Mini-Proposal for Service Learning Project   Leave a comment

This service learning project is an excellent opportunity to flex our collective academic muscles for a patently non-academic project. My proposal will focus on patient education. We all seemed to agree that:
• Whatever marketing we do, it should all be networked.
• We need to be audience sensitive. Because our target audience is patients, cultural and class issues should influence our decisions about the medium and the message.
• We need not worry as much about explaining the science of the technology. We should focus on what the technology can do for the patient.
• We should assuage fears and misconceptions about the technology—especially regarding “security and privacy” presumably by comparing it to the current system.
• Humor would be an effective way to get people to pay attention to our message.
• Most importantly, our best case scenario would be to empower patients to start insisting on electronic medical records, so we need to provide a clear path by which patients may voice their support.

Clearly, we need print materials to accommodate our target audience, many of whom are not likely to own a computer. We also need to take advantage of the Healthy Advice Networks, already in place. Both of these mediums would likely accommodate some original graphics regarding the flow of information between professionals and between professionals and patients. We could have two graphics; one depicting the current, muddled flow of information and one depicting the less muddled flow of information after electronic medical records are in place. This can also serve to accommodate language gaps to some degree. I must admit though that the challenge seems to lie in the fact that the “system” is not widespread and has not been effectively tested, so anything that we create will be reflecting our very optimistic projection. We should be careful not to over inflate or misrepresent the potential for this technology to effect medical care, which is what the patient cares about most.

Additionally, we can come up with some “imagine if” scenarios that also rely on comparison to the current system in order to point out the advantages of electronic medical records. This would give us the opportunity to highlight exactly which aspects of medical care would be improved. These scenarios should explicitly address the “myths” about electronic medical records. Leandra provided a great narrative regarding the constant reiteration of our medical history, when it seems tangential at best. I think that type of narrative would be effective because most people will be able to relate to it, and it is certainly a benefit of electronic medical records that could be seen immediately upon implementation, before the information has been properly interfaced for sharing between offices. Elle had mentioned finding out about her colleague’s pregnancy because of a loud mouth nurse in her doctor’s office; this too might be the basis for a scenario. We will need to balance these scenarios carefully, so that we are not being overly critical of the current system. We want people to want electronic medical records, but we can’t have people rising up against the current system, either.

Lastly, we should provide some non-electronic way for patients to express their support of the implementation of electronic medical records, and maybe even a way to voice their concerns so that the marketing team in the future might address these concerns. The only thing that I can think of is a “ballot box” kind of situation because I think that low-tech is the only way to accommodate our target audience. It would need to be a convenient form that they could drop off before leaving the office. I imagine that inviting people to provide their own narratives as well might be beneficial. Can we have some kind of hotline with a recorded message and provide the opportunity for the patient to leave a message—a narrative?

All of these print-based methods could be supported by social media networks for those who might be more inclined to visit a website. We can advertise these web-based media on our print media, but should also consider additional ways to get attention paid to them. We need also create some different marketing for the web that would include, some links to articles and youtube which provide some more in-depth information.

Posted September 6, 2010 by jenwojton in Uncategorized

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