Featured Articles: General News

Creating Awareness of New Services and Providers: The Power of Intention

Monday, September 16, 2019   (0 Comments)
Share |

 

Written By: Kellie Gordon, Content Director and Oxford Comma Administrator (Enforcer), KineticHealth

 

Bringing new professionals into your clinic is seldom as easy as one would hope. Many organizations face challenges when onboarding new providers and care professionals. Not only do new faces need to be introduced within the organization, but the new providers also need to build relationships and rapport within the community, as well as within the network of local agencies and healthcare services.

 

Unlike medical or dental services, mental health services have long wrestled with a social stigma in communities large and small. Depression and anxiety in particular have been on the rise for years amongst adolescents, a trend that continues today.

 

Columbia Basin Health Association (CBHA), an FQHC in central Washington, has a long  history or working with other community organizations to better serve all patients, and is particularly focused on providing care to under-served communities. Beyond the stressors showing up for teens in the community, CBHA professionals noted patients in general were increasingly expressing interest in how they might better manage stressors in their lives.

CBHA took this opportunity to address a systemic concern, and sought to add to their team a behavioral health professional with specialized training in psychiatric medication management.

 

Michelle Taylor, Psychiatric DNP, ARNP, PMHNP-BC was recruited and brought on as a full-time staff member in the fall of 2017. As she worked to become an integral part of CBHA services, Michelle found that she still had more capacity to serve the community.

In the spring of 2018, CBHA leadership determined that a more coordinated, intentional outreach effort was necessary to achieve the service goals that Taylor had been brought on to address. They knew it would be essential that both the community and internal staff knew that she was there to help with existing patient services, but could also offer additional supports and service in the area communities.

 

KineticHealth was brought in to help formalize and develop a campaign effort. A joint team effort focused on naming and outlining important themes and topics for the community, identifying specific audiences (personas) for guiding messaging, and developed a schedule for campaign design and deployment.

 

One key audience in this effort was raising awareness within the provider population at CBHA. Leadership realized that by making better use of Taylor’s capacity, other providers could free up schedules to care for additional patients. According to Chief Operating Officer Blake Barthelmess, "By naming the issue, we often see that we find more people engaged in the conversation."

 

Executing a successful campaign is about taking a consistent message to audiences in multiple forms, over an extended period of time. Because mental health has been an area of increasing concern in communities across the US, CBHA wanted to raise awareness on several current topics – including stress management, substance misuse, depression, bullying, and suicide awareness – and let the community know that there was help available.

 

How and where a campaign comes to life is critically important. A series of visual and audio pieces were created, and intentionally spread across facilities and in the public. Marketing professionals often speak to the power of repetition, both to raise awareness but to also reinforce the message.

 

Through repetition, viewers or listeners find themselves more able to consider what the concept means, and why it might matter to them. Because we all experience new information in different ways, it’s important to present a cohesive and consistent message across multiple media, and in a variety of ways.

 

 

The campaign team developed and distributed post-card sized promotional cards delivered to the desks of providers, UDS measure-related talking points for all staff, promotional ads on clinic monitors, on-site posters, and articles in the staff newsletter.

A billboard was also put up in the area, offering a general invitation to reach out with “Are you feeling ok?” instead of a more traditionally direct or potentially off-putting offer for mental health services.

 

 

The overarching goal was to de-stigmatize mental health services, and instead position it as a means to help us feel like our best selves.

 

The team created a level of awareness among internal staff that prompted more primary care providers to refer mental health-related issues and medication management to the behavioral health providers in general, and the psychiatric ARNP in particular, when it came to prescribing psychiatric medication. 

 

As for the community at large, letters and postcards mailed to clergy, behavioral health specialists, and other providers in the community, coupled with billboards, newspaper ads, radio spots, public service announcements (PSAs), and clinic-published magazine articles increased awareness not only of the availability of the ARNP, but of mental health issues in general.

 

Taylor was actively involved in the campaign development and execution, delivering a series of "lunch-and-learn" presentations about mental health topics. She engaged in the development and planning of key messaging for all audience personas, and participating in interviews for articles published by the clinic and local newspaper.

 

"Our commitment was to build momentum and partner with Michelle to increase volume of patients served while also communicating to our communities and providers the “why”  -- that Michelle is an important new resource at CBHA. Patient education (like the lunch-and-learns and articles in Hometown Health) were all a part of that initiative," said Barthelmess,

In the first three months following the launch of the behavioral health campaign, Michelle Taylor was seeing 30% more patients every week. This campaign also supported existing outreach to area high schools, where CBHA continues working with counselors and the adolescents they serve.

About Columbia Basin Health Association. Since opening in 1973, CBHA has been serving the needs of patients in central Washington, offering medical, dental, vision, behavioral health, and family services programs. CBHA continues to fulfill its mission of providing equal access to quality health care to all persons regardless of age, sex, color, ethnicity, national origin, or the ability to pay.

 

About KineticHealth. KineticHealth’s mission is to help health leaders like you improve the healthcare experience for all of us. We help clients measurably drive profitable encounters, enhance patient experience, and improve health literacy and patient wellness. We develop powerful communications and campaigns to help clients create healthier communities.

 

For more information, contact:

KineticHealth
info@kinetichealth.co
p. 844.584.0360

 

 

 

 

---

 

NWRPCA welcomes and regularly publishes white papers and articles submitted by members, partners and associates with subject matter expertise. The appearance of any guest publication in our Health Center News database represents the views of the author and does not constitute endorsement by NWRPCA of the stated opinions or perspectives, nor does it suggest endorsement of the contributor's products or services.


Membership Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal