The impact of technology was evident Thursday morning (January 26th) as members of the Three Rivers Health Authority Board – equipped with iPad computers – conducted their first meeting electronically, rather than with the customary packet of printed materials.
The ‘Board Education’ portion of the meeting – at the outset of the session – reflected the technology transition with an online “demonstration,” conducted via the iPads by Sonia Stamm, E-governance Consultant with BoardEffect, Inc. The company, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has been engaged by Three Rivers Health to assist the hospital and the board In the process of “going green.” As a supplement to training provided earlier after delivery of the iPads to board members in late December, Stamm reviewed some key points about BoardEffect®. She concluded her presentation by discussing ways for board members to get help in using the system and noted the company’s User Start-up Guide. (Sonia Stamm audio clip – :39)
During a post-meeting interview with the River Country Journal, Three Rivers Health CEO Bill Russell said BoardEffect® “allows us to put our board packets, our governance packet, out on a secured website where each of the board members through a secured log-on can access the information. It also has a more robust website associated to it that will allow us to post a lot of the information that’s bulky, that requires board involvement and oversight like their bylaws, like our medical staff bylaws, like the rules and regulations.”
Russell said, “We are still in the process of fully implementing some of the components of this new service, but as we continue to assimilate more of our appreciation for it, most of our committee functions will be attended through that. It allows us to communicate through an electronic calendar to the entire board, simultaneously, the events that are occurring throughout the hospital.”
Russell said the electronic approach “eliminates a lot of paper use and the photocopying of tons of paper and mail expense of distributing all of that paper over time. It allows us to communicate at light speed and distribute material at light speed.” He said there are “lots of real positives” with BoardEffect® and – reflecting on the new system and the just-concluded board meeting, said, “It’s just making old dogs like me and some of our other board members try to figure out how to use this stuff. It’s somewhat entertaining from time to time, but I think our board meeting, in light of the significant process changes, actually went pretty well this month.” (Bill Russell audio clip – :43)
To hear the interview with Bill Russell on the topic of BoardEffect® – an interview recorded by Bruce Snook of the River Country Journal – click on the following link: Bill Russell interview (5:18 – 4.86 MB).