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HOW HEALTH CARE

ORGANISATIONS CAN GO

DIGITAL &

REACH MORE

PEOPLE


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HOW HEALTH CARE ORGANISATIONS CAN GO DIGITAL & REACH MORE PEOPLE

TABLE OF CONTENTS Boost Health Care Programme Education & Outreach     3 Connect with citizens through the GovDelivery Network  

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Achieving Mission-Critical Objectives                7 Leveraging Technology to Reach More People        

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Summary                                  13 About GovDelivery                            13

govdelivery.co.uk | info@govdelivery.com | u.k. 0800 032 5769 | u.s. (866) 276-5583


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Boost Health Care Programme Education & Outreach with Digital Communications This paper will examine how health-focused government organisations are using direct channels and digital communications, instead of mass advertising, to reach stakeholders in a cost-effective and efficient manner. This brief will also explore how having a solid digital communications platform and proven network of health care partners can help government entities better engage individuals, achieve organisational goals and ultimately, save money. For health care organisations looking to engage customers or citizens, focusing on measurable outreach is critical. Your messages won’t matter if no one sees them. Investing heavily in broad advertising campaigns provides little measurable results, especially if there is increased focus on channel shift and encouraging behavioural change (i.e. reducing smoking). We partner with international health care clients around the world, including: Department of Health, Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centrers for Disease Control (CDC), Tricare, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Food Standards Agency (FSA), Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), and Public Health England and many more health-related organisations at the local levels. Through these deep partnerships, GovDelivery has witnessed and helped strengthen the necessary foundation needed by health-focused organisations to have greater mission impact: greater outreach.


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HOW HEALTH CARE ORGANISATIONS CAN GO DIGITAL & REACH MORE PEOPLE

The UK/EU health care network currently connects with more than 425,000 people who have subscribed to an average of 7 topics per subscriber. The single biggest benefit for health care organisations is GovDelivery’s ability to connect with the largest number of customers across multiple countries and languages, and get those people to take action. Health care entities can leverage the extensive experience and network GovDelivery has gained by working in partnership with leading European health care public sector organisations to significantly grow their online audience. More actively engaged customers result in better outcomes and significantly reduced service delivery costs. Additionally, with the unique GovDelivery Network, health care organisations can cross-promote topics of interest to online visitors at other government websites. In Europe, with more than 60 clients already reaching 2.3 million people in the UK and Europe, connecting to this network can be critical for health-focused organisations that need to provide education or targeted programme outreach. Indeed, currently the UK/EU health care network reaches more than 425,000 people who have signed up for an average of 7 different topics per person. These government health care institutions and organisations are directly connecting, educating, informing and engaging the public without spending a fortune on public relations, advertising or a massive information technology (ITC) investment. Instead, due to GovDelivery’s platform and network of clients, health care communications staff are easily managing the message and the process.

govdelivery.co.uk | info@govdelivery.com | u.k. 0800 032 5769 | u.s. (866) 276-5583


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Connect with citizens through the GovDelivery Network A unique benefit for health care organisations using GovDelivery is the ability to network with other global medical organisations, enabling a cross-over of subscribers to maximise sign-up and public engagement. The unique GovDelivery Network is a key strategic tool in UK government to connect with more people. Many of our clients see more than 50% of new people signing up for information delivered through this unique network to fast-track savings.

The European Parliament currently manages its GovDelivery platform in twentytwo languages and reaches thousands of subscribers across Europe. The European network alone generates more than 10,000 new people interested in receiving messages for EU government each week. The main advantage of this approach is that health care organisations are no longer reliant on onetime website visitors looking for information, or on expensive advertising campaigns to educate individuals about public health issues or emergencies. By connecting directly with individuals and offering them the option to receive email or SMS updates on specific health topics that they are interested in, increasing engagement with these stakeholders becomes drastically easier. The main benefits of the GovDelivery Network include:

• Rapidly increases the number of people tuned in to alerts, newsletters and bulletins • Provides residents with access to other Government services and information • Connects with hard to reach audiences • Provides collaboration with other health care government agencies • Uses peaks in other clients web traffic to generate additional people reached


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HOW HEALTH CARE ORGANISATIONS CAN GO DIGITAL & REACH MORE PEOPLE

A March 2013 BBC article explores how the National Health Service (NHS) has spent ÂŁ13 million on public relations and whether the Trust and the public is receiving value for money. Some NHS Trusts have commented that the use of PR firms is necessary to educate the public on health issues, especially with regard to high-profile public health campaigns. Government healthcare organisations and institutions can be much more effective with digital communications by cross-promoting services across organisational lines, measuring their results through their reach, engagement, and in-person visits. This not only bolsters public trust in the system and saves funds, but can dramatically improve healthcare outcomes. Instead of focusing funds and efforts primarily on PR campaigns, health care organisations should work together, complementing outreach efforts by cross-promoting messages through the GovDelivery Network. This platform is available at a fraction of the cost of hiring an external PR firm.

govdelivery.co.uk | info@govdelivery.com | u.k. 0800 032 5769 | u.s. (866) 276-5583


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Achieving Mission-Critical Objectives GovDelivery helps health care clients to engage and proactively inform large audiences about critical medical and safety issues, educational campaigns, crisis communications and emergencies. Our clients are able to increase their reach through our large network of health care subscribers, while managing, monitoring and automating complex communications across multiple digital channels. Benefits to the public are three-fold:

1. Citizens receive the official line from the organisation responsible for a health alert, rather than a potentially sensationalised media interpretation;

2. Citizens receive news they want when and how they want it. They’ve self-subscribed to the alert topic in a timely manner, delivered in their preferred communication channel; and

3. They are enabled to make better health care decisions. Effective communications is critical to achieving organisational goals and increasing customer satisfaction. Here are a few examples from the UK and the US that demonstrate how organisations are meeting mission-critical goals whilst keeping the public safe. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is an executive agency of the United Kingdom Department of Health. Its goals include safeguarding public health by ensuring that the products they regulate meet required standards, that the products work and that they are acceptably safe. From a communications perspective, MHRA must ensure accurate, timely and authoritative information is provided to healthcare professionals, patients and the public. MHRA uses GovDelivery to send nearly 28 million messages to opt-in subscribers; more than 50,000 stakeholders around the UK have self-subscribed through the Agency’s email alerting service. MHRA must ensure a high message delivery rate due to the time-sensitive and potentially life-saving nature of its alerts.


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HOW HEALTH CARE ORGANISATIONS CAN GO DIGITAL & REACH MORE PEOPLE

There could be serious consequences if messages are delayed in reaching pharmacists, physicians and the public. MHRA leverages GovDelivery’s active management of relationships with all major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) on behalf of over 1,000 public sector entities worldwide. MHRA is then assured a high deliverability rate, enabling communications staff to spend their time engaging directly with constituents, ensuring potentially life-saving, time sensitive medical and drug-related messages are delivered, instead of troubleshooting why messages are caught in filters and flagged as spam.

“We were looking for a reliable, efficient and integrated approach to reach more people. GovDelivery has helped us achieve our goals and much more. We have improved our services, streamlined our processes, and enhanced the way we communicate crucial public safety information”. —Rachel Bosworth, MHRA Director of Communications The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), a $941B organisation with over 65,000 staff, invests in health care, disease prevention, social services, and scientific research. HHS was already reaching a large audience through its use of GovDelivery email alert subscriptions, when the H1N1 pandemic flu outbreak threatened the United States. HHS needed to reach the largest audience possible to ensure individuals were kept informed and safe.

govdelivery.co.uk | info@govdelivery.com | u.k. 0800 032 5769 | u.s. (866) 276-5583


9 People subscribed to receive updates from Flu.gov increased more than ten times the normal rate due to higher interest as well as collaboration with CDC and other partners in the GovDelivery Network. Average new people signing up for communications exceeded 3,000 per day versus the previously established average of 215. Over one million email alerts were sent to people at their request regarding H1N1. Emails included “Share This� links with content being repurposed and shared over 120 times via social media channels. HHS also cross-promoted the email alert service with social media networks. Twitter links embedded in email alerts generated more than 10,000 clicks and helped boost HHS’s Twitter followers. The difference between proactive digital communications and a PR campaign without measurable impact has more than just financial repercussions. Now more than ever, investments in health care communications must be made with the goal of building and sustaining public trust and health.


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HOW HEALTH CARE ORGANISATIONS CAN GO DIGITAL & REACH MORE PEOPLE

Leveraging Technology to Connect with More People When people move frequently, establishing a reliable way to communicate becomes more challenging, and regular mail does not always ensure that information that is sent is always received in a timely manner – or at all. To combat this challenge, government organisations must shift to technology, such as email, social media or SMS/text messages, to deliver updates and notices to these stakeholders. Research validates this strategy. According to OFCOM, the UK’s independent regulator and competition authority for communications industries, 94 percent of adults own or use a mobile phone, while 55 percent of adults with home internet use social networking. The rise of mobile technology is helping reduce the digital divide, with research clearly identifying the most popular cell phone activity as sending or receiving text messages. These statistics, along with GovDelivery research on government messages to the public, demonstrate that some government agencies are already using digital communications to distribute critical health information to the public.

govdelivery.co.uk | info@govdelivery.com | u.k. 0800 032 5769 | u.s. (866) 276-5583


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“Since 2005, we’ve worked toward a single goal: with the overarching aim of steadily increasing the popularity and use of HSE’s online services. We use GovDelivery’s PageWatch service to pull content from RSS feeds and send the directly to subscribers. The hard work is paying off for us. We are increasing subscriptions by 1,000 per day”. —Gavin Parkinson, Health Safety Executive For those government organisations that do not currently have a system for building a digital audience for their organisations, they should refer to peer health care organisations’ strategies and tools, or work with a partner to help them expand their outreach. One key strategy is to use an integrated digital communications platform that allows government organisations to leverage its stakeholders to get the word out about important health-related information.


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HOW HEALTH CARE ORGANISATIONS CAN GO DIGITAL & REACH MORE PEOPLE

Another US government organisation, the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) also leverages its social media channels to turn followers and fans into more engaged stakeholders. A visit to SAMHSA’s Facebook page shows an integrated “Get Email Updates” app that syncs with their digital communications management system, allowing SAMHSA to manage core stakeholders in one database. This also allows SAMHSA to connect with stakeholders more directly, instead of relying on Facebook to potentially show fans important organisational updates. While mass advertising campaigns can generate some awareness, tracking measurable returnon-investment is extremely difficult. There is no way to connect engagement rates to a television or radio advertisement. Additionally, government websites can host a variety of information and delve deeply into important health-related topics, but organisations that rely solely on citizens finding or coming to government websites are missing out on the opportunity to create a lasting relationship with their stakeholders through meaningful, proactive communications.

govdelivery.co.uk | info@govdelivery.com | u.k. 0800 032 5769 | u.s. (866) 276-5583


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Summary When it comes to public health, organisations should provide proactive, timely, and targeted communications to raise awareness, prevent illness, and inform the public, keeping them safe and healthy. Whether it is a campaign regarding healthier choices around smoking, caffeine, or alcohol, an urgent international health crisis, or everyday communications with the public to keep them healthy and safe, health care organisations can’t afford not to collaborate and work together. Health care communications staff can – and should – work together by leveraging the power of the GovDelivery network to leverage technology to connect with more people and get those people to take action in order to achieve mission-critical objectives.

About GovDelivery GovDelivery enables public sector organisations to connect with more people and get those people to take action. More than 1,000 organisations, from the smallest local parks to the largest national agencies, trust GovDelivery’s secure, scalable, cloud-based platform to deliver highly impactful communications.  In total, GovDelivery connects its clients with more than 60 million people. GovDelivery’s enterprise-class technology allows organisations to transform their communications to meet mission and program goals, resulting in safer communities, happier commuters, healthier families, and better government. Additional GovDelivery solutions allow public sector organisations to deliver emergency notifications, enhance online transactions, build online collaborative communities, and track customer requests. For more on GovDelivery, visit govdelivery.co.uk.


How Health Care Organisations can Go Digital & Reach More People