• How to Cope With Ongoing Health Announcements

    With the internet so abundant and full of information, it can be difficult across all industries to differentiate what indeed is factual and what’s been blown out of proportion. So as professionals in an industry where knowledge and expertise is heavily relied on, it’s now more important than ever we make sure our access to health information is 100% correct.

    So how can we ensure we get the right health information to pass on to our doctors and medical practice colleagues, as well as our patients, and how do we go about handling all of it? I’ve put together a list of suggestions to help make getting that information a whole lot easier and a tonne less stressful.

    It’s All Facts, Baby

    Today we’re living in COVID times, and unfortunately with continuous outbreaks across Australia, information is coming at us from all directions – thick and fast. All those websites and social media posts can easily put a strain on our stress levels, but here’s a little reminder for you:

    So long as you get the facts from the most reputable sources, you’re good to go.

    As a general rule of thumb, the Federal Government’s Department of Health is the best source of information when it comes to policy updates and changes, outbreaks and lockdowns, initiatives and programs, budgets, and an array of other health topics. There’s also the Australian Medical Association, but it’s a good idea to check in with your clinic’s doctors as well to see which organisations they are members of or have associations with.

    Keep a list of those sites safely stored, and remember – just because it’s online doesn’t make it true.

    Stay In The Know

    Make it a part of your day, like it is for mine, to head to your reputable health sites every morning to check the news or media release tabs. Put a reminder in your organiser or diary to make this a part of your daily ritual (along with a good cup of tea, of course!) so that you can keep up to date with all the latest health information.

    Did you know that you can also sign up to press releases and newsletters via those websites? Just follow the media links, but if it’s a bit tricky getting there, there’s no harm in giving the organisation or departmental unit a phone call and ask to be added to their email subscriptions list. Everything will then be simply sent to your email the minute it happens.

    Staying in the know about what’s going on in the world of health is vital to your role as a practice manager. You’re a patient’s first point of call, so obtaining the right knowledge without having to cross reference and tell them ‘I’ll get back to you’ provides them with the confidence boost they need that they’re speaking to the right person, and to the right medical practice.

    Networking

    I’ve written previously about networking, specifically the how’s and why’s about meeting people online and opening up pathways to expand your circle. Reaching out to that network is another key factor in handling all the health information that’s out there – learning about what other medical practices are doing when it comes to protocols and procedures is a way of thinking outside the box and making sure you’re on par with similar clinics.

    But let’s not stop at general practitioner clinics – go further and check in with vet clinics, dental practices and even physiotherapist centres if you’re comfortable in doing so.

    Head To The Forums

    Online forums are a great way to gauge what the general public is thinking, what their experiences are and what types of questions they’re asking – so no, not necessarily for factual information, but extremely handy to see what questions everyone is asking. These can include platforms like Facebook, Reddit, LinkedIn and – believe it or not – TikTok.

    Try not to make it a habit of getting on these sites too often though (we’ve all fallen victim to swiping up, swiping up, swiping up before realising we’ve been watching dancing dogs in tutus for over 2 hours). Community discussion forums are great avenues to exchange ideas with the aim of discussing a particular topic; they’re not necessarily a hub for medical information, so tread carefully here and visit sometimes, not often.

    In the midst of information overload, the last thing I know you feel like doing is sifting through and making sense of everything that’s out there. With news being on every single medium 24 hours a day, 7 days a week there’s unlimited access to advice and opinions – it’s quite inescapable.

    Remember here that the answer to handling health and medical information isn’t to be less informed – it’s to be tactical and strategic with where you get that information from and how you organise it for yourself and your practice. Put a system in place and use your organisational skills to file everything away in the right places.

    I’d love to hear how you are currently handling all the information out there and what strategies you’re using.

     

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    2 Comments

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