Rowing Together: A Collaborative Approach to Promoting Behavior Change

October 2, 2018

// By Susan Dubuque // 

Susan Dubuque ndpAs health care marketers, we are keenly aware of the rampant changes taking place in our industry — unforeseen mergers and consolidations, aggressive competitors entering the marketplace, pressures to demonstrate measurable ROI, and reorientation from delivering acute or episodic care to managing the health of a population with the goals of improving health and reducing costs.

Perhaps it is time that we create some of that change — time that we become the disruptors.

Let’s shake things up a little by changing the role of marketing in a population health world. By learning, adapting, and applying proven theories and models of behavior change, we can meaningfully participate, and even take the lead, in our organizations’ prevention and health enhancement efforts.

Historically, these activities have been the domain of clinical personnel with input from operations, quality assurance, utilization review, decision support, finance, and other team members who are concerned with outcomes and cost containment. Marketing and communications professionals have been conspicuously absent until the very end, when someone realizes, “Hey, we need to promote this program. Someone call marketing.”

But consider the value that marketing and public relations can offer in the initial design and early rollout of a population health initiative. In fact, let’s take it one step further. There are even more benefits to be gleaned when everyone is rowing the boat together — when we deploy a collaborative model for behavior change.

UNC health care logoHere, we’ll see how collaborative models can be structured for diabetes intervention, colon cancer prevention, and cardiac screening, and how UNC Health Care is teaming up with clinical partners to drive behavior change.

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