Healthcare professions forums – intranet chat rooms

Name: Laura Drummond


Your Service: Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust Knowledge Service

Who asked: Healthcare Professions Lead

What did they say?: He wanted input from the Knowledge Service on how to supplement the activities of the recently established Healthcare Professions networking forums (Communities of Practice) within the Trust who meet face-to-face on a semi-regular basis. He particularly wanted to find a way for staff to continue the work of the forums between meetings and across a wide geographical area.

What did you do?:  We established chat rooms for each of the professions (e.g. allied health professions, pharmacy and nursing) as well as a general chat room for multi-professional networking. We then liaised with IT to ensure that the intranet pages for each discipline linked across to each chat room. The chat rooms were created using the “discussion board” feature on SharePoint, which the Trust uses for its intranet site.

The Knowledge Service team liaised between various staff to promote and encourage participation in the chat rooms, including the Healthcare Professions Lead, the Leads for each discipline and an Organisational Development Facilitator.

After initial setup, the chat rooms are now self-organised and autonomous. Staff are able to set up email alerts for whenever someone posts on a board or get a daily or weekly digest.

How did it help?: The chat rooms that are being used regularly provide a record and store way to manage knowledge.

Although not all chat rooms are being used as extensively as they could be, in general the chat rooms are going some way to allow the forums to achieve their full potential by allowing staff who cannot attend to access and participate in discussion and share good practice.

So far, staff have added the following to the chat rooms:

  • Minutes from meetings
  • Survey into use of new technology
  • Promotion of courses and events
  • Terms of Reference for networks
  • Sharing of event outcomes
  • Literature Search results
  • Revalidation Queries
  • “You said, we did”
  • Bursaries and studentships
  • Job adverts

The Knowledge Service now plan to more extensively promote the chat rooms via the Communications team.

May 2016