.
Organizationally the new approach of gamification, visual cueing and face-to-face contact resulted in over 90% participation of staff and post-survey evaluation identified the strategy increased engagement, trust and improved working relationships.