Proactive Prose for Predictive Medicine Pros
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” While Nelson Mandela used those words to rouse a passion for learning, it was another quote, famously uttered in 2003 by Dr. Allen Roses, worldwide vice-president of genetics at GlaxoSmithKline that would inadvertently incite the need for further education within the healthcare space specifically.
"The vast majority of drugs - more than 90 per cent - only work in 30 or 50 per cent of the people," said Roses. "Drugs out there on the market work, but they don't work in everybody."
With a statistic like that, from a leader of one of the biggest drug companies in the world no less, it’s no surprise that the nation stopped to take notice and reevaluate. Thus, after more than a decade of conversation and research, our current administration has yielded The Precision Medicine Initiative, aiming to do away with the one-size-fits-all approach to care and treatment and rather account for individual differences concerning people’s genes, environments and even lifestyles. This effort explores the complex intricacies that comprise the human body on a molecular level and the implications it could have for preventative care and, further down the road, population health.
In the age where healthcare providers strive to reduce the guesswork associated with diagnosis and treatment, what can IT providers be doing to ensure that these organizations know who to turn to for assistance? In short – communicate.
With the overwhelming influx of information in today’s society, you can possess the most competitive solutions on the market, but if you’re out of sight, you’re likely out of mind. Building on that is an old adage with resounding significance within the media relations industry; “it’s not what you say, but how you say it.”
Therefore – when looking to make an impact touting your strengths as they relate to precision medicine, some PR best practices include:
- Utilize data. In the search for precision medicine partners, it’s critical that healthcare IT vendors come to the table armed with hard numbers to back up their approach. At the core of preventative assessment and diagnostics lies the algorithm-based data required to forecast outcomes, which means healthcare organizations will be exceptionally focused on determining a data mining model that best yields desired results.
- Add passion. With a fledgling initiative that seeks to revolutionize the healthcare industry, it goes without saying that many who are driving this campaign are passionate. By embedding passion and personal touch into your marketing and messaging—in essence matching their drive with yours—you’ll help to build the trust that you both share the same objectives, understanding of risks and vision for the future.
- Adopt a personalized approach. While data is a necessity and passion a differentiator, it’s your ability to present the “big picture” results through teamwork that will lead to victory. As a recent Help Scout customer service survey illustrated, 70% of customer wins are based on how they felt they were treated during the process. It’s necessary then to take a moment to think critically about how your organization’s skillset can address pain points specific to the provider in question and how your partnership satisfies the goals of both parties as they relate to precision medicine efforts.
- Prompt a clear and concise call to action. There is a difference, although sometimes subtle, between being persuasive and being pushy. A pushy call to action employs force, often implying inadequacy on the receiver’s end and frequently comes off as disruptive, unwelcome or pretentious. A persuasive call to action, on the other hand, conveys a comfort level with the subject matter, communicating confidence and expertise and viewing the receiver as an equal, a missing puzzle piece so to speak. The choice of course remains up to you, but I, along with the co-founder of an emotional intelligence company that makes it’s living illustrating this difference to 75% of Fortune 500 Companies, would recommend the latter.
Ultimately, as the industry shifts from reactive to proactive care and treatment strategies, healthcare IT must acknowledge the area of opportunity created by communication efforts and must work to spur meaningful dialogue that prompts actionable results. With the successful marriage between healthcare IT and PR and marketing, these two industries have the potential to bring the dream of predictive medicine to fruition, giving patients the proverbial keys to the castle when it comes to improved outcomes and increased quality of life.