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Communication Essential to Providing Better Healthcare Services


Mark Venables
Communication Essential to Providing Better...

Listening to people is one of the most important aspects of the communication process; acting on what they say is equally essential, says Mark Venables, CEO and founder of Highland Marketing. This is why we have entered into a partnership with clinically-based health IT consultancy AbedGraham. It’s because we have listened to the market, and understand the importance of embracing clinical views with health IT adoption.

Healthcare and communication are uneasy bedfellows. The NHS universe is awash with TLAs (three letter acronyms) such as STPs (sustainability and transformation plans), GDEs (global digital exemplars), LDRs (local digital roadmaps) and the like.

It was a fact picked up recently by BBC Online’s Nick Triggle, who highlighted the concerns of the Plain English Campaign about the language being used by the health service. The NHS was confusing the public and was simply ‘gobbledygook’, his recent article noted.

It is not just confusing the public; it is confusing us all. Health IT veteran Andy Kinnear quipped on Twitter: “Confusing the public!! I’m well lost and I’m inside the tent.”

The need for improved communication was also evident at the launch of Dell EMC’s blueprint for digital transformation in the NHS, which Highland Marketing attended. NHS chief information officer Will Smart and others from NHS trusts met with SMEs and health technology companies to hear how the NHS could embrace technology for digital transformation.

It was an excellent event, with demonstrations of high quality applications of technology as part of care. It showed that the NHS and its supporting case of technology providers, has a lot of which it can be proud.

The need to promote these beacons of good practice was also evident; negative news headlines about NHS IT do nothing to help celebrate the steady growth of digital health within what is one of the largest organisations in the world.

What is needed to spread innovation, is to tell the right message to the right people, listen to their individual needs, and support them with the task of applying that knowledge.

As Annie Cooper, deputy clinical director and chief nurse at NHS Digital, said in National Health Executive: “What we need is to win hearts and minds. We will do this by co-producing solutions which act as an enabler to great care.”

To help win those hearts and minds in the health technology market, clinical engagement is essential.

We know from talking to many in the market that having a clinician’s view on how technology can and should work, and where it would have the most appeal, is crucial in helping to translate innovative ideas into enhanced clinical care.

That is why we have entered into a partnership with clinically-based health IT consultancy AbedGraham. It means  we can now provide clinical, operational and policy based advice and services along with proven PR, digital marketing, sales acceleration skills and other supporting communications skills.

As Dr Saif Abed, a founding partner at AbedGraham, who was an NHS doctor prior to serving as a medical director and clinical safety officer for several large technology companies, said: “There is now unprecedented recognition for the role clinicians can and must play in ensuring healthcare has a sustainable digital future. We have partnered with Highland Marketing to ensure that technology suppliers communicate their successes effectively, by addressing important issues such as improving clinical outcomes, creating value for money and aligning with transformation initiatives at home, in the NHS and across the globe.”

By listening to the market, and working with acknowledged experts in the field, we can now further help technology providers position their innovations in the most effective way possible to clinicians – through good communication, listening and responding to what people are saying, and by working in partnership so we can all work together to help provide the better patient care to which we all aspire.

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