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Module 2: Public At-large Engagement

Multi-stakeholder Community Inventory Modules

Community quality collaboratives are community-based organizations of multiple stakeholders, including health care providers, purchasers (employers, employer coalitions, Medicaid and others), health plans, and consumer advocacy organizations, that are working together to transform health care at the local level. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality offers these organizations many tools to assist in their efforts.

Your Goals in This Inquiry

  • Identify resources, both in-kind and financial, and experts in engaging the public at large, in particular on topics of quality and cost variation.
  • Learn which social marketing campaigns, particularly related to quality variation and consumer activation, have been successful in your community.
  • Identify target audiences that are ready to change and who would provide social capital to the program (be influential in changing others).
  • Identify existing messages and communications of stakeholders related to value-driven health care in your community.
  • Identify the target audiences' perceived benefits and barriers of value-driven health care.
  • Identify the most credible channels of communication for the target audience.
  • Identify ways to increase the perceived benefits and reduce barriers to value-driven health care.
Social marketing is a field of social research and practice that uses the principles of marketing to motivate changes in behavior that are beneficial to the society at large.
— Dale Shaller, Consumers in Health Care: The Burden of Choice, 2005

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Information You May Want to Gather

  • Previous and current local efforts to change public perception, especially in areas of quality and cost variation.
  • Organizations that undertook or are undertaking these initiatives.
  • Examples of communications or public relations conducted by government, purchasers, health plans, or providers to their members, customers, employees, patients, related to value-driven health care.
  • Local websites related to provider quality, cost, health care value.
  • Interest by Community Quality Collaborative stakeholders in developing, supporting or airing public service announcements (PSAs) or other vehicles to educate the public.
  • Retail stores with interest in running in-store public service announcements.
  • Journalists (TV, radio, media) in your community with a particular interest in health care.
  • Potential sponsors of pro-bono, future messaging.
  • Local experts or organizations with expertise in marketing and social marketing that could be tapped for this Community Quality Collaborative focus area.

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Key Individuals to Contact

  • Public health agencies that have conducted successful social marketing campaigns.
  • Health plans that have been successful in communicating messages related to value-driven health care.
  • Purchasers, private employers, Medicaid, and business coalitions that have communicated messages related to value-driven health care.
  • Consumer organizations that have been involved in communicating messages related to health behaviors and health care to their members.
  • Marketing experts within the Community Quality Collaborative's member organizations.
  • Advertising agencies that produced materials for social marketing campaigns.
  • Media, especially with a focus on health and health care issues.
  • Foundations, pharmaceutical, device manufacturers which may support your social marketing efforts.

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Other Individuals to Consider Contacting

  • Leaders within local employers not yet engaged with the Community Quality Collaborative who have expertise in marketing.
  • Labor leaders who have an interest in health and health care.
  • Quality improvement organizations (QIOs).
  • Other organizations involved in quality improvement (QI).
  • Sources trusted by key audiences, such as churches, charitable or public service organizations.
  • State, county, local government (regulatory).

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Suggested Questions

Communitywide Public Engagement

  • What has been done, so far, in the area of public engagement or social marketing in this community, in particular related to quality and cost variation, including partnerships with national organizations?
  • What is an example of a multi-stakeholder social marketing campaign or public engagement effort in this community?
  • Was it successful and if so, what were its critical success factors? If not, why not?
  • Who was involved and responsible for its success?
  • If applicable, how were rural areas included in public engagement?
  • Are there geographic issues, such as distance, market service areas, local jurisdictions, or other boundaries that may pose challenges to public engagement?
  • Are there demographic issues such as age, income, language, culture, ethnicity, or education levels that may pose special challenges?
  • Do you see any individual stakeholder as dominant in this market, for example, purchasers, providers, or health plans? If so, how might that impede or support the Community Quality Collaborative's public engagement goals?
  • How do you anticipate identifying and supporting consumer representatives in public engagement?
  • What key messages have been communicated in this market related to value-driven health care?
  • Who has communicated them?
  • What impact have they had? How can you determine their impact?
  • What venues/channels would be most effective?
  • Who are potential sponsors of your activities?
  • Has any thought been given to health literacy in the community, and if so how?
  • What are the lessons learned overall?

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Stakeholder-Specific Public Engagement

  • What initiatives have you and others in your stakeholder group undertaken related to public engagement in value-driven health care?
  • What are your key messages?
  • What are your relevant current activities?
  • What are your goals and plans for the future in value-driven health care?
  • Who is involved? How should they be involved in the Community Quality Collaborative?

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Future Community Quality Collaborative Public Engagement

  • What key messages should the Community Quality Collaborative communicate in its public engagement initiative?
  • Should any particular group be the target for initial engagement efforts? If so, who and why?
  • What could you and your organization contribute to the Community Quality Collaborative?
  • Who else should be involved in the Community Quality Collaborative's public engagement efforts?

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Compiling Results

Tracking your activities and results of your inventory in a table similar to the one below will be useful for reporting activities to the Leadership Team.

Public At-large Engagement — Activities and Results
Interviewee Name Position, Organization Summary Conclusions/Next Steps

After data have been gathered from all sources in the focus area, the Focus Area Team Leader and members may analyze the results by reviewing the goals identified at the beginning of this section and by identifying and summarizing the following aspects of the inventory findings with each other and with other Focus Area Team leaders.

Public At-large Engagement — Analysis
Opportunities for Alignment  
Lessons Learned  

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Consensus Score Card

You may wish to develop a score for your Community Quality Collaborative's stage of development in each focus area to facilitate comparison of its stage of development across focus areas. You may discover differences in scores of individual key stakeholders for the same question. Identifying the degree of consensus among stakeholders will be useful in clarifying differing perceptions and goals and areas where consensus building may be useful for more effective collaboration.

If a quantitative approach doesn't fit in your situation, you may wish to use a more qualitative approach such as identifying areas of strengths and weaknesses or specific challenges and solutions.

  • Ask each team member to answer the following questions on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being the least developed and 10 being the most developed.
  • Average the scores of the team members, for each question, to get an average score per question.
  • Discuss any major differences between team members' scores to gain an understanding of each other's perspectives and knowledge.
  • Total the scores for all the questions and divide by the number of questions to get the score for this focus area.
  • Compare your Community Quality Collaborative's strength in this focus area to its strength in other focus areas in the overall Community Inventory Consensus Score Card when compiling and analyzing overall results from the tool.
Public At-large Engagement Consensus Score Card Points
1.  There is significant social marketing experience around value drive health care in our community.  
2.  The multi-stakeholder collaborative, individual health care organizations, purchasers, health plans or consumers have experience conducting public engagement or social marketing campaigns.  
3.  There are no major controversies or adversaries to value driven health care that need to be addressed in the social marketing effort.  
4.  There are important channels of communication, e.g., media, willing to participate in the effort.  
5.  There is a viable target audience(s) that is ready to change and who would provide social support for the campaign.  
6.  There is at least one credible spokesperson willing to participate in the social marketing effort.  
7.  Members of the Community Quality Collaborative will be able to reach consensus about key messages related to value-driven health care.  
8.  There are sufficient resources for a Community Quality Collaborative-led social marketing campaign to be successful.  
9.  The Community Quality Collaborative includes or will include experts in social marketing.  
10.  The Community Quality Collaborative members and organizations are willing to contribute time, resources, expertise, in-kind, financial or other, in a social marketing campaign.  
Total Points  

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Page last reviewed March 2009
Internet Citation: Module 2: Public At-large Engagement: Multi-stakeholder Community Inventory Modules. March 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


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