by Christina Thielst

First posted on Christina’s Considerations on 02/05/2013

Christina Thielst, Host of Christina’s Considerations

Collection of data is worthless unless that data is used.  As it relates to consumers and their health, presenting the data in a way that is useful and actionable is the goal.

The simple act of presenting the data to create awareness only takes us half of the way.  As discussed on thechealth blog the real power comes from presenting the information along with varied, contextual messaging.   The graphic below demonstrates the power of feedback along with the contextual messaging in a study they conducted on use of text messaging to promote sunscreen use. 

Sunscreen Adherence

This reminds me of my work with evidence-based communications and those TeamSTEPPS techniques that are closed-loop, such as, Check-back, Feedback, and SBAR.  The real key is taking the next step and then engaging the patient and using technology to deliver the varied, contextual messaging.  In TeamSTEPPS, the relevant engagement techniques include STEP, Task Assistance and/or Feedback.

The beauty of technologies like microblogs or text messaging is the need to keep the content short and simple; which is also important for communications to those with low health literacy levels.  In addition, these “mobile” technologies travel with the patient as they live their life or go on to their next point in care.  They facilitate an ongoing connection and support of patients, even when they aren’t physically located in front of the provider – at least 95% of the time.

I’ve been seeing a convergence and the data from the Center for Connected Health really takes it home!