Due to its scale and size nationally, the Ministry of Health has always faced a structural challenge: establish an effective, agile and uniform relationship in order to integrate and encourage actions and activities of its over 17,000 workers – such as civil servants, interns, scholarship students and outsourced parties –that will occur in a harmonious and synchronized way to maximize results. This situation led the Communication Department of the Office of the Minister – through FSB Comunicação – to reassess the format and language used by the actors responsible for the ministry’s organizational communication.
Based on evaluations performed and the internal perception of the main actors involved in these processes – especially regarding the needs and potential of the tools and the communication model used until then – FSB Comunicação concluded that, among the existing mediums (internal systems, memos, printed and electronic mail, email marketing and bulletins, among others), the intranet managed by ASCOM, known as Intra Saúde (Intra Health), would be the most suitable platform to help disseminate information in a timely, prompt and appropriate manner among all the units of the Ministry of Health in Brazil, provided a new model was developed.
Three important problems were mapped on the intranet which was in effect up until that point:
- Almost nonexistent integration:technological barriers prevented access to Intra Health by all the Ministry of Health units in the Federal District and 26 State Centers;
- Non-uniform messages:another 20 intranets with independent formats and languages coexisted with Intra Health;
- Feeling of not belonging:the intranet did not motivate workers to participate since it was lacking resources and engagement strategies; in addition, the knowledge generated and shared flowed only from higher to lower hierarchical levels.
Faced with a practically unilateral internal communication model, an outdated tool, and a political-economic situation not conducive to acquiring a new intranet, FSB Comunicação spotted an opportunity on another corporate platform that already existed in the Ministry of Health and needed to be leveraged. Implemented in the Ministry of Health in 2011, the CorpSUS Network had still not managed to consolidate itself as a universally used tool even in the Federal District, where its use was encouraged the most.
As this platform had the potential to be transformed into a new tool capable of improving internal communication and work processes, ASCOM, through FSB Comunicação, embarked on a collaborative communication project that would merge the new Intranet and CorpSUS network in the same environment. It entered into a partnership with DATASUS (Informatics Department of the Brazilian Public Health System) and its contracted party XYS Interatividade to develop an efficient internal communication tool based on the existing platform. This was the first step toward the birth of Integra MS.
3. CHALLENGES AND OBJECTIVES
Called Integra MS, the new internal communication tool was to be built on the following premises: collaboration, integration, extensive network, diversification of content and services, harmonized objectives, and synchronized actions and means. To achieve this, it was necessary to:
- a) Promote national integration,enabling interaction between the Ministry of Health and all its workers in the country and, at the same time, encourage the relationship between them and the sharing of their experiences;
- b) Engage and give recognition to workers from the Ministry of Health, through resources that would enable individual and collective participation, where the knowledge generated would be shared and socialized by both managers and workers;
- c) Homogenize and attune the messages to the needs and interests of users, unifying the intranets of the Ministry of Health into a single platform to provide global and timely communication of standardized information;
- d) Decentralize information management to strategic areas,so that the intranet is shared with the other organizational units of the Ministry of Health, thereby providing greater diversification of content and wealth of information;
- e) Provide facilities and services to enhance activities, so that the new intranet would be a useful work tool, with resources that would encourage its use in everyday work tasks.
Integra MS has already obtained positive results in its first five months of operation. The data below are in relation to the period from January to May, 2017:
- For the first time, the intranet of the Ministry of Health is being accessed by all the Ministry of Health units in Brazil, totaling 5.2 million accesses;
- Registration is significant,corresponding to 44.18% (7,512) of the total number of workers (17,000, according to the Ministry of Health) from the Federal District units and 26 State Centers;
- It should be noted that there is no expectation that 100% of workers will register, since a portion of them do not use digital access regularly in their work environment. It is calculated that around 12,000 people can be reached through the intranet, i.e. 63% of the potential publichas been reached in just five months;
- Workers actively use the intranet.In May, 85%(6,450) of registered users (7,512) accessed Integra MS to perform an activity of some kind;
- In May, an average of 4,800 people per daysearched for information and/or used the available resources;
- Workers created 99 Collaborative Work Spacesin the first five months the tool has been in operation;
- Shared on the timeline of the cover by workers and managers, the information generated gained greater exposure and use;
- The decentralization of information management to 19 Ministry of Health departments diversified the type of content and volumeoffered.
Integra MS modernized, democratized and spread the use of the intranet. With the tool in full operation, the average monthly number of page views was 1 million from January to May, 2017; last month, the average number of page views per user was 119. The new tool also created the conditions to keep workers abreast of institutional, staff-related, organizational and news messages, with the speed, timeliness, perception, propagation and, especially, simplicity and accessibility, that digital formats normally enable.
With shared information management, which was previously concentrated in ASCOM, Integra MS has more than doubled the amount of news posted (monthly average of 284) compared to the previous intranet Intra Health (monthly average of 107), which was achieved through the engagement and collaboration of the managing departments.
In terms of collaboration, workers from the Ministry also played a relevant role, as shown by the fact that in only 5 months – from January to May, 2017 – they created 99 Work Spaces, 29% higher than the annual average (76.5) obtained by the CorpSUS Network over the course of 5 years, between 2011 and 2016. These results indicate a concrete possibility that by the end of 12 months of operation, annualized use of the intranet will be 210% higher than the level obtained through the previous tool.
The results of Integra MS are steering the new intranet toward the desired purpose of implementing a collaborative communication model within the Ministry of Health. Ministry employees currently have what they were lacking in the past: autonomy and the means to directly contribute to the institution through the creation, supply, discussion, participation in and sharing of information, proposals and solutions for daily challenges.