Providing connected, coordinated care using Microsoft Teams and inclusive tools during the COVID 19 pandemic

About The Customer

Norfolk and Waveney Health and Care Partnership (N&WHCP) encompasses local GP practices, hospitals, community care, social services and mental health teams in the East of England. Akari worked with seven of the nine members of N&WHCP including Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital (NNUH), which carries out nearly one million outpatient appointments, day case procedures and inpatient admissions annually with the support of 9000 staff.

Identifying The Problem

Like many other NHS trusts, N&WHCP were impacted greatly by the COVID-19 pandemic with the increase in patients and many admin staff being sent home to work remotely. The Partnership needed a solution to stay connected with admin and clinical staff, whilst also continuing to maintain patient care standards across 2441 square miles and over 50,000 members of staff. Priorities for the Partnership included:

        – Being able to maintain collaborative and efficient working while remote working

        – Building a more digitally enabled workforce to be able to continue delivering services in a new virtual way of working

        – Being able to share key information across departments and organisations to continue high standards of patient care

With a mixed level of IT experience, and many tasks being manual with information being captured on paper-based documents, this created a challenge not only for interacting with legacy systems, but also in connected and collaborative ways of working digitally. With a diverse set of users operating with a range of devices, it was apparent that mapping out user personas would be vital in helping them roll out, train, and enable a remote workforce quickly and securely. They needed a digital solution that would allow all staff and partners to communicate and collaborate and give access to vital information quickly and securely. By demonstrating how to use the collaboration and communication features within Teams they were able to achieve this connected collaboration change model It was vital that this solution could be used by all staff, and that managing this change and enabling staff could be done remotely and at scale.

“Akari were brilliant, their approach was friendly and accommodating, and people went out of their way to email after to tell me how much they enjoyed the sessions they attended.”

Sarah Boyd, Head of Digital Experience & Transformation

Addressing The Challenge  

Akari were chosen to build a high impact change management programme due to our previous success in delivering projects of this size, with experience across large local regional government customers. This expertise meant we were able to deliver the project quickly whilst ensuring quality of delivery was maintained throughout. As a large healthcare organisation, it was critically important to get this right first time, and the value had to be demonstrated quickly. Microsoft Teams was identified as the leading product to deliver high productivity and agility for better employee performance. Alongside Microsoft Teams, a champions’ network and robust change program were identified, allowing N&WHCP to continue to deliver exceptional patient healthcare and meet their priorities through connected, coordinated care.

Working with key stakeholders, we initiated the programme with a discovery workshop, allowing us to drill into key pain points and assess the readiness of users for the new technology. We identified that a “Crawl, Walk, Run” change strategy would be the most effective, both due to the scale of the organisation, and to address the diversity of the workforce in how new technical features would be introduced and to provide ongoing support. We worked with business stakeholders to map out and identify common use cases and turn these into operational personas including: Community Teams, Projects and Coordination, Executive Office and Medical Staff, IT Admin and Online Trainers. Working from the personas, it was then possible to design a digital champions’ network. We recognise how important it is to deliver real benefits of technology through detailed planning, so we deliver a ‘People First’ strategy which brings impactful learning, to better support the organisation and help improve care for patients’ long term.

Working with the champions network, we ran Teams training sessions focusing on specific scenarios and topics including accessibility as a key focus area. Knowledge webinars were also utilised in order to reach staff across all aspects of the business, and the ability to watch these recorded webinars on demand was much needed for the 24×7 shift patterns across critical care staff. To cater for the learning preferences of different users we also delivered these topics in bitesize videos and PDF user guides. The overall change excellence model was chosen to embed positive change behaviours and ‘what’s in it for me’ messaging, this helped us to break down barriers of resistance and empower individuals across shared services to easily provide care and operational excellence during extenuating circumstances. As an additional benefit of the change program, Akari were able to provide advanced workshops based on building out additional features across Microsoft Teams. These included the ‘Build an app’ engagements, looking at FAQ bots and fully integrated web platforms on the Power Platform technology.

Celebrating The Results

The success metrics were easily quantified based on how well the training was received, with the Teams usage lifted to over 50% of the 12,850 users for daily active users carrying out a mix of chat, Teams communications and file sharing within the platform across desktop, web and mobile. By working internally to improve change processes, this has helped to develop patient care by allowing subject matter experts to collaborate more effectively by being able to share notes, learnings and run training and clinics remotely, all of which wasn’t previously possible.

The facilitation of communication and change principles across seven different trusts at an incredible pace whilst not losing focus was a huge win for N&WHCP. This benefits the change management teams within the trust as it has provided them with a blueprint to run future programs, benefitting both end users and future change programs. This programme has made a positive impact, boosting productivity and providing a unified platform for sharing operational and patient data securely. It has ultimately enabled end users such as GPs and pharmacists to provide connected, coordinated care across the 1.1 million people who live in Norfolk and Waveney during a pandemic.

“We chose Akari based on the fact they understood this was a change process rather than a simple delivery of training. At every stage of contact they were a joy to work with, accommodating and amenable and patient when we were the ones holding up the process! The sessions were brilliant, and we had so many staff emailing us to comment on how much they had enjoyed them and how useful they were. We didn’t get one complaint. I know having been through this process our use of Teams is definitely better because of it.”

Why Akari?

We are Microsoft’s Global Diversity and Inclusion Changemaker Partner of the Year 2020. Our strategy is to earn our customers’ trust by focusing on business outcomes, good advice and best-in-class solutions to support the journey through digital transformation to digital business.

Disability Confident Employer
Microsoft for Startups
Prosci Certified Change Practitioner
UiPath Silver Partner
Akari Solutions Limited – PRIVACY STATEMENT
Hosted with on Azure