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With more than 20 hospitals and services located across Australia, New Zealand and the wider Asia-Pacific region, St John of God Health Care needed an intranet that could effectively support information sharing between 14,000 caregivers in disparate locations.

Cloud Collective alliance partner Antares worked closely with St John of God Health Care’s internal communications team to deliver a modern, scalable solution on SharePoint. Completed on time and under budget, the new intranet has given St John of God Health Care caregivers a vastly successful avenue to share, collaborate, inspire, and inform.

About St John of God Health Care

St John of God Health Care is a provider of high-quality health care and community services. They employ more than 14,000 caregivers throughout Australia, New Zealand and the wider Asia-Pacific region.

The Problem

St John of God Health Care needed a new intranet to help them better serve their patients

St John of God Health Care employs more than 14,500 caregivers who share information through the organisation’s intranet. However, the previous intranet was built on ageing technology and had limited functionality. It was also very difficult for caregivers to use.

A new intranet was required to deliver timely and utilisable information to caregivers, in order to support communication, productivity, and the provision of high-quality care.

Extensive user consultation with internal stakeholders found that with the old platform:

  • Caregivers found it difficult to stay up to date with company announcements or news
  • Caregivers felt a communication breakdown between departments and management
  • Important documents were hard to find or access
  • Content was untrustworthy, due to lack of governance and no version control
  • Its limitation as a communication channel meant that leaders used other less effective means, such as emails, to communicate to their teams.

It was also on an outdated, unsupported platform that was difficult to use and required IT support to post even simple content.

Kristi Day, St John of God Health Care’s Internal and Corporate Communication Manager, says understanding the user requirements through a user driven design approach was the first step in the project.

“We sat down with caregivers from across the organisation, in workshops and one on one, to understand how they spent their day at work, the types of daily tasks they undertook and how they accessed technology in their workplaces.

“From here we created personas to guide the business requirements and design, and to ensure it had the flexibility to meet the daily work requirements of a broad range of caregivers,” says Kristi.

“We took a mobile-first approach, and a key requirement was appropriate governance over content, so that caregivers accessing resources, information, and policies would have confidence that the material is current, correct, and reliable.

“We also wanted to be able to use the intranet as a communication tool to support a strong culture of patient care and alignment and bring caregivers from our disparate locations together.”

Once the high-level requirements were developed, the organisation went to tender to find a provider who could deliver them.

“One of our requirements was that the intranet should be built on SharePoint. We decided to partner with Antares Solutions because they had an out-of-the-box framework solution that needed little customisation.

“While the Antares team is based in Sydney and we are in Perth, they offered a great support model so we knew we could work well together. Reputation, culture, and values were important to us too, and those aspects also influenced our final decision.”

The Solution

Antares delivers a new intranet to revolutionise communication and collaboration between caregivers

Kristi was the project lead for the intranet redevelopment and worked closely with Antares’ team to develop a fit-for-purpose on-premise intranet solution that met the unique needs of the organisation. The project took exactly 12 months to build and deploy.

“The size and scale of the project were significant,” says Kristi.” It was a complete build, complete with governance.

“The project was run in sprints to allow maximum flexibility and we delivered our intranet on time and under budget.”

“I always felt like I had direct access to the Antares team, and received fast answers to all of my questions. Above everything, the project was delivered on time and under budget.”

The Results

St John of God Healthcare’s new intranet empowers their caregivers to collaborate and support each other

Kristi says the key successes of the project included the capability to:

  • Communicate and collaborate
  • Create a greater sense of community
  • Achieve transparency and visibility
  • Share timely information, success stories and results
  • Be easily updated
  • Integrate a workflow approval for content
  • Ensure governance
  • See and measure how people use the intranet

“In terms of user experience, we had no idea what we were missing. Now we have a really clean, awesome intranet that gives us visibility of news and information from right across the organisation and helps us work together better.”

The real value of the intranet became apparent went COVID-19 occurred.

“Without our current intranet, sharing information and supporting caregivers would have extremely difficult.

For example, our new intranet has interactive functionality with real time Q&A. We were able to adjust this to “Ask a COVID-19 question” so caregivers could get real time answers to their most pressing COVID-19 questions.”

Kristi says they’ve also recently launched a mobile app that connects with the intranet so caregivers can access updates anytime, anywhere.

“Now we’re working together instead of everyone doing their own thing. Our intranet was never meant to be about top-down communication only. We want to create dialogue and two-way communication, as well as the opportunity for people to share information across the organisation and connect to others in similar roles.

“Our new intranet empowers our people to share knowledge, collaborate, and support other caregivers. It a real culture change in that we now share information and collaborate to achieve the best outcomes for our patients and clients.”

“The Antares team were so good to work with, and what we have delivered to our caregivers is something quite exceptional.”