De Zorggroep is a large healthcare organisation that was created by a merger of Land van Gelre and Gulick, Thuiszorg Midden-Limburg and Zorggroep Noord-Limburg. They have locations spread over five regions in North and Central Limburg and thus cover a working area of 660,000 inhabitants. De Zorggroep provides services ranging from home care to maternity care. In this interview, Thera de Pauw talks about the choice of a digital working environment for the personnel files. As Group Manager Social Policy at De Zorggroep, she is partly responsible for the work situation of the 7,500 employees and therefore the person behind the employee within the organisation.
One central personnel department
De Zorggroep is currently in the midst of a reorganisation in which it is necessary to optimise its processes. In addition, the government is also imposing cutbacks. These were some of the reasons why De Zorggroep opted for a central personnel administration department; a first step towards process optimisation. There is still a lot to be done here, because each region – a branch of De Zorggroep – has its own director and its own personnel department, consisting of Human Resources and Personnel Administration. Thera de Pauw says: “We are going to merge the Personnel Administration with the Payroll Administration at the head office. The most important thing is that all personnel files must be accessible to all personnel advisors at every location. These personnel advisors still work in the regions, so that accessibility is a requirement. What we absolutely do not want is to transport files internally and to copy the files ourselves, which is why making them digitally accessible in a professional manner was an easy choice. Centralising personnel administration is purely a matter of reorganising our Zorggroep. For us, in 2015 we will be working with three new care columns: home care as non-hospital care, inpatient care (somatic disorders) and the column care for people with dementia. This calls for a new approach.”
Thera de Pauw: “In the context of cutbacks, we are setting up as many support services as possible centrally within the organisation. This central organization is not only a result of cuts, but also a trend in the entire healthcare sector. With dozens of locations in our working area and also the home care that is not location-bound, the multi-location access to information will be a great efficiency advantage. Especially when I look at how things are going now, because the Human Resources department currently works from a fixed workplace in the region, while the payroll administration is located at the head office, in the administrative building in Venlo. The fact is that Payroll, Social Policy and Human Resources use almost the same documents, but all keep them in their own files in their own departments, which means that there are many files with the same information. If this can be consulted and edited in one system from several locations, this is already a big step towards a digital future.”
Why did De Zorggroep choose Archive-IT?
“The multi-location accessibility as I just mentioned and having one unique and complete file, were the main reasons for us to opt for digitisation. The first project was the personnel files. When we saw the Virtual File, it was decisive for the transition to the digital system. The preservation of the paper folder in digital form has ensured that users get used to this way of working very quickly. You can just browse through it, add and move your documents. Moreover, we were already used to Jalema files, which have been imitated in this digital format. During the company visit to Archive-IT, we were so impressed by the way in which Archive-IT ensures that files, both physical and digital, are secured that the choice was quickly made for us. An example of this is the gas extinguishing system, which gave us a very safe feeling. The NEN 7510 certificate – information security in health care – was not a decision factor, but we think it is very important that Archive-IT possesses it. In any case, the security of information is of the utmost importance, because we are dealing with privacy-sensitive information, whether it be care files or personnel files.”
“Archive-IT has digitised more than 8000 personnel files, which are fully accessible via the Virtual Archive, no matter where we operate. De Zorggroep has cleaned all files beforehand by its own staff, so that every file has the same layout. Mergers had led to the creation of different types of structures in the files. That is why the Horst-Venray region has created a standard tab layout, which has now resulted in a new, standard structure for the digital personnel files. Because of these different structures, this was quite a job. However, the job has ensured that we can start with a fresh start in the digital form.”
Thera de Pauw adds to that: “The trend of being able to work independently of time and place is not a recent one for us, especially if you look at home care. Our next step is to make the care files digitally available to the employees. In the ideal situation, clients, their representatives and care workers should all have access to the relevant healthcare file, each with their own rights, admittedly. We are gradually striving for a digital future”.