This week marks the 11th annual National Health IT (NHIT) Week, which the founding organizations define as “a nationwide awareness week focused on the value of healthcare IT.” Over the course of #NHITWeek, individual health IT advocates and various healthcare organizations will attend in-person and/or virtual events at the nation’s capital and across the country. Both the progress and shortcomings of health IT will come under the spotlight.
As PR professionals who have observed this awareness week over the past several years, we have seen what it takes to successfully convey your narrative and stories. Here are a few tips for PR and marketing pros or anyone looking to amplify their celebration of #NHITWeek:
The personal #IHeartHIT vignettes that bring color and life to the wins and barriers for health IT are what truly make #NHITWeek special. Industry jargon suddenly turns into real-life challenges that we can all relate to. For example, interoperability takes on a whole new meaning when you hear it in terms that you or someone you know has almost certainly been through – whether you’re a concerned parent with a sick child whose records cannot be seamlessly shared between necessary providers, or a patient who with a chronic condition who must fill out those ridiculously long patient intake forms every time you see a new specialist. When sharing your narratives, take a page out of Dr. John Halamka’s playbook, one of my favorite influencers in the space. He is honest, sincere and provides concrete and relatable examples in as much detail as possible.
A big part of #NHITWeek happens across webinars and virtual gatherings, like tweetchats. The NHIT Week website and Healthcare IT News have outlined the various online events throughout the week. Leverage the relevant hashtags – #NHITWeek and #IHearthHIT – and get sharing! HIMSS’ Social Media Ambassadors are the pros here. Take a look at the content from Dr. Chuck Webster (@wareFLO), Tamara StClaire (@drstclaire) and Dr. Geeta Nayyar (@gnayyar). They share their personal perspectives, post regularly and frequently, retweet each other and most importantly, speak in their own voice. For me, the sincerity and spirit of sharing are the most impactful communication tactics during #NHITWeek.
Including visuals are a must in any social or online communications tactic and #NHITWeek is no different. Skip the stock photos and grab your selfie sticks! Posting original images helps further enhance and convey that sense of sincerity and community; this is woven into the fabric and spirit of #NHITWeek. Camera shy or are you just really not into posting selfies (like myself)? Leverage quote cards as its done here to make your posts pop.
By the end of the week, we will see a flood of posts and content from contributors across the country that will leverage some or all the above tactics. They will hopefully inspire change and help our elected officials see the undeniable benefits of health IT and what it can do to improve our healthcare. The technology is here – let’s put it to use and apply it in efficient and effective ways. Check out our @healthycomms account over the course of the week as we share our #NHITWeek and #IHeartHIT perspectives.
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