Use examples for clarity in your newsletter

March 17th, 2012 by worddrive Leave a reply »

So, dear readers, have you come up with a friendlier definition of population health since our last encounter? Remember this one, borrowed from Wikipedia?:

“The technical field of endeavor which utilizes a variety of individual, organizational and cultural interventions to help improve the morbidity patterns (i.e., the illness and injury burden) and the health care use behavior of defined populations.”

I’m sure you know you would never use such a complicated definition in your newsletter–or on your website or your intranet, for that matter.

But, if “population health” is now part of your strategic planning, how will you let your patients, friends, community supporters know what you mean? The fact is that population health has numerous definitions, and you absolutely can’t assume that your general readers know what you mean.

Suppose you’ve decided that population health means teaching all your patients, hospital-wide, how to stay healthy. That’s not a bad way to start talking about it.

But, in the process, consider using an example or two, like this statement by a health economist: “Giving people a new heart is much more glamorous (and expensive, too) than teaching them to take care of the heart they were born with.”

As always, the eloquence of an example can make your case in a powerful way.

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