A Meaningful Conversation

- Tuesday, July 23, 2013

As healthcare organizations prepare to move from Meaningful Use stage 1 to stage 2 in the coming months, Geisinger Health System Chief Communications Officer Susan Alcorn tackles the question: What’s your role in Meaningful Use as a communicator?

According to Alcorn, the answer is two-fold:  1) to help your leaders and IT teams explain Meaningful Use in a clear and concise way, and 2) to help engage your medical staff, employees and other key audiences in the quest for Meaningful Use.

To accomplish this, Alcorn suggests marketing and communications professionals follow six key steps:

  1. Research it. You can't explain what you don't understand, so step one is to wrap your mind around Meaningful Use and its implications for your organization.
  2. Translate the regulations into small, easy-to-understand chunks and share them with employees via your internal website or newsletters.
  3. Work with the IT team to develop an effective PowerPoint for use with a variety of audiences.
  4. Help draft communications for referring physicians and other community providers.
  5. Use examples of how Meaningful Use has or will help patients — or better yet, how it has benefitted a specific patient and his or her family.
  6. Pitch an overview of Meaningful Use and these examples to your local media, or just share internally so that your internal audiences are on board.

Alcorn also provides a primer on Meaningful Use for marketers, including a basic definition, penalties, and other perspective in a post for the Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock blog. Click here to view the full article.

Among the many other hats she wears, Susan Alcorn is a member of the editorial advisory board for Healthcare Insight magazine, sponsored by True North. View the latest issue or sign up to receive a free subscription for qualified healthcare marketing professionals.

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