When time is of the essence: capturing ideas and enthusiasm when there’s not a minute to spare
An interview with Louise Hill
Louise Hill is Assistant General Manager of the emergency services directorate at Poole Hospital, part of the newly merged University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust. Having used ImproveWell for seven months, she’s noticed some radical changes to how staff communicate with management.
“Our people often have fantastic ideas about how procedures can be improved, and how new and different equipment we may not have considered before may be able to help us,” Louise begins. “So having ImproveWell has been fantastic for our staff to be able to tap in just give us their ideas, knowing both that it’s going straight to the management team and that their ideas can be implemented quickly. In the past we’ve asked staff to drop ideas into cardboard boxes but after a month or so they’re often left abandoned. So having ImproveWell, where people can log in during their break, after their shift or at the weekend, has been really useful.”
Not enough hours in the day?
Like all hospital departments, Louise’s is incredibly busy. “Trying to find the time to speak to a member of staff about an idea is often the last thing people get to. The problem we were trying to address was the difficulty of communication. By allowing staff to share how their day has been, to interact with us using the surveys and pass their ideas through to the management team immediately, we got round the stumbling block of being too busy and they were able to communicate with us when they needed to,” she explains.
“We’d love to be on the floor asking staff how their day was as they finish their shift but we simply can’t be there all the time. So ImproveWell helps our staff to communicate. That has really made a difference to how we look after our team. It’s enabled us to check on how their day has been, check their wellbeing. We’ve had some fantastic ideas from our staff which we’ve been able to implement really quickly. Simple things like using a different type of pen on our whiteboards that has allowed us to make life that bit easier for our staff. It’s the simple things that make the big differences and without ImproveWell we might not have tapped into those ideas so quickly.”
“When we first rolled out ImproveWell it was a matter of making sure our staff knew what it was, what was involved, and that it wasn’t ‘just another app’ – it was something that was going to benefit both them and us in the long run. Word soon got around about how it had made differences already, which meant lots more people got involved,” says Louise. “It snowballed. Once staff could see that we were responding really quickly, it really caught on and the ideas started coming in faster as well. The survey feature has been amazing for us, especially in getting feedback about the Covid 19 situation, and the effect it was having on staff wellbeing. We were able to tap into all our staff at the same time and get some really valuable information.
“We’ve used all the features. The most commonly used one is the Idea Hub – it’s really popular with staff. We also use the Surveys, which we’ve used to check on wellbeing and how our staff are getting on. But we use it for fun things as well. We also run our ‘team member of the month’ survey through it and then award a prize – it’s really nice to see people engaging. We’re also starting to use the Sentiment Tracker to ask if people have had a good day.”
Louise and her team are looking forward to working in depth with the mood-measuring function to keep checking in on what makes a great day and what can be utilised to improve a testing one.
In a nutshell
“If you want your team to feel more valued, then ImproveWell is for you. It allows you to reach out to your team, to capture their ideas, their thoughts about their day, and collect their input via surveys at any time of the day, at their convenience.”
Read more about the newly merged University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust