Outdated system hinders engagement
As in many healthcare organizations, Bastiaan used standard systems to manage their quality system. "We had Office 365 combined with two SharePoint environments. I also used SharePoint to expand our quality management system (QMS) at my previous employer, so I knew what was possible. But I also knew what wasn't possible or where we needed to bring in outside expertise."
"Ultimately, the goal was for our QMS to play a more prominent role within our organization," says Bastiaan. "And that people felt involved. We now had two SharePoint environments, which meant you had to do multiple actions to publish documents, which led to carelessness. We were simply working with a file structure, so what was new was unclear. Informing employees also took much effort."
The current SharePoint setup hindered people's engagement, and other significant factors were also at play.
Bastiaan: "For instance, authorization, version management of documents, or an audit trail. It can be accomplished but often becomes overly complicated. And we had to bring in outside expertise. Managing such a system through an office management function became too difficult. Then we thought: we'd better look for an integrated package that offers everything."
Bea Zorg had effectively addressed the issue of package selection. They had identified areas for improvement in their current SharePoint QMS, devised a project plan, and prepared a set of requirements for a new package. "The most important thing for us was a multifunctional system: document management, process-level support and intranet functions."
"Through a white paper on Internal Audits, I came across Scienta. Even then, I liked the fact that Scienta had that knowledge. Then I started looking at the product further. It exactly matched what we were looking for. Scienta integrated all those things, which was why we chose Scienta."
From distribution to engagement
So why is it so important to get all those documents to people? Bastiaan recounts the conversations prior to the decision to start with Scienta. "At one point, we posed the question to ourselves: who are you doing it for? Are you doing it for the outside world, for the auditors, or are you really doing it because you want to support people in their work? "
So it's about more than document accessibility and distribution. It is also (precisely!) about engagement with the information.
"That is essential. Look, you can communicate until you are blue in the face, but if people simply don't bother to engage with the information, then there is no point. When transferring documents, for instance, we rewrote many things. Reducing jargon to make it more appealing to employees."
Tips for setting up and transferring
Bastiaan started setting up Scienta in early 2020. He looks back on it positively. "The formal part was all arranged very quickly; by the middle of the Christmas holidays, we had signed the contracts."
"One major advantage we had was already having numerous documents. And we had a very clear picture of where we wanted to go. That's my tip: take stock of the situation. What should the information structure look like? Who should be able to see what? "
"What I would also like to pass on as a tip is to break up long, large documents. We have a reporting code for domestic violence: a long step-by-step plan. However, we have now separated each step into individual documents, making it easier to read and access."
Implementation during the corona crisis
Bastiaan ended up spending about a month: rearranging, rewriting, structuring and cleaning up. As it turned out, this was just in time because, in March 2020, Bastiaan went live with Scienta. Right when the coronavirus swept through the Netherlands, resulting in employees working remotely at Bea Zorg.
"Our company continued to provide care as normal while my colleagues and I worked remotely from our homes. In that sense, Scienta came at the right time. We were better able to support employees. Usually, we had many questions: 'Where can I find that document? But because we now had better descriptions, and everything was easy to find, our employees became more independent and could easily find important information."
"To give a concrete example. Posters had to be put up at various sites as part of the guidelines to combat corona. At one point, we had three different versions. So there was a definite need for one central point, and Scienta is ideal for this purpose. So we opted pretty quickly to run all essential communications, from policies to posters, through Scienta."
At the same time, they had also started using Microsoft Teams at Bea Zorg. A package that now runs perfectly alongside Scienta. What is the difference between MS Teams and Scienta? "MS Teams is really for collaboration. Consulting together, but also informal communication. Scienta is the central point in the organization where all the important information is located."
And some things are simply impossible with MS Teams, Bastiaan explains. "Consider the importance of keeping track of reading obligations. This is imperative for our accountability. It is great that in Scienta, you have a kind of logbook of versions of documents, login times of employees, and reading obligations. That is also reflected in our audits and can, meanwhile, be inquired about by other auditing agencies if necessary. It's super important. MS Teams is definitely not suitable for that."
Successful implementation, then? Yes, although, of course, it also requires a certain change in culture. And that is not settled within a month.
"Healthcare managers have to realize: we are process owners of our respective segments. They weren't accustomed to that. They were used to me, as policy officer, writing all the policy documents. And that when they agree to it, it'll work itself out."
Bastiaan sees that as a nice challenge. Bastiaan: "It's a long-term thing. You really have to coach people in this regard. People are focused on their primary task, taking care of clients, but they also have to realize that this is another aspect of all those processes."
Participation within the organization, with Scienta
"The functionalities of a system should absolutely not be an obstacle to getting started with it in the first place. And with Scienta, this is not remotely the case; it is super easy. The aim, of course, was to increase engagement with the quality management system. We can see that this has worked: how often people log in, how often people handle read requests, how often change requests are made."
And speaking of change requests: about 60 to 70 change requests arrive at Bea Zorg every quarter. "These can be massive," says Bastiaan. "Anyone can submit a change request. And you also see that this happens. In this way, people feel a sense of ownership over their information, you know? "
"The organization, the policies, our QMS: Scienta ultimately makes it all transparent. This is completely positive," Bastiaan concludes. "Because we have removed many barriers, I see that people are returning more and more often. It belongs to all of us, and we are all responsible for how it is set up. Our employees no longer feel that the management imposes policy changes on them. And it's great to see this shift."