The Role of Media In Healthcare
In definition, a contemporary health care management issue incorporates a current situation or topic influencing health practice. This report scrutinizes the increasing role of media in promoting healthcare practices as well as analyzes the influence of media on healthcare service delivery. This is achieved through an analysis of different forms through which the media influences public perception of healthcare issues, the distribution of information related to healthcare practices. Also, the validity and reliability of the information provided by media in relation to healthcare issues as well as other ways in which the media has actively engaged in promoting general health factors. Subsequently, this report emphasizes the influence of media on the development of services in the healthcare industry.
Based on the finding from this report, the role of media is significant in promoting healthcare practices. The media increases public awareness, enhances the distribution of health-related information, advocate for better healthcare policies as well promote the efficacy of the healthcare management process. Comparatively, the media provides a positive perception of healthcare issues and hence influences health behaviors and attitudes of the public as well as the promotion of healthcare organizations.
The media has established itself as a crucial part of society by playing different roles in providing information about every aspect of recent happening around the globe. Initially, the role of media was to educate, inform and entertain. Although this is still the main objective of the media, its purpose has greatly broadened to meet the increasing demand for information. In this context, the media’s role is exhibited in providing information on current issues and affairs in the healthcare sector. Healthcare professionals have increasingly started to evaluate the purposive usage of different forms of media such as radio and television for shaping health behavior based on a large audience (Moorhead et al. 2013). In modern society, the media’s role is not subjected only to analyzing and reporting specific events but also to tracing new trends in healthcare as well as distributing valuable information to the public to strengthen service delivery and quality management practices to cope with the new emerging trends in healthcare.
The media is divided into mass media and targeted media. Mass media is generally perceived to include radio, magazines, television, the internet, and newspapers (Flora et al. 2010). These media tend to be useful in health promotion since they reach a larger audience as compared to the targeted media. The target media have the ability to spread its message to a specific target population. Targeted media includes booklets, newsletters, videos and computerized information systems. These media contain messages which are designed to be delivered to specific audiences and hence have limited ability to reach a larger number as compared to mass media. The healthcare industry collects data and directs it either to a target population through targeted media or the general public through mass media. The media is instrumental in designing media content that is directly addressed to a specific target to inform matters in healthcare.
In many types of research, the media’s role in the healthcare industry has been subjected to the discussion, and many practitioners in the health sector have acknowledged the influence of the media (Benelli, 2015). Currently, every healthcare organization requires a “media Governance” to help in the implementation of quality management practices. This will, in turn, allow and demonstrate the value of media in promoting healthcare practices both internally and externally. The media is a channel through which health organizations can educate and inform the general public of matters related to their service delivery. The bulk of this report analyses the potential and current use of media in healthcare promotion.
The role of media in health promotion
In healthcare, the role of the media is to inform people about the current aspects of healthcare. This can include new treatments, and outbreaks among others. The increase in demand for health-related information has resulted in the advancement of media technology to cover current issues around the globe. The preliminary role of the media is educating the public in order to achieve health promotion goals. The media is instrumental in providing and conveying information to a larger group (Ventola, 2014). Knowledge gained about health affairs is the first step in ensuring a healthy population and all desirable, important outcomes anticipated by health practitioners. This is achieved through education programs and campaigns on health through different platforms provided by the media.
Many healthcare organizations participate in education programs through different media channels such as social media to educate the public on innovative medical practices as well as showcasing blogs with health-related messages. The discovery and continuous flow of information on the media platforms give patients and physicians the capability to streamline and filter the available information to gain knowledge and skills on healthcare matters. Also, social media databases provide patients with social posts which provide information for what they are currently ailing. This acts as a supplement and extensive knowledge that the patient was unlikely to obtain from a physician.
The mass media is a well-defined tool for healthcare marketers in the bid to engage with clients on different platforms. One of the benefits attributed to the media is its ability to convey messages from different marketers for them to win clients. The digital marketing hierarchy demands all competitive stakeholders in the healthcare business to define marketing strategies that incorporate the use of mass media to promote their products and engage with clients on all media platforms that they use. The media provides numerous opportunities for healthcare systems to build connections, share discoveries and develop a substantial client base. Through this, healthcare marketers can develop guidelines to present their services and products through different platforms. According to Demi and Cooper (2015), 41% of patients indicate that the media affects their choice of hospital. These statistics represent a large margin, and hence the media has a huge impact on healthcare organizations in promoting their services and products as well as exposing the organization to the public.
Public announcements on issues relating to healthcare can be made through the media. Public awareness is made possible through media in which the healthcare industry can voice any issues on health that require public attention. For instance, revealing any harmful drugs circulating in the market and giving warnings on epidemics. It is evident that many countries use the media as a channel for educating the public on emerging issues in its health sector. The media mainly focuses on bringing all details in healthcare and aiding people in making better decisions.
The attitudes and behavior of individuals in relation to healthcare may be influenced by the media. The media is instrumental in changing the overall public behavior on specific issues in healthcare. The media occupies a significant part in increasing public awareness and the articulation of their attitudes and views toward health issues. Health agencies use the power of the media in spreading informative messages to the general public. Healthcare organizations are able to provide information to the public on new trends and medical practices adopted by the business. New priorities and practices are communicated to the public and therefore enabling the public to align with the new healthcare practices. Different studies on health care indicate that public awareness acts a key role in influencing opinion in the public domain.
In the formulation of healthcare policies, the media plays a vital role in advocating for better policies (Othman & Elham, 2016). It’s the role of the media to act as a watchdog for the public in informing the public on healthcare aspects in relation to the political system. The independent role played by the media in creating awareness of political intervention on health matters is critical in bringing into detail major political decisions which affect the healthcare sector either directly or indirectly. Through the media, people have information on what the political system is regarding their health issues. Correspondingly, the media exposes the issues which the policymakers need to review and thus advocate for better health service delivery policies. Policymakers seem to attend to healthcare issues that are raised by the media and hence, fair healthcare policies are formulated.
Comparatively, the media has exposed medical techniques and practices in different countries which have resulted in the adaptation of these practices. The media acts as a promoter of new and existing healthcare programs in different countries. This is achieved through familiarising the public and the target audience with health behavior change in terms of practice, products, and services. Additionally, the media systems encourage the audience to participate and incorporate programs adopted from other countries and thus resulting in the promotion of healthcare service delivery. The media has made globalization applicable in many countries by making public awareness of healthcare programs from different countries. This has in return increased the demand for better healthcare services that match the standards of service delivery in other countries.
The media as a best practice in healthcare management
The media is associated with improving the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare systems. There exist different ways through which the health industry can utilize the impact of the media in improving management practices. This is by providing a conceptual framework that involves the distribution of information to maintain and improve healthcare activities. The activity of incorporating the media in promoting healthcare issues can be categorized as “best practice” since it’s a method that critically analyses healthcare matters with the aim of enhancing efficacy in a different healthcare setting. The relationship between the media and the healthcare setting is shifting to a new dimension, and it is essential for all healthcare management to incorporate the media into their service delivery fully.
Many healthcare management decisions are based on information provided by the media. Hospital administrators make decisions based on other competitive health organisations’ strategies which are mostly exposed through media channels. The media provides health professionals with current trends in the healthcare industry with the aim of influencing their decisions and switching to modernized ways of clinical practices. Subsequently, healthcare management is provided with a tool for obtaining evidence especially online, to support their arguments in convincing healthcare organizations to adopt new strategies in order to maximize the impact of media incorporation in their operation.
The media ensures proper coordination of the management process by providing a communication platform. As a best practice in healthcare management, the media improves the coordination of activities throughout the entire organization. Different media tools are widely available for hospital administrators to improve professional networking, health programs, and organizational promotion as well as improve patient care and knowledge. Hospital administrators have the capability to communicate decisions to their subordinates with ease, especially through social media networks (Derby Berg, 2014). The media acts as a communication tool for the organization to pass its message to the general public.
The validity and reliability of media information on healthcare
The media has had an advocacy role in a clear concise of healthcare issues all over the world. This has led to the establishment of measures and policies which dictate the availability, creditability, and integrity of healthcare-related information. The healthcare sector is a volatile criterion, and hence the information provided by the media is highly correct. The parameters set by journalism have indicated a strong influence on the public’s knowledge due to its credibility (Seale, 2003). Subsequently, health organization has established official sites to convey information relevant to the health of the individual. The validity and reliability of information and guidance on health matters provided by the media are proven to be useful in enhancing health-related outcomes.
Most of this information is provided by accredited health practitioners who have substantial knowledge in healthcare matters. This in return ensures that the information is credible and consumers can base their decisions on media-provided information. Also, the increasing reliance on health information has enhanced a sense of trust on the reliability of the information. The social norms have also impacted the degree of usage of health information provided by the media by instilling a positive perception of the individual. This increases the extent of the reliability of information and also proves its validity in the modification of health behavior and attitudes.
Conclusion and Recommendation
In summary, the media plays a critical role in promoting healthcare practices as well as a management process, decisions, and distribution of information on health issues. Healthcare practitioners and organization needs to incorporate strategies that allow the usage of the media in the promotion of healthcare practices. The management should also utilize information on current trends in the healthcare industry provided in different media platforms to improve service delivery. Subsequently, hospital administrators should seize the opportunity provided by the media to educate the public on healthcare issues, the clinical practices which the organization performs as well as products offered by the organization.
The management should allow professional networking in the organization. This involves allowing health practitioners to engage in online communities, communicate with colleagues and gain expert views in regard to patient issues. Professional networking platforms will provide and discuss topics in the medical environment and hence increasing the knowledge and skills of the practitioners involved. Also, healthcare management should utilize the concept of crowdsourcing which includes the integration of skills and knowledge from different professionals in different environments to solve, gather and form opinions on health problems. This will provide a new communication model in which practitioners can professionally exchange clinical information easier and quicker than before. The management should develop professional education which gives depth insight into the application of the media and encourage physicians to develop a culture that incorporates the adaptation of media information on health.
Since there exist potential risks in the reliability and credibility of certain health-related information, due to the availability and distribution of unclear and poor-quality data, the management should formulate policies that dictate the degree of application and reliability of information from unverified sources. Correspondingly, healthcare management should provide guidelines that protect and ensure the integrity that their specific organizations provide to the media. This is to maintain the credibility and reliability of the information provided by the media. Lastly, the media should be used in organizational promotion for the benefit of the organization.
Benelli E., 2015 “The Role of the Media in Steering Public Opinion on Healthcare Issues.” ScienceDirect.com | Science, Health and Medical Journals, Full-Text Articles and Books, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168851002000647.
Derby Berg M., 2014, September 23. Best practices for social media campaign from Healthcare Marketing IMPACT Awards #MHImpact. Retrieved from http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20140923/INFO/309239990
Flora, J.A., Maibach, E.W. and Maccoby, N., 2010. The role of media across four levels of health promotion intervention. Annual Review of Public Health, 10(1), pp.181-201.
Garber, Alan M. Frontiers in Health Policy Research: [vol.] 5. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2002.
Mitra, Sinjini, and Rema Padman. “Understanding the Role of Social Media in Healthcare via Analytics: a Health Plan Perspective.” Healthcare Analytics: From Data to Knowledge to Healthcare Improvement, 2016, pp. 593-625.
Moorhead, S.A., Hazlett, D.E., Harrison, L., Carroll, J.K., Irwin, A. and Hoving, C., 2013. A new dimension of health care: a systematic review of the uses, benefits, and limitations of social media for health communication. Journal of medical Internet research, 15(4).
Othman, Elham., 2016. “What is the Role of Media in Health Care Policy Making?” ResearchGate, www.researchgate.net/post/what_is_the_role_of_media_in_health_care_policy_making.
Seale, C., 2003. Media and health. Sage.
Ventola L., 2014. The Media and Health Care Professionals: Benefits, Risks, and Best Practices. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4103576/?utm_source=direct