Boston Children’s Hospital

 | Case Study

Lighting up a healthcare community

How an intelligent communication platform gave thousands of employees the tools to become storytellers.

How it started

When one-way communication is not enough

“We’re the place the world comes for answers,” says Stephen Coldwell, Director of Internal and Executive Communications at Boston Children’s Hospital. “We’re also the local hospital down the street.” Voted the best pediatric hospital in the nation nine years in a row, and home to the world’s largest pediatric research facility, for more than 150 years Boston Children’s Hospital has seen children and families through some of the darkest and brightest days of their lives.

Stephen and his team know the value of storytelling to unite a community; he and his colleagues have long been sharing meaningful stories to inspire the 16,000 employees at Boston Children’s Hospital. But without an intelligent communication platform that easily enabled employee-generated content, they also knew that some of their most powerful stories were not being told.

“We had so many communications vehicles, and every single one of them was one way — us pushing out information. Our core value for internal communications is that everybody who works for us has a story that’s worth telling.”

Employee Boston Childrens Crop

Where they landed

‘Reminds you why you work for Boston Children’s Hospital’

Engaging healthcare workers is an ongoing challenge for the industry, with a complex combination of factors influencing recruitment and retention rates. Stephen says Scope 360, their Firstup intelligent communication platform, has enhanced his team’s ability to reach every Boston Children’s Hospital employee.

“With Scope 360, it takes maybe ten minutes to send a professional looking, tested, proofread newsletter out to the entire community. Four hours before Scope 360, 10 minutes after Scope 360: They say time is money, but you can’t buy time.”

But communication, of course, isn’t just one way. With Scope 360, Boston Children’s Hospital has the tools to listen to employees, and to understand what they want and need to shine.

“The metrics package with Scope 360 is mind-boggling,” Stephen says. “We are learning more than we have ever had access to before. Being able to actually see who is engaging with what content, who are our most engaged employees, is big. It’s also helped us understand. If we have an idea of what is really appealing to people, it helps us decide where we want to focus our efforts.”

“We are focused on the question of [how to ensure] people feel like they belong, and that they’re part of the mission,” Stephen explains. “For us, engagement is about, ‘We talk to you all the time. It’s your turn to talk to us.’”

Stephen recalls a recent post on Scope 360 that resonated with many Boston Children’s Hospital employees, about a patient who has spent most of his young life there who had a superhero-themed birthday party in the ICU.

“That lights people up,” Stephen says, “because, on your worst day, that reminds you why you work for Boston Children’s Hospital in the first place.”

“We’ve created the platform. We have created the tools for our employees to tell their own story and to help us tell the Boston Children’s story.”


Boston Children’s Hospital

Boston Children’s Hospital is dedicated to improving and advancing the health and well-being of children around the world through its life-changing work in clinical care, biomedical research, medical education, and community engagement. Boston Children’s is ranked the number one pediatric hospital in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. It is home to the world’s largest pediatric research enterprise, and it is the leading recipient of pediatric research funding from the National Institutes of Health. It is the primary pediatric teaching hospital for Harvard Medical School. Boston Children’s treats more children with rare diseases and complex conditions than any other hospital.

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