Tell the Human Side of Your Health IT Story
This week I’m exploring each of the five goals outlined in the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan, spotlighting how health IT marketing communications leaders can use them to accelerate thought leadership efforts and become a leading voice in the discussion.
The five federal health IT goals identified by the ONC as priorities in the years 2015 – 2020 are:
- Expand Adoption of Health IT
- Advance Secure and Interoperable Health Information
- Strengthen Health Care Delivery
- Advance the Health and Well-Being of Individuals and Communities
- Advance Research, Scientific Knowledge, and Innovation
After covering the role of communications in supporting health IT’s expansion,interoperable health information, and improved care delivery, what more could there be? Taking it to the next level – actual results and improved well-being across both individuals and populations.
Goal 4: Advance the Health and Well-Being of Individuals and Communities.
Objective A: Empower individual, family, and caregiver health management and engagement.
Before diving into this, let’s pause and appreciate what the ONC did here – they involved the family caregiver and loved ones of individuals as key stewards of care. If I can get on my soapbox for a moment, let me remind you of a few key stats:
- Four in 10 U.S. adults are family caregivers, responsible for a sick or elderly family member (Pew Research Center)
- These caregivers spend approximately 20 hours per week caring for their loved ones (National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP)
- The value of services family caregivers provide for “free” was estimated at $450 billion a year five years ago and is expected to be worth even more now (National Alliance for Caregiving and Evercare)
The story here is immense, and it will only grow as the chronically ill population continues to increase. What’s YOUR story around supporting and enabling not only patients, but also their families? Finding that storytelling sweet spot, and influencing your executive team to keep this population in mind will help you broaden your vision and tap into an entirely new conversation.
Objective B: Protect and promote public health and healthy, resilient communities.
This is the bread and butter of your media relations program, and has legs for social media as well. Start by developing a couple short lists: first, in what ways does your solution play into the broader work of public health? And second, can you identify communities or specific populations where your solution is omnipresent? What are the findings?
From there, you can take even the tiniest perspectives or data points and develop local media relations campaigns, especially if you have a hospital or physician who will be a spokesperson. These are the feel-good stories that can translate the value of health IT to a broader audience, and ultimately help you ladder up to stronger national press.
Stay tuned for a closer look at the fifth and final goal in the Health IT Strategic Plan: Advance Research, Scientific Knowledge, and Innovation.
Want more? Click here to catch up on the first three goals: Finding Your Voice in the Federal Health IT Debate, Embracing Interoperability in Health IT, Health IT’s Role in Improving Healthcare Delivery, and the final goal Creating a Health IT Ecosystem.