Getting past the rhetoric of health equality through health communication

Looks like the way The University of Oklahoma-Tulsa School of Community Medicine is using Web 2.0 technology for faculty and resident biomedical research is some pretty novel stuff. The editors of Cases in Public Health Communication and Marketing saw my presentation at the CDC National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media and have invited me to submit a case study about how we’re using wikis for research communication and knowledge management. Thanks to Doc Martens for introducing the technology some four years ago in our Masters of Knowledge Management class!!!! It takes visionaries like her to advance “better” (not best) practices in healthcare.

The more I get into the health communication field, the more I am surprised at how the crossing of communication, marketing and media with public health has been somewhat neglected. After all, what good is improved healthcare if no one knows about it? New technologies offer ways to share information, internally AND externally.

On the “inside” the days of long meetings and physically distributed minutes and reports is falling to the way side in favor of permanent, real-time documentation. I still believe in the water-cooler exchange, but my experience has shown me that getting something down in writing is the key to completing action items. Once a task or thought moves from tacit to explicit knowledge, somehow accountability creeps in.

On the “outside” hitting targeted “markets” of people can benefit from innovative health communication, including texting, increasing the awareness of health literacy issues, using ethnic media, conducting community based participatory research, and the like.

I’m excited about finding new ways to mobilize our nation to achieve health equity. Let’s get beyond the rhetoric!

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