A community health provider on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, West Cecil Health Center’s mission is to provide high-quality healthcare accessible to all. So, when faced with meeting virtually amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization’s board of directors searched for an option that would ensure ease of access to all board members.
Before the pandemic, Devon Ragan, in her Board Liaison role at West Cecil Health Center, would spend hours building board packets before board meetings. Her process included printing out documents, organizing them into a packet, copying and compiling the packet for each board member ahead of the meeting, and then mailing them out to any members who had missed the board meetings.
This tactic presented two challenges: managing last-minute changes or additions to the packet and how to manage packet distribution while Ragan worked remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At first, Ragan tried using Adobe to compile electronic board packets. “It was just very resource-intensive and cumbersome,” Ragan explained. “I would email it out, and then the board would find their email to open the packet that I had sent them.”
And then, if the board packet changed between when Ragan first sent the email and the meeting, there was a very real chance that board members would be looking at a different version of the documents. “It was just very inconsistent.”
But the team at West Cecil Health Center realized that in their experience was an opportunity—“We realized this was the perfect time to recommend using an actual board portal technology,” Ragan said.
Ragan and her colleagues had previously searched for an ideal solution but couldn’t find an answer that matched their needs and price point. “When we searched for things, it was all the flashy names—their technology was nice, and their features were nice. But the price points just weren’t reasonable. We see patients for as low as $20, and we cannot afford that software, even with their discounts.”
It seemed hopeless until a new board chair revitalized the search.
“When our current board chair first came into his role, he came in prepared to be an effective leader and wanted to do his job well,” Ragan recalled. “He was looking around on the Internet for resources on how to fulfill his new role and found Boardable. He asked ‘In your research for board portals, did you check this one out?’”
They hadn’t—and all it took was a short demo with Boardable to know that Boardable was the perfect solution for West Cecil Health Center.
To ensure that Boardable’s launch was a success after purchasing a subscription, Ragan knew that she needed to devise a strategy to make onboarding easy for board members. To do this, she partnered with West Cecil Health Center’s IT Manager and created email accounts for each board member on the organization’s domain. Then the organization purchased iPads for each board member for official use. This strategy served two purposes: one, it allowed them to have official email addresses and devices for security, and two, it allowed Ragan to build an onboarding experience for the first time they logged into Boardable.
“We then scheduled time with each board member to come in to pick up their iPad,” Ragan said. “Our IT Manager and I were on-site with them and said, ‘Here’s your device. Here’s how to use it. Let’s get you logged into Boardable right now. Here’s how to access your documents. Here’s where you RSVP to meetings.”
Ragan even went so far as to create a fake meeting and tasks assigned to each board member as they logged into Boardable to use the software in real-time and see how it works. Ragan’s effort paid off—the board held its first meeting with Boardable in January and went off without a hitch.
“I was expecting it to be a long meeting, knowing that it was new technology and the first time they had used it,” Ragan said. “And it was seamless.”
With Boardable, Ragan’s marathon sessions building board packets were over. “Now, when I make my packet, I’m able to pull the documents from the last meeting and add it to the agenda,” Ragan said. “And the minute-taking feature is amazing. We publish the minutes as soon as they’re approved, and then they live there. It has just made everything a lot easier.”
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