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The “Shoestring” Award - Silver

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Johns Hopkins Medicine Digital Patient Communications
Johns Hopkins Medicine Digital Patient Communications

Johns Hopkins Medicine Mobilizes Digital Patient Communications During the COVID-19 Crisis
Johns Hopkins Medicine

In April 2020, Johns Hopkins Medicine had an urgent need to communicate with its nearly one million patients about critical information related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The health system’s existing IT and scheduling center solutions were highly individualized and not set up to communicate to the entire patient population at once. Executive leadership turned to the marketing and communications department to move patient communications forward in order to manage the crisis at hand.

Working with no budget, the team utilized existing resources and key relationships to formalize a strategy and infrastructure to communicate with patients during the crisis. Input from patient and family advisory councils and an online patient feedback panel guided the strategy and helped it evolve quickly over the initial four months of the crisis. More than 900,000 unique patients received our communications. Our patient-specific webpage received more than 269,000 page views from April to June.

Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Patient Communications Workgroup (Initial Team)
Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Patient Communications Workgroup (Initial Team)

What was the most impactful part of your award-winning entry?
Our patient communications are seen by executives and patients as trusted and essential resources during a time of extreme uncertainty. This work brought our team closer to our patients and allowed us to better understand their needs.

What is one thing you learned from this experience?
Patient communications is an essential business function. Health systems need to have a well-established patient communications infrastructure in place prior to a crisis to ensure they can quickly disseminate critical information and maintain trust and strong relationships with their patients.

What challenge did you overcome?
The inability to communicate with all of our patients in an expedited fashion.

Contact

Lisa Broadhead, lbroadh1@jhmi.edu

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