Employee email gets a boost with Nebraska Medicine

Picture of Firstup

Recently, our own Chuck Gose had the pleasure of speaking with Kara Haworth and Joe Evans, Senior Coordinators in Internal Communications from Nebraska Medicine, to discuss how one of America’s 100 best hospitals leverages email as part of its internal communications strategy to keep their frontline workforce informed and connected — and how you can do the same at your organization!

As the most comprehensive health network in the region with two hospitals, 12 health centers, and over 10,000 employees, Nebraska Med is a leading academic health network. But with nearly 60% of their employees on the frontline, they needed to upgrade their legacy comms system to a larger-scale digital employee experience platform to reach them all effectively – and that’s where Firstup came in.

“One of our challenges was to reach our physicians and get them engaged, as they’re not able to always check the website or their email because they’re in clinic. So we needed to find a way to get them information seamlessly.”

– Joe Evans

Out with the old

Their previous intranet was a simple website, where the comms team was doing a lot of work posting three stories a day  – followed by an additional email sent via separate software. There was no way to publish (or push) time-sensitive messages or be creative with videos or images, and they couldn’t target any specific audience(s). It was an all-or-none communications system, which wasn’t effective when trying to engage with 10,000 employees, throughout a dispersed healthcare organization, during a pandemic. 

“We had a WordPress site that functioned well but was a static internet page that we would update only a schedule. There were many challenges, but really, if there was any breaking news or any time-sensitive messages that had to go out, we had no way to do that, so we had to do an all staff email through Outlook. We just were so reliant on email.”

– Kara Haworth

It was time for an upgrade.

In with the new

When the team decided it was time to go live with Nebraska Medicine NOW, powered by Firstup, it was right in the middle of the pandemic. But that didn’t stop them from setting a record for the adoption of a new platform, and the key to that was tying SSO to registering users, resulting in nearly 100% registration right from the start.

“We needed to get information to people in real-time, especially during the time we launched the new NOW, as it was in the height of the pandemic. Firstup helped us to be able do that.”

– Joe Evans
Screen Shot at AM

The new site, and the app that they so needed to reach their workforce, were launched on January 28, 2021, and allows different parts of their platform to support each other and makes for a full engagement solution. And the proof is in the results, with 13,000 emails delivered every morning, with an average open rate of 40%.

Screen Shot at AM

“I think that the necessity of having an app is really trying to meet our employees where they are, so they can have that information in the palms of their hands.”

– Joe Evans

The implementation of Nebraska Medicine NOW has streamlined their comms efforts, allowing them more time to focus on other initiatives.

A big thank you to Kara Haworth and Joe Evans from Nebraska Medicine and be sure to watch the on-demand webinar to learn how they are putting employee communication and engagement first, along with the tips and tricks they learned on the way that can help your organization do the same.

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