Healthcare Communications Approaches

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Dana Farber - Healthcare Communications Approaches

Dana Farber uses phone, email and Partners Patient Gateway to communicate with patients and has its own studio as well as Department of Communications which is available to assist with public interviews. Dana Farber also offers learning programs to its employees and insights on the communications structure is provided below.

Communication with patients

partners patient gateway

  • Dana Farber uses Partners Patient Gateway as a way to communicate with adult patients.
  • Patients need to use their email to enroll in the Partners Patient Gateway and the portal can be accessed by using a web browser as well as downloading the smartphone app.
  • This way Dana Farber informs patients about their lab and X-ray results and news and alerts such as updates on the availability of flu vaccines, among others.


  • Dana Farber sends important information to patients electronically using e-mail.
  • This way they also conduct patient surveys, inform about unplanned events, weather-related closings or delays, ask for billing information for insurance verification, provide information regarding account balance and send payment reminders.
  • Using e-mail, they also send E-Bulletins once a month which deliver short, timely news on things such as events or patient programs and key information such as new resources for patients.


  • Dana Farber uses phone to remind patients about appointment times as well as to confirm or reschedule appointments.
  • Reminders are sent to remind of exam or radiology appointments rather than infusion or radiation therapies.
  • This way, they also inform patients about any appointment cancellation or reschedulements.
  • At any time during the phone calls, patients can use their phone's touchtone keypad to take the following actions: confirming or rescheduling appointments and repeating the message.
  • Also, the automated system can leave voicemail when call is not picked up.

Press relations

  • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's Department of Communications is available to assist with questions regarding Institute research and care initiatives, locating an expert in a certain area of clinical or research expertise, or obtaining more information about a news event or release.
  • Dana Farber requests that journalists speak with a member of media relations team to arrange an interview.
  • To maintain patient confidentiality and privacy, a communication staff person is required to accompany reporters, film crews and photographers during their time at Dana-Farber.
  • Their studio is equipped with VideoLink HD ReadyCam system, which helps provide instant access to cancer specialists and scientists directly from TV stations.
  • Also, Enhanced IP™ Transmission technology allows Dana Farber doctors or researchers to do live or taped interviews over the internet.


Helpful findings

learning programs for employees

  • Dana Farber offers learning programs to its employees. Some of them are Effective Presentations; Resolving Conflict at Work; English as a Second Language Program; Customer Service; Microsoft Office computer courses; and writing classes.
  • Also, managers can enhance career and leadership skills through extended programs such as a six-month Leadership Certificate Program, a 5-month Supervising at its Best series, and various other.

Research Strategy:

For communication organization structure within Dana Farber, we consulted LinkedIn job descriptions to locate positions that report to higher positions and listed them in communication organization structure section. We weren't able to completely cover how Dana Farber communicates with employees. We began by searching through the company's official website which only provided information on the learning programs offered by the company to its employees. However, this information was not sufficient for the given criteria, hence, we have provided it as a helpful finding. Next, we tried scouring through healthcare journals such as MDPI, JHMHP Amegroup, and HHMGLOBAL looking to find any reports on communication between healthcare providers and their employees that mentioned Dana Farber. This provided information on internal communications such as telehealth, but no data specific to Dana Farber was found. Following this, we then decided to change our approach by identifying ways healthcare providers communicate with their employees. We identified things such as desktop alerts or employee experience platforms, and then looked for any traces that mention if Dana Farber uses these ways. However, we couldn't find such information in relation to Dana Farber. Ultimately, In order to find information on how Dana Farber communicates with employees, as a last resort we decided to consult Linkedin and Crunchbase, locate current job positions and look into job descriptions to see if any mentioned communication systems employees would use, however no such thing was mentioned there. We have therefore assumed that the lack of data is probably due to scarce information made publicly available around this particular subject.

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Cleveland Clinic - Healthcare Communications Approaches

Cleveland Clinic communicates with patients via phone, live chat, and email. The healthcare organization communicates with employees via the employee hotline, HR portal, and email. It communicates with the press via the newsroom and phone.


  • Cleveland Clinic’s Frequently Asked Questions web page provides information related to its doctors, diagnostics & testing, amenities, billing, insurance, locations, medical records, parking, and others.
  • The Live Chat service featured Cleveland Clinic representatives fielding questions through a free and secured platform during the business hours on weekdays.
  • Patients can submit an online form via Cleveland Clinic’s website to make inquiries.
  • They can also call Cleveland Clinic for inquiries on appointments, doctors, locations, pharmacy & laboratory services, and others.


  • Employees can use the Employee Hotline to schedule mammogram screenings.
  • The employees’ benefits are managed through the ONE HR Workday and Portal.
  • The Employee Health Plan portal provides employees with support for all health benefits administration.
  • Employees can also communicate with the management via email by logging in to the company’s mail server.


  • The Newsroom section of the website offers resources for journalists and media outlets.
  • Cleveland Clinic’s Media Relations team can be contacted via phone during the business hours on weekdays.


  • Angela Smith, the Director of Corporate Communications, reports to the Senior Directors of Corporate Communications such as Heather Phillips, Janice Guhl-Hammer and Angie Kiska.
  • The Senior Directors of Corporate Communications report to Eileen Sheil, the Executive Director of Corporate Communications.
  • Sheil (and the rest of the executive leadership) reports to the CEO Tomislav (Tom) Mihaljevic.


From Part 01
  • "Partners Patient Gateway is Dana-Farber's preferred way to communicate with adult patients."
  • " It lets you exchange non-urgent messages with your care team, view and update parts of your medical record, and more."
  • "Get your lab and X-ray results online Request new appointments and prescription refills Exchange non-urgent messages with your doctor Update your allergies, known health conditions, and current medications Get reminders about upcoming appointments Access portions of your medical record Get timely news and alerts, such as updates on the availability of flu vaccines"
  • "Use a personal email address you have secure and regular access to as your username for Patient Gateway."
  • "There is a mobile app available for Android and iPhone smartphones, you can download it for free from your app store."
  • "To have the best and most secure experience using Partners Patient Gateway, we ask that you are using a recent version of one of today's modern browsers such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox or Safari."
  • "We ask patients to provide their email address when registering at Dana-Farber because we would like to send important information electronically."
  • "Email messages from Dana-Farber include: E-Bulletin for Patients and Families, which delivers short, timely news and key information, approximately once a month Occasional surveys about your experience as a patient Emergency updates about unplanned events, weather-related closings, or delays Registration and Billing information for insurance verification, account balance, and payment reminders"
  • "If you or a loved one is a patient at Dana-Farber, you may want to receive the E-Bulletin for Patients and Families, which sends occasional short, timely updates about Dana-Farber by email."
  • "The E-Bulletin comes out about once a month and includes information such as: The latest news and updates on services and programs for patients Upcoming workshops, educational seminars, and other events New resources available to patients and family members Occasional surveys designed to help improve the patient experience"
  • "After your first visit to Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center, we may call your home to remind you of the date and time of your next appointment. You will receive this call from an automated phone system a few days ahead, which you can use to quickly confirm or reschedule your appointment."
  • "You will only receive a reminder call if your visit includes an exam or radiology appointment. If you are coming in only for infusion or radiation therapy, you will not receive a reminder. We will also use this system to notify you if your appointment has to be cancelled or rescheduled."
  • "At any time during the phone call, you can use your phone's touchtone keypad to take the following actions: Press "1" to confirm your appointment Press "2" to reschedule your appointment Press "3" to hear the message again"
  • "If you are unable to answer your phone, the automated system will leave a brief message on your voicemail or answering machine."
  • " I look forward to working with all of Dana-Farber’s clinicians and scientists to find innovative therapies in the coming years."
  • "All employees can participate in learning opportunities such as Effective Presentations; Resolving Conflict at Work; English as a Second Language Program; Customer Service; Microsoft Office computer courses; and writing classes."
  • "Managers can enhance career and leadership skills through extended programs such as a six-month Leadership Certificate Program, a 5-month Supervising at its Best series, and various other opportunities."
  • "Reporting to the Manager of Environmental Health & Safety the Sr. Specialist, Construction and Fire Safety will undertake and oversee a wide variety of complex safety program oversight tasks"
  • "Under the direction of the HR Analytics Manager in the function of HRIS Integration, this role works both independently and as part of a high-functioning team in a fast-paced organization"
  • "The Clinical Research Financial Analyst will report to the Director of the Clinical Trial Business Office at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute."
  • "Reporting to the Vice President of Finance, the Senior Director of Financial Planning will oversee the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Dana-Farber or the Institute) Financial Planning department"
  • "The Director reports to the VP for the cellular therapies service line across three hospitals"
  • "The Scientific Director will report directly to the Center Directors and will work closely with them"
  • "Within the Computational Solutions team under the Chief Health Information Office, the Software Engineer, Front-end Development"
  • "Oversee, manage and coordinate all Human Resources activities for Center staff"
  • "Reporting to the Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, the Director of Digital Marketing and Communications provides leadership and accountability for Dana-Farber’s online marketing and communications initiatives"
  • "The role of Business Operation Manager, Informatics & Analytics will also have a matrix reporting line to the Chief Health Information Officer of DFCI."
  • "Reporting to the Manager of interpreter Services, the Program Coordinator/Interpreter Services is responsible for the day-to-day coordination of activities designed to standardize the accessibility and delivery of language assistance services to DFCI patients, families, faculty and staff. "
  • "Journalists are welcome at Dana-Farber. To arrange an interview, videotaping session or photo shoot, please contact the Department of Communications at 617-632-4090 and speak with a member of the media relations team."
  • "Dana-Farber requires advance notice from media representatives to coordinate the visit, including parking arrangements and the participation of interview subjects. To maintain patient confidentiality and privacy, a Communications staff person is required to accompany reporters, film crews and photographers during their time at Dana-Farber."
  • "Dana-Farber's broadcast quality television and production studio includes a VideoLink HD ReadyCam™ system, which helps provide the fastest access to some of the nation's leading cancer specialists and scientists. Whether it's breaking news or a landmark clinical trial, you can now interview our experts on camera without ever leaving your station. Leading-edge Enhanced IP™ Transmission technology allows top cancer doctors and researchers to do live or taped interviews for your news broadcast, any time, anywhere, now via the internet."