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Technology To Build An Effective Community Healthcare Board

Embracing Technology to Build an Effective Community Healthcare Board


As a board member of a community healthcare nonprofit, working within the rapidly evolving landscape of healthcare, you probably face a multitude of challenges that require problem solving and innovative solutions. One key aspect crucial to your organization’s success is that you have a really effective board.

Technology offers transformative opportunities to enhance collaboration, streamline your operations, and improve decision-making for your community healthcare board. In this article, we delve into the reasons why technology adoption is now essential for building an efficient and forward-thinking community healthcare board, exploring the benefits, challenges, and best practices that arise when integrating technology into board governance.

By embracing technology, community healthcare boards can unlock their full potential and better serve the needs of their communities in an increasingly interconnected world.

From setting goals to managing missions to setting your board members up for success

As boards increasingly turn to more and more digital governance tools, directors can position themselves as tech-enabled decision-makers. Introducing governance technology can help improve your boards’ efficiency, communication, and clarity.

Unique challenges separate community healthcare boards from other nonprofit boards – in particular, being able to balance executive management with the clinical practices and administration they support, meaning they need both clinical and corporate governance solutions. With more to track, board management software ensures that all corporate and clinical governance aspects are covered, up-to-date, and secure.

A Shift in Community Healthcare

According to Scott Sette, partner at Heidrick & Struggles, healthcare patients and communities demand more digital and personalized care than ever. Delivering that care needs your board to be effective, up-to-speed, and have quick access to all the data they need to make timely decisions.

Shifting priorities in healthcare have led to the need for boards to develop the skillsets of current board members, particularly around digital transformation, risk and cybersecurity. Boards are now seeking to change their demographics by recruiting diverse new members with fresh perspectives. They must also provide training and onboarding support for new members to set them up for success.

“The traditional etiquette on these boards has been to sit quietly, listen, and learn for a couple of years—which is now a couple of years too many. New directors sought for specific skills must be able to contribute value immediately.” – Scott Sette

Technology for Healthcare Boards

Modern boards can better serve their organizations with a more diverse board comprising members with various skills. As community healthcare boards adopt new changes to help them adapt to the evolving digital space, technology plays a key role in governance for healthcare organizations.

Governance technology enables your community healthcare board to:

  • Set your mission and goals
  • Manage meetings
  • Practice good board governance
  • Access the right data
  • Diversify membership
  • Develop and train board members
  • Onboard new members
  • Measure and self-evaluate

Board portals are designed to facilitate secure communication and engagement among board members, executives and others involved in the healthcare governance process. Download our free white paper, where we examine key challenges and issues that arise when considering boardroom technology for healthcare boards, including what criteria to consider when selecting board portal software.

Setting the Mission and Goals

Board members should always focus on the organization’s mission, vision, and purpose when setting the board’s strategic plan and making decisions. On an individual level, board members must think beyond the board’s ability to deliver on the mission; they must each reflect on how their unique skill sets will help them to accomplish the mission.

Board software facilitates healthcare community boards by storing documents, handbooks, policies, articles of association, mission statements, and videos in a secure, customizable platform. Keeping the organization’s mission at the core of each decision will ensure that the board is working toward meeting its community’s healthcare needs.

Managing Meetings

From day-to-day operations to large-scale review and planning sessions, modern governance tools facilitate meetings and simplify meeting management. Leveraging a fully secure, digital, and streamlined agenda and meeting management process allows the board to focus on high-quality decisions rather than meeting preparation.

Technology enables community healthcare board secretaries and administrators to streamline their planning and preparation process, send out board packets, update agendas, and more, but board management software is more than just a meeting prep tool. Board governance software equips boards with secure access to materials for meeting prep, tools to collaborate and document tracking.

All board members must have access to all the information they need at their fingertips to be able to prepare for meetings and make data-driven decisions.

Practicing Good Board Governance

By creating a board culture that values discussion (as opposed to passive agreement) and efficiency (as opposed to inconsequential distraction), boards can frame meeting agendas for good governance and rely upon current data to inform decisions.

Using a modern governance solution, boards can provide members with essential documents to help them prepare for upcoming meetings, share supplemental information, take straw polls for discussion, and more. It’s about giving board members access to the right information at the right time for more effective data-driven decision-making.

Look for top-of-the-line governance tools to support best modern governance practices and efficiency for your healthcare board.

Accessing the Right Data

For effective data-driven decision-making, your board needs the right data at the right time. Technology can be a real boon here, by making one place available to find the key data and even integrating with key systems for reporting.

Technology helps free the board to focus on strategic planning to help you move forward with your mission.

Board Membership and Roles/Responsibilities

Regularly introducing boards to new viewpoints is a top priority to improve board effectiveness. An effective board prioritizes variety among its members. Diversity may include diverse skillsets, abilities, experiences, ethnicities, and political views, but it could also include geographic diversity.

Boards and committees should prioritize a range of diverse recruits when those recruits also have relevant skillsets in desirable areas such as human resources, finance, cybersecurity, and governance.

When you use technology to support good governance, your board diversity can be analyzed, skills gaps identified and roles/responsibilities made clear to all board members.

Board Development and Training

As a community healthcare board member, it’s important to stay up-to-date on all aspects of your community, healthcare, and corporate governance to be effective. Technology enables community healthcare board members further to develop the skills of its sitting board members, to fill gaps in highly desirable areas and upskill where necessary.

By providing more opportunities for members to grow, and offering training regularly, it helps to keep board members engaged while reinforcing the mission. With technology like BoardEffect, board members can access your organization’s collection of key resources anywhere, anytime, on any device.

Board Member Onboarding

A robust onboarding process for newly elected board members is necessary to transition volunteers into their roles and set them up for success.

Technology makes it easy to onboard your new board members. Store your board’s complete onboarding and board development resource deck in a centralized repository like BoardEffect’s library, a customizable cloud-based management system. Quick onboarding means your new board member can start being effective much quicker.

Measuring and Self-Evaluation

How do you know if your board is being effective? By holding regular evaluations and reviews to examine the contributions of individual board members and directors.

And, how do you know if you are making progress against your board’s and organizational goals? With online board governance tools like BoardEffect, you can access and analyze data to show progress, carry out self-evaluation, even issues surveys, host polls as well as collaborating through discussions, to make sure you really are hitting the mark.

Final thoughts

Embracing technology can make a measurable impact on your board’s effectiveness. BoardEffect is a safe, secure, cloud-based governance suite that users can access anytime, anywhere, and from any device. You can manage meetings, workflow, conduct polls, distribute surveys, review board performance, and more, with metrics to help your board make the best decisions for your healthcare organization.


Jill Holtz

Jill is a Content Strategy Manager at Diligent. Her strategy background and content expertise working across a variety of sectors, including education, non-profit and with local government partners, allows her to provide unique insights for organizations looking to achieve modern governance.

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