Knowing is Better

by Hans on 2010/10/19

While relaxing in front of the tube last night, I was intrigued by an ad that I saw which depicted a daughter visiting a doctor with her elderly father. The physician was asking about the medications and the daughter showed her a small bag full of pill bottles. We next see the physician use a computer to update the medications without interfering with the other multiple other medications. The commercial ends by directing viewers to go to a website titled “KnowingIsBetter.ca“.

My gut reaction was that this was an advertisement by eHealth Ontario to try and rehabilitate its image after the much publicized spending scandal. Much to my surprise, the advertisement was actually the work of Canada Health Infoway.

knowing_is_better.jpg

The website is quite simple and seems aimed at educating visitors about the benefits of increasing one’s health information and of using ehealth/electronic health records. I took a quick look through the website and was pleasantly surprised at the information provided. The message seemed simple and focused.

While I think the website will be helpful in educating visitors about the basic issues, I wonder if the use of TV commercial is the best use of resources to market this website. Given the multitude of social networking tools available today, could a social media strategy have been as/more effective and less costly than a television advertisement during prime viewing hours? Note: I have no data or information on costs so I have no direct knowledge and this is all speculation on my part. However, from my general understanding of marketing, TV is one of the more expensive means of advertising. I’ll be interested to see if this ad is repeated or if other versions of the ad show-up (and for how long).

I’d recommend checking out the website and then sharing what you think. What do you think about the website? Is this a good use of resources? Are there better ways of getting the message out?

{ 3 comments }

Michael Martineau October 20, 2010 at 10:07 am

Hans,
I have commented on this topic on my blog (http://ehealthmusings.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/knowing-is-better-infoway-public-awareness-campaign/) I have also encouraged Infoway, on several occasions to make more aggressive use of social media. Like many Canadian healthcare organizations, Infoway is proceeding slowly with regard to using social media.

Michael Martineau
eHealthMusings.ca

Hans October 20, 2010 at 10:30 am

Hi Michael,
Thanks for dropping by and for sharing your thoughts and the link to your post. Yes, health care in Canada seems slow to use “common” tools in the most effective way. Alex Jadad is known to point out that the telephone has been around for over 100 years and yet we still don’t use it effectively.

Do you have any thoughts on how things might be improved?
Hans.

Michael Martineau October 26, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Hmmmm … at the risk of disagreeing with Alex, I do wonder if it is possible to conclude that we don’t effectively use a tool that has been around for 100 years. Perhaps the definition of “effective use” of this tool needs to be revisited 🙂

As for social media, I am more concerned with the slow rate at which social media is being adopted by Canadian healthcare organizations than whether they are making “effective use”. Getting people to change their behaviours and adopt new technologies requires “change leadership” (not “change management” which I consider to be a contradiction in terms). I am heartened to see Glenn Lanteigne, CIO at the SouthWest LHIN, embracing Twitter and hope to see him blogging soon. Perhaps his leadership will encourage others.

Mike

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