Coordinating consultation with super users

We recently learned from our client Metro North Hospital and Health Service about their initiative to streamline Citizen Space through the creation of super users (department admin users). We love watching our clients’ innovation, and Shelley from Metro North, was able to shed some light on how they actioned this initiative and the outcomes it has  achieved:

Shelley, why did you create super users at Metro North?

‘The creation of super users has allowed Metro North staff to have greater coordination and functionality at a local level when conducting consultations and has increased staff capability. As the uptake of staff using Citizen Space continued to increase, we needed to change our organisation’s approach to how we used the tool, and the decentralised model has been the perfect response.’

How do the super users work?

‘To commence the decentralisation model, frequent Citizen Space users were identified and approached to be trained as super users. This enabled them to take control at a local level within their department by doing things such as setting up news users, publishing their own and their peers’ surveys, monitoring surveys that were published within their department to minimise duplication and advocating for staff to use Citizen Space, both within their department and across the organisation. We have found that super users have also recruited second and third super users within their own department.

‘We have continued to grow our super user list through identifying high users, as well as users who are very confident in using the tool and confident in supporting others to do so. We have also approached users in smaller departments to be a super user, aiming to have at least one super user per department.

‘We provide face-to-face, individual and group training and networking opportunities for our super users to share and learn from each other, which we are already seeing in departments that have more than one super user.’

What were the benefits to creating super users?

‘We have found that staff have responded positively to the super user model and want local control, flexibility and coordination. We have seen an increase in collaboration within departments and have reduced survey duplication.

‘It has also reduced the demand on our small team – which was required, as the centralised model was neither efficient nor sustainable with our growing number of users.

‘The initiation of super users also provided opportunistic education with staff on consumer engagement.  We built new relationships with staff who we had not previously connected with and strengthened existing relationships. This has included increasing staff awareness of consumer engagement and providing education and support to staff to enable them to connect and engage with patients (including awareness of our team and what we do).’

Have you witnessed any positive outcomes?

‘Absolutely! The super user model has embedded a shared sense of responsibility across the organisation for consultations, be it with external stakeholders such as patients, the community and organisations or internally with staff. Teams have improved their internal communication and are working more collaboratively. 

‘We are also delighted with the unexpected outcome of increasing and strengthening internal relationships with staff across Metro North. We have increased staff awareness and education in consumer engagement, resulting in an increase in consumer involvement in activities across the organisation, building an even stronger patient-centred care culture.’