Rallying the troops: getting your organization on board with secure messaging

Deploying a new communication tool to thousands of users at the same time can be quite a daunting task. As healthcare providers consider adopting a secure messaging solution in their facility, we on the client services team often hear that they’re hesitant to move forward for fear that the new tool will trigger an increase in the volume of communication, resulting in too many notifications and unnecessary interruptions.

But the fact is, communication between clinicians is going to happen whether it’s through a secure messaging platform or not. When clinicians need to communicate something in order to provide care for a patient, they’re going to reach out by some means, whether it’s picking up the phone, writing an e-mail, or sending an SMS text to another clinician. So it’s important to remember that when you add a secure messaging system, you actually augment and even reduce some of the inefficient and unsecure forms of communication that are already happening today.

In order to make the move to secure messaging an easy one for clinicians, it’s helpful to provide them with a set of usage guidelines to reference.  Here are four basic recommendations to consider when developing your guidelines:

1. Early and often

I encourage you to begin conversations around appropriate secure messaging usage early on in your project. Any policies that need to be updated can impact your go-live status, so it’s important to begin discussion on this topic even before your technical environment is ready. Policies can take time and several iterations to develop and implement, so it’s best to visit this topic early and often in your deployment preparation.

2. Stay positive

This is the most common advice I give to hospitals. It’s easy to get swept away with concerns on how the system could be abused. Rather than focusing on the ways that secure messaging should not be used, it is more beneficial to outline the ways that it can be leveraged. Remember, the end goal is to make users comfortable with using this new tool, so we don’t want to push them away by emphasizing the restrictions.

3. Use your A-team

Make sure to involve clinical resources in conversations about secure messaging usage. They can help identify those “easy” workflows to introduce, as well as provide feedback on how a clinical audience might react to a usage policy. Ultimately, once some basic guidelines have been outlined, clinical resources are critical in distributing the information. 

4. Publish or perish

It is important to make your guidelines readily available to users, that way everyone can feel comfortable adopting this new product. Be sure to publish the guidelines on your hospital intranet, print copies to post on bulletin boards and leave in physician lounges, and distribute the guidelines via e-mail to nursing managers and department leads. Leverage a combination of these methods so you aren’t relying on one source of communication.

Usage guidelines have the power to promote adoption of the product as well as ensure that your users get the best value out of your investment. With these four recommendations in mind, you can create a custom set of guidelines for your hospital to ensure that everyone uses your secure messaging solution most efficiently and effectively.

For more tips on driving adoption of a secure messaging tool in your facility, read our whitepaper, Five steps to realizing a faster return on your secure messaging investment.

Margot Lieblich is a Senior Client Services Consultant at Imprivata