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PHDSC Outreach Plan

As the Consortium's Strategic Plan comes together, we need an outreach plan to help implement the Plan. Many of the activities within the Plan itself relate to communicating with various stakeholders and educating various audiences both within public health IT and within the broader public health community. To develop this outreach plan, we must:

  • Clearly identify the message(s) we want to convey
  • Identify the strategies and mechanisms we will employ to deliver the message(s)
  • Identify and acquire the resources (people, artifacts) to carry out the plan
  • Identify metrics so we know how we are doing

Only then can we operationalize the plan and move forward.

The Message

Virtually any and all Consortium activities are fair game for publicity and outreach. This C&O plan should not eliminate other C&O activities that may take place through the normal course of Consortium activities. With that in mind, however, C&O activities should be coordinated wherever possible with this overall plan and should be supportive of the plan's directions.

First and foremost, the plan will focus on the primary messages of the PHDSC Strategic Plan, namely:

  • PHDSC's vision of a transformation in healthcare over the next 10 to 15 years, in which there will be a migration from today’s disease-based model to a health-based model of care, and its sources and background within the larger healthcare ecosystem
  • PHDSC’s mission to build a Coordinated Voice from Public Health on HIT Standards, and bring this Voice to national and international HIT standards efforts to achieve both consensus within Public Health and full systems functionality and interoperability within the healthcare-public health-population health enterprise.
  • PHDSC's primary strategic goals:
    • Help stimulate the migration of clinical and public health operations from a disease-based to a health-based model/learning health system
    • Enable seamless alignment of systems functionality and interoperability within the healthcare-public health-population health enterprise via HIT standards
  • The plan's strategic initiatives:
    • Unify Public Health in Support of Health-based Model/ Learning Health System
    • Unify public health information systems
    • Align/Integrate Public Health with Other Sectors in Healthcare, Including Administrative Data Systems
    • Align/Integrate the Healthcare-Public Health-Population Health Enterprise with Consumers and Other Stakeholders According to the Vision of the HBM/LHS

Within the Strategic Plan's implementation, various activities will take place which will require publicity and outreach to the public health and general healthcare communities. The focus of C&O should be on publicizing the artifacts, tools, and conclusions of the Consortium with respect to the implementation of the plan. These artifacts primarily come as a result of work done within PHDSC standing or ad hoc committees and PHDSC sponsored projects. Some projects are already underway and can become part of the early focus of the C&O activities. These early projects include:

  • The 2009 PHDSC Business Case: The Role of Public Health in National Health Information Technology Standardization, especially as it forms a basis for the Strategic Plan
  • The PHDSC Interactive Modules Web Site, including the Stories Database for which we need to continuously solicit submission and encourage query
  • The PHIN Public Health Reporting Resource Web Site currently being designed
  • Ongoing standards work being done by PHDSC in HL7, IHE, X12, and the S&I Framework Project (see projects reflected elsewhere in this wiki)

The Audience

The audience for Consortium communications and outreach is very broad, including:

  • Public Health
    • Members - leadership and membership
    • Non-members, since our goals are to get everyone behind the agenda of the Strategic Plan
  • Other stakeholders in healthcare since our Strategic Plan is about broad healthcare transformation

Messages need to ideally be tailored to specific audiences. Useful to build upon other people's messages (see below).

Possible Activities

Our early discussions have focused on a number of activities which feel like natural strategies to employ, either because we are comfortable doing them and/or our intended audience(s) are used to communications in this fashion. These may or may not remain central to our Outreach Plan but likely they will continue to be important:

PHDSC Website

We have a maturing public website for the Consortium. Some activities related to enhancing it for this purpose might be:

  • Task 1: Update and maintain PHDSC website (core content)
    • Activity 1: Migrate website from template-based into database-based
    • Activity 2:...
  • Task 2: Update and maintain PHDSC website (project-related content)
  • Task 3: Expand PHDSC website features (e.g. calendar, analytics, search capacities, blog, twitter, facebook, youtube)
  • Task 4: Operationalize PHDSC Website outreach capacity (e.g. resources, timeline, and point of contact)


  • The Consortium has a Quarterly Newsletter which could be enhanced or supplemented to support the Outreach Plan
  • The Consortium's member organizations themselves have newsletters. Occasionally, PHDSC submits material for inclusion (or the organizations themselves include PHDSC material). This is a good source of easy publicity usually to willing and interested audiences.


  • From time to time the Consortium has conducted webinars both for its members and other interested parties.
  • We could create a standard set of webinar slides and content. The Presentation that Noam did for APHA is a good start, though some of the material depicted is under revision during Winter/Spring 2012.
  • We could also prepare the webinar as a pre-packaged module (like the distance learning modules) for easy broadcast and posting on the PHDSC website.
    • Do voice recording/recorded webinars? Is it cost prohibitive? Could use GoToMeeting recording, which is free. Could record it alone or during an audience presentation.
  • We could deliver a standard webinar monthly in 2012 (as soon possible) to as many venues as possible, including:
    • PHDSC itself to members and non-members
    • Schedule with audiences belonging to member organizations, including CDC, AIRA, APHL, ASTHO, NACCHO, CSTE, NAACCR (see List of PHDSC members and below)

In-person Presentations and Appearances

Many of the organizations associated with the Consortium and its members have annual conferences and other events. Most have several means of achieving a presence at the event:

  • Formal abstract submission to be included in the program of speakers
  • Financial sponsorship of the conference with recognition of some type (signs, advertisements, announcements)
  • Exhibition space (sometimes non-profits receive reduced rates)
  • Invited keynote address

See below for a list of candidate organizations and their upcoming events. The Consortium needs to decide how to maximize its exposure at these events.

Social Media

A number of social media tools are available and might be used to convey our message.

  • Develop a PHDSC Blog about PHDSC updates, Public Heath Informatics and Health IT-related topics.
    • Technically, it would be easy to develop a blog; the larger issue is having enough resources to create and maintain content for the blog.
    • In addition to PHDSC, we could invite partner organizations to write and contribute to the blog -- this would also strengthen our relationship with them.
    • A team could be assigned to be the review board for the content.
  • Establish a twitter account and assign responsibility to publicize it and tweet

Measurements and Metrics

As this C&O plan is developed, a set of measures and metrics of the plan's activities, effectiveness, and impact will need to be developed. Elements of this assessment may include:

  • Descriptive statistics about the number, type, and character of specific C&O activities
  • Formal feedback received from presentations, conferences and other events
  • Surveys related to the impact and recognition of the Consortium's  message(s)

Engaging Member Organizations

Many of the possible activities above overlap with activities conducted by our member organizations, and other organizations as well. A more concerted effort needs to be made to leverage these resources and activities, perhaps by enlisting organization liaisons to increase the Consortium's exposure within these organizations. This would involve all the potential types of outreach discussed above. Some special cases worth mentioning are:

    • Meet with HIMSS (Pam Matthews) to see how we can raise the profile of this material within this organization.
    • Submit abstract to upcoming conferences in 2012, including HIMSS Virtual Conferences as they occur.
  • S&I Framework
  • Continue to work with CDC and S&I Framework Projects to integrate PHDSC Repository into these efforts. Of all things, this probably has the best potential for increasing the exposure of the project.

Possible Next Steps

  • Decide on which organizations (members and others) to work with and contact them
    • It would help to use the official slide deck and provide presentations
      • Need to decide whether to do outreach on the current site, subset of the current site (perhaps only the stories database), or wait for the new site to be finished
    • Outreach activities with organizations should include
      • Newsletter mentions: We should have standard text, perhaps a version of our press release
      • Webinars, either specially for us or part of an existing program
      • Meeting appearances, either as part of the program and/or at a table/booth

Organization/Contact Annual Meeting Outreach Activities
Michelle Meigs
May 20-23, 2012
Seattle, WA

Lori Havener
June 2-8, 2012
Portland, OR

Lawrence Hanrahan
June 3-7, 2012
Omaha, NE

Usually held in Jun
Kathleen Cook
July 11-13, 2012
Los Angeles, CA

Susan Salkowitz
September 19-20
St. Paul, MN

CDC National Center for Health Statistics August 6-8, 2012
Washington, DC

James Pearsol
Usually planned in Oct

Chris Williams
October 27-31, 2012
San Francisco, CA

Denise Love
Usually planned in Nov

Laura Streichert
December 3-5, 2012, San Diego, CA

Pam Matthews
Usually held in Feb (too late for 2012); virtual conferences often in June and Nov Abstract submitted for June 2012 Virtual Conference - Not accepted

Additional Insights