The common wisdom is not to trust anything you read on the internet. Which doesn't seem all that wise.
It's undeniably true that some of the best communication about the COVID-19 pandemic has been from grassroots educators active on social media - your TikTok nurses and doctors - but it's simultaneously undeniable that the atmosphere of misinformation and disinformation that's been building throughout the internet age is directly responsible for massive casualties in the COVID-19 pandemic.
So... who do you trust?
You personally and professionally have all sorts of standards that you employ - consciously and subconsciously - when evaluating credibility. You probably trust institutions that have been around for a century more than a group that formed last week. You probably go with the majority opinion rather than the outlier. But sometimes big institutions lie, and a single person can make a difference by pointing out those lies.
The question we kept running into when reading the healthcare and supply chain news this week was: how do we communicate effectively, and how do we decide whose communication to trust?
- You should check out what's communicated in this AHRMM virtual session about how Steward Health Care saved more than $16 Million through expiration avoidance. We're, of course, biased, but all communication is. The trick is aligning with biases like... wanting to see the quality of care for your community improve.
- One suggestion to improve interactions with patients is to use emojis. I know, I know. This is literally a scene from Idiocracy. But what Idiocracy was illustrating is a health system scrubbed of all its compassion, but this proposed communication is centered around connecting more fully with patients.
- Okay, so what do you do when social media influence is used for evil? Becker's tracked down some of the prevalent misinformation trends about COVID-19 and healthcare, which is great, but now it's up to the rest of us to spread the correct information.
- We need to be more careful about how we talk about outbreaks, in particular, because uninformed speculation doesn't help anybody. Care about how we communicate will help us avoid losing some of our credibility, like...
- Californians were denied policy based on any kind of scientific or medical guidance, so their government looks particularly inept and hypocritical. Meanwhile the urge to wear any masks likely prevented the widespread use of effective masks.
Is that something likely to be communicated in the coming weeks? Part of the answer to that question is up to you. What are you going to do with the information you've gained today?
We'd love you to share it. Again, we're biased, but, again, a bias isn't necessarily a bad thing if it's biased toward your safety and wellbeing.
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