Proof Communication Matters

The reason we communicate with patients and members in healthcare is that we want to drive them to action or inform them of information.  Whichever party you like, I think the TV commercials and the debate make this point very clear.

  • You either like scare tactics or not.  Some portion of the population will respond to those.  (I personally see this as desparate and don’t care…especially when some of them are such a stretch.)
    • Should you point out to people that they should stay adherent or risk serious side effects or hospitalization?
  • People want clear messaging.  I thought Obama was the one being too high level early on.  In the debate, John McCain was the one that didn’t seem to answer the question.  At least Palin said she was going to talk about another topic not give a glossy answer in the VP debate.
    • We got this feedback from MDs at Express Scripts that said just to tell them what we needed and stop with lots of general messaging.

Think about how you motivate your kids or your employees.  It’s all the same.  This is what you want from your health provider or your insurer.

(I must admit to being frustrated with the politicians as I am sure anyone who works in communications is.  To have Palin (the relative newcomer) being the best presenter (not so great in interviews) is surprising.)

3 Responses to “Proof Communication Matters”

  1. Jerry wrote Seems to me that the doctor needs to know more about the patient to know how to communicate. There are ways to do that. Jerry can advise patients whatever he wants, but it doesn’t mean they’ll do it. Jerry sounds like a one-size-fits-all advice doctor.

  2. Don’t forget that the patient has to be ready to hear the doctor’s communication. My most recent medical challenge has been prostate cancer. In talking with dozens of cancer patients as I prepared to write my book, I found a large percentage were either so scared or so unwilling to deal with the realities of a life-threatening illness that they did not want to communicate thoroughly with their doctors.

    It presents a delicate balancing act for a physician where he has to make a judgement as to how much information a patient is prepared to handle. I advise every patient I speak with to prepare a detailed list of questions and to demand answers. It forces the patient to confront reality and lets the doc know how far he should go. I also tell patients to make detailed notes or even record conversations with docs because they will forget huge amounts of info due to stress.

    As for the politicians, I do not like what I see and hear. After every debate I want to throw up, just like I did during chemotherapy.


  3. Scare tactics only go so far. They are the least effective with informed people, and most effective with uninformed people, but only as long as tactis are not too scary (which prompts avoidance of the message).

    In health care, general messaging is a waste of time and money.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: