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Leicester NHS Trust’s staff intranet is integral to HCPs’ working day

Caroline Hastie, Operations Director of Fendix, takes a look at a typical NHS staff intranet and why it offers valuable engagement opportunities for pharma

NHS staff intranets are a critical resource for healthcare professionals (HCPs), providing access to a wealth of information, ranging from clinical test results and guidelines to hospital policies, and training and education programmes.

Other information that can be found on NHS intranets includes articles and research; the latest news from NHS Trusts; a staff telephone directory; NHS job advertisements; and health and well-being information for staff.

Indeed, the average NHS staff intranet contains thousands of pages of information and is used multiple times a day by clinicians. This makes intranets a powerful channel through which pharma can engage with the NHS.

A typical NHS staff intranet

The University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust is a founding member of Fendix - the only NHS digital media network that enables pharma and other external organisations to disseminate professionally relevant information to defined groups of NHS staff via their own intranets.

Simon Andrews, Knowledge Manager at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, said: “The intranet is accessed by all kinds of people in the Trust, from doctors and nurses to finance and estates staff, and they all have different reasons for using it.

“Our Trust employs more than 7,000 clinicians and they interact with the intranet at least once a day. The clinical section contains everything a doctor, nurse or other HCP might need, including clinical guidelines, training and education programmes, infection prevention policies and general hospital policies.

“The guidelines area is particularly popular since it contains authorised and updated versions of clinical guidelines. All the clinicians use it.”

The Trust’s intranet has 538,232 page impressions a month, with users spending 2.49 seconds on a page on average. The top page views by content include health and well-being, job vacancies, education and training, and clinical system applications.

Around 6,000 people use the Trust’s intranet each day, Monday to Friday, and around 2,000 people a day use it at weekends. There are between 900 and 1,000 users every hour at peak times and in a single year, there were 479,810 users, creating 5.6 million page impressions.

“Clinical education is another well-used section of the intranet; while anything on infection prevention is widely viewed, for example, information on Cdifficile, MRSA and sepsis. This kind of critical information is often flagged up on the home page.

“A doctors’ referral kit was recently added on to the intranet. This was developed by junior doctors to support colleagues. If it proves useful, then we will flag it up on the home page, where we also have all the latest news, including bulletins from the chief executive.

“In all, we’ve got more than 2,000 pages of content on the intranet and about ten pages of content are created or updated every day. There are more than 100 active, voluntary editors who include doctors and nurses. If someone from any area within the Trust wants to add pages, then we will train them on how to do it.

“In essence the intranet is such an integral part of the working day within any NHS Trust that staff cannot avoid interacting with it.”

How can pharma use NHS staff intranets?

Pharma can post a range of content on NHS staff intranets, including clinical evidence papers, clinical guidelines and trials results reported in conference highlights. Reports and outcomes from joint working initiatives that show, for example, how the redesign of a care pathway, combined with new treatments, is improving patient outcomes, could also provide valuable insights nationally and regionally.

By supporting clinicians’ continuing professional development (CPD), with knowledge-improving modules and quizzes, industry can add value to the cash-strapped NHS and help HCPs, who are finding it increasingly difficult to access traditional CPD courses, owing to funding cuts.

There are currently 71 NHS Trusts in the Fendix network, which reaches more than 300 hospitals and 450,000 staff. Staff can be targeted via 80 NHS job functions, according to seniority and speciality, and by region,

Conclusion

As the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust case study shows, intranets are critical to HCPs’ working lives and they simply cannot function without them. Consequently, these widely used and well-trusted channels present a golden opportunity for pharma to collaborate with the NHS by sharing data, information and evidence. Indeed, they can form a valuable part of the multi-channel marketing mix for pharma.

For more information on Fendix, log on to www.fendixmedia.co.uk

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