In this time of COVID 19 crisis, many consumers are confused and afraid for their health and futures. It is no wonder. The airwaves have been flooded with information, sometimes with inconsistent messaging. For the heroic providers caring for the populations on the front lines, stress could not be higher. Guidelines are evolving as our experience with this virus in a global pandemic scenario is in its infancy; we don’t know how much worse it will get in various locations; if or when there will be another wave or waves; or if this is one of many pandemics we will face in the coming years. To effectively empower consumers to take positive actions, they need the best up to date information.
As some well-meaning organizations have tried to quickly develop solutions or just contribute something, there have been some great support solutions as well as those that are less than helpful, including potentially harmful messaging or omissions. Two occurrences last week resulted in my coining the term “please COVID responsibly”. One was an okay start on a COVID APP but one that before release needs more testing, more clinical content review and a rigorous process for updates. The second was a headline of an email blast directed to individual decision making with a subject header that discouraged COVID 19 testing, albeit with some caveats for the consumer to read on and discern.
Clearly, the potential for missing information, misinformation or misinterpreted information leading to the continued spread or a life-threatening delay in treatment is real. Everything must be read and re-read through the eyes of a consumer and what action they may take or not take as a result of receiving the information. Collectively healthcare leaders can help. Look, listen and take the time to provide feedback for course correction if you believe such a risk exists. Your thoughtful feedback will go a long way in helping to protect and empower consumers while researchers continue to advance progress on vaccines, treatments and antibody testing, the CDC aggressively disseminates updated guidance, and the heroes battle the big fight on the front lines.
#COVID-19 #population health management #healthcare quality #CDC
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