Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Time For A Robust HPM Public Engagement Campaign - Picking the Right Ingredients and the Brand

by Ankur Bharija, MD

As national news and media sources talk about Being Mortal and the IOM report - Dying in America quite literally and figuratively; and Palliative Care is seen as a major solution in the conversations - it is important who is leading the conversation. People are overwhelmed with the complexities of the healthcare system and overload of misinformation.

As Hospice and Palliative Medicine (HPM) professionals, we strive to guide our patients and families through the complexities of the system everyday, it is all the more important for us to engage with the public outside our offices. The benefits of public engagement range from increasing awareness about benefits of hospice and palliative care to being #hpm ambassadors, recruiting volunteers, advocating for policy reform, raising funds for advocacy, education, research and improving access.

T1: Examples of public engagement campaigns via HPM and non-HPM professional organizations and non-profits. What have we learnt?

(A quick search led to these, and by no means is comprehensive - feel free to suggest additions)

What have we learnt? What should be the strategic call to action for the public from the HPM professional organizations perspective?

T2: What would be the ideal ingredients of a viral Social Media campaign, that raises the bar for HPM public engagement?

We have all witnessed how the ALS Bucket Challenge and Stand Up To Cancer recently swept away the fundraising industry. A little while ago, it was the Livestrong Foundation campaign, the Alzheimer's Association and so on. We have seen how crowdfunding has proven valuable to HPM awareness and care delivery - recent Pallimed blog. Do we think, a HPM campaign can garner enough celebrity endorsement, public support, and much needed impetus via social and new media to establish the right brand for Palliative care amongst masses?

T3: Value of the Brand - How can we make it stick and pull people in?

What are we talking about? Serious illness, advanced illness, living well with serious illness, dying well, quality of life, healthcare system navigators, alleviating suffering, assisting caregivers and more. Our definition isn't as simple as professionals treating cancer, alzheimer's, heart disease, ALS etc. How can we balance our diversity and focus to connect with the public?

This is our last Tweetchat of 2014 as we will be on break for the last two weeks of the year.  We hope you will join us!

What: #hpm chat on Twitter
When: Wed 12/17/2014 - 9p ET/ 6p PT
Host: Ankur Bharija, MD 
Facebook Event Listing: https://www.facebook.com/events/771343319585912/

If you are new to Tweetchats, you do not need a Twitter account to follow along. Try using the search function on Twitter. If you do have a Twitter account, we recommend using nurph.com, for ease of following.

We will be posting the transcript and analytics here after the chat takes place. Chat Transcript and Chat Analytics courtesy of @Symplur

Ankur Bharija, MD is a clinician educator in Geriatrics and Palliative Care, works at the PACE of East Boston Neighborhood Health Center and Faculty at Boston University School of Medicine. He is "wannabe" culinary Indian cook, a runner and enjoys traveling and photography.

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