Health Care Communication Methods HCS 320 October 22, 2012 Professor Health Care Communication Methods As the Communication Coordinator for this national drug manufacturer, today we will need to brainstorm and discuss how we will address the negative effects that our medications are causing to the public. The local news has already started the witch hunt by allegedly reporting that our local mayor has suffered from adverse affects from our medications. How can we address the public regarding this issue without losing business and the trust we created with our investors and our consumers?
In today’s meeting we will decide which communication tactic is most suitable for this situation, while making sure that we do not break any HIPAA guidelines. We will start by discussing the advantages and disadvantages of using traditional media. Traditional media can include newspapers, magazines, radio, and television. There are some great advantages on why these media outlets would be great in reaching our audience regarding this health scare. Two great methods are newspapers and magazines; they can help because we can be precise and explicit when discussing our issue.
Additionally, these methods would provide use with a permanent record of our attempt to reach the public (Advantages and disadvantages of written communication, 2012). Two other good methods are radio and television. These methods are great because they are cost effective, allow us to reach our audience directly and allow us to show emotion and concern regarding this matter. All these methods seem like they would work but there are disadvantages with sticking to traditional media outlets instead of using electronic or social media sites.
Some main concerns we have with using traditional media is that it can only reach a limited amount of people and we are restricted to a small scope of listeners and readers. Additionally, feedback is not immediate like electronic or social media sites (Comparison of traditional media with electronic media, n. d). Electronic and social media sites also have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to communicating to the public regarding health concerns.
Some advantages electronic media provides is that the message can be communicated to large number of people at a time, any message can be sent and delivered in no time, and a variety of audio, video, text can be used in one single medium (Advantages and disadvantages of written communication, 2012). Even though all of these seem like great ways to communicate with the public regarding drug manufacturing issues there are some disadvantages to using electronic and social media sites (Comparison of traditional media with electronic media, n. d).
Some are that it is less intimate, it can be expensive to hire someone to program the sites and manage them, and it gives us limited access in rural areas. Nevertheless the chart below shows that there has been a substantial growth with people accessing healthcare information from electronic and social media sites. Graphic from “Study Predicts Growing Use of Social Media in Healthcare” (Levin, 2012) Another concern we have at the moment is also that we need to make sure that we stay within HIPAA and other regulations guidelines when using any form of media.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) established new standards for the confidentiality, security, and transmissibility of health care information. There are three types of standards created by HIPAA: privacy, security, and administrative simplification (e. g. , transaction standards). Taken together, these regulations have a major impact on the day-to-day functioning of the nation’s hospitals and affect virtually every department of every entity that provides or pays for health care (American Hospital Association: HIPAA, 2012).
It is important that we be careful with whatever we chose to say in our press conference regarding the drug manufacturing issues and that we do not reveal any patient names, private information, or breach any confidentiality. After having reviewed all the information I feel confident to say that we will need to use both sets of media for us to make sure we reach all of our patients in a non-alarming but swift way. We need to make sure patients that are using the drug stop immediately.
Therefore, we will send our marketing director down to the local news network and release a press conference for our local patients and then in the mean time we will have the technical department start by adding a warning label on our website with links to our Facebook and Twitter page. Additionally, we will need to download and post the video of our marketing director so the patients can have a form of connection to us. This will allow us to connect with the local public and employees, but also allow us to reach nationwide patients.
Furthermore, we need to send our employees a memo reminding them that they cannot talk to the press or make any statements to the media regarding this issue. Also, that they cannot release any confidential information otherwise they will be terminated under the HIPAA guidelines for breaching confidentiality policy. This will include any posts on social media sites. All forms of media can have their advantages and disadvantages, in the end it all depends on what a company is using the media form for. If an organization is just trying to connect with a local market using traditional media might be what they would want to use.
If a company is trying to contact a broader territory they might want to use electronic or social media. Both methods at times have to be used especially when an organization is trying to convey an important urgent message such as a drug recall. Not only did our company need to keep an emotional connection with our local patients but also we needed to make sure to contact all the facilities that prescribe or dispense recalled medication. The decision I made as Communication Coordinator is to use both sets of media to contact our patients and inform them of the drug recall.
This was a decision I made to make sure we covered all of our bases so no one could say we did not try. References Advantages and disadvantages of written communication. (2012). Retrieved from http://www. managementstudyguide. com/written-communication. htm American Hospital Association: HIPAA. (2012). Retrieved from http://www. aha. org/advocay-issues/hipaa Comparison of traditional media with electronic media. (n. d). Retrieved from http://download. nos. org Levin, G. (2012, January 2). Study predicts growing use of social media in healthcare. Retrieved from http://healthworkscollective. com
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