Health Care Communication Methods
December 5, 2012
Health Care Communication Methods
I would like to inform the news and general public about the negative reports about one of the medications manufactured by our company, Bristol Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The medication in question is named Prozac, and it is widely prescribed to a substantial number of individuals for treatment of depression and other disorders. It has been reported that a significant number of individuals have experienced negative side effects after taking this medication. It has also been reported that a well-known public figure was one of those effected after taking this medication. As the communications coordinator for Bristol Pharmaceuticals Inc., it is my responsibility to address these concerns, and alleviate the worries that the general public and consumers may have in the future. As a company, we should first decide on what method of communication is best in getting this information out to the news and public, without creating fears amongst the people. I would like to discuss the steps on how we can get this information out to the public, as well as discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using traditional, electronic, and social media for health care communication for this purpose. I would also like to discuss the effects of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and other regulations on the use of these media for health care communication. Getting this information out to everyone involved can re-establish the trust between the consumers and our company. There are many advantages when it comes to the use of traditional, electronic, and social media communication in health care. An advantage to traditional media is that the information we want to deliver can reach a wider audience at one time with the use of radio, newspapers, telephone conversations, television broadcasts, magazines, and face-to-face conversations. “The most common healthcare delivery method is face‐to‐face, where care provider and patient see each other 'in the flesh” (Sameer Kumar, Anne Henseler, David Haukaas, 2009). Television is a communication tool that aids in conveying the concerns of the company about this issue and the company’s efforts in notifying the public of this matter. Another advantage to using traditional media communication methods like, newspapers and radio, is it allows the information to be delivered to reach a smaller audience demographic, such as those who may not own a television or watch television, or may not be as technically advanced, for example, as with elderly consumers. Electronic media such as emails, text messages, and the internet, gives us an advantage in helping with getting the facts out there to individuals, directly, in a timely manner. The internet allows us to deliver information on this issue by providing a mass platform for the information to be seen anywhere around the world. Most individuals carry cell phones that allow them to receive their emails on their phones, along with text messages in which helps information to be delivered and seen rather quickly, in regards to that, many individuals also have social media apps on their phones and often receive information about the latest news through social media accounts. This can be helpful in spreading the word throughout the public by it being posted on social media to friends and family and in return their friends can share the information with people they are friends with, creating the opportunity for the information to then be shared all over the world. “Social media is more than an emerging technology platform or cultural trend, but a method of communication that is changing the way individuals and organizations throughout the world transmit and receive information” (Social Media's Effect on HIPAA Privacy and Security, 2013). There are many advantages to these forms of communication, however, it also comes with some disadvantages. When we talk about the disadvantages of traditional, electronic, and social media in health care communication, there are a number of factors that must be taken into consideration before there is a chance for the information that was delivered to be misconstrued. When using traditional communication such as magazines and newspapers, disadvantages that could arise include the information reaching only a limited audience. In the world today, with all of the technological advances that have been discovered, there is a very few individuals that still read newspapers and buy magazines. When sending an email communication, there is always the possibility that the information could be sent to the wrong person. With email communication there is also the possibility the information will not be interpreted the way it was intended to be. According to our textbook, “The receiver of electronic communications is not able to observe other important elements of the message that often come with face-to-face interactions: tone of voice, facial expression, and body posture, for example” (Student and Faculty Portal, 2015). Lastly, I would like to discuss the effects of HIPAA and other regulations on the use of these media for health care communication. All health care communication is protected by HIPAA and it sets the standards for health care professionals about what information is acceptable to be released and how this information is released to the public. “The primary focus of HIPAA was to mandate that healthcare information become "portable" and "available" by legislating the use of uniform electronic transactions and other administrative measures” (Ferrell, T., 2001). The portion of HIPAA that mostly deals with the media and the health care information that is delivered is the section on administrative simplification. “Administrative Simplification seeks to force uniform standards in the electronic interchange of health information (through the Transaction Rule) and also mandates guidelines for the security (Security rules) and privacy (Privacy rules) of that information whether in transit or stored” (Ferrell, T., 2001). In summary, there are many different methods of communication in health care whether it is traditional, electronic, or social media. All of these methods come with both advantages and disadvantages. Based upon the HIPAA and federal regulations concerning communication, I feel that our company should use electronic media methods to get this information to the public and our consumers. We would like for this information to be reached by consumers around the world so that if anyone that has taken this medication and suffered negative side effects, has any concerns or questions, they can access this information and find answers easily no matter what part of the of the world they live in.