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In its first year, Yale New Haven Health System's HRConnect benefits service center received more than 1,800 website views and 662 calls on average, per week.

"It has been a great success," said Marge Stehman, HRConnect manager. "Employees have really embraced it." The service, which launched Sept. 30, 2015, makes it easy for employees at all delivery networks to access accurate, timely benefits information, 24/7, 365 days a year, online or by phone. HRConnect supplies information about benefits that are standardized across the health system, as well as those specific to a particular YNHHS organization.

Employees can access HRConnect by calling a toll-free number, 1-844-543- 2147, 7:30 am - 5 pm Monday - Friday. Seven experienced YNHHS Human Resources representatives staff the call center, so most inquiries can be handled immediately.

An online, self-help portal, ynhhs.org/hrconnect, is available at any time. It features an easy-to-use search function that can locate specific information about health and voluntary benefits, leaves of absence, disability coverage, life insurance, PTO, retirement, tuition reimbursement and other topics. Employees can also submit a confidential inquiry (open a case) online about benefit matters for response by an HRConnect associate.

The portal is particularly helpful for employees who work evening and night shifts; during the first year, 345 online articles a week, on average, were viewed between 5 pm and 7 am.

"I think employees appreciate the portal and the search function," said Ani Lopez, HRConnect advisor. "They can bring up a lot of information and create cases any time of day. They can also track cases they've already opened."

The most common inquiries are about medical claims, leave of absence and tuition reimbursement, Stehman said. HRConnect staff are gearing up for open enrollment for benefits, scheduled to begin at the end of the month. Last year, eight associates handled an average of 3,500 web views and 1,300 calls a week during open enrollment.

"We were glad to get so many inquiries," Stehman said. "That's what we're here for."