The Health Foundation’s guide, Using Communications Approaches to Spread Improvement, inspired and motivated me to develop a communications strategy that effectively shares important messages to enable the spread of improvements and innovations.
The guide articulates some of the barriers to spreading healthcare improvement, such as the ‘not invented here’ mind-set and ‘improvement evaporation’, issues around sustainability and those ‘islands of improvement’ which don’t spread more widely across our organisation.
It also offers some key lessons and ideas. These include the need to:
· engage with multiple stakeholders, get them involved early, share patient stories and reach a common understanding of the problem;
· encourage and enable idea generation and work together to build a communication strategy that appeals to both the hearts and minds of all our teams;
· consider organisational context, culture, local drivers and barriers, and understand and challenge the resistance which we will inevitably come across;
· use a variety of communication methods and be both persistent and consistent with our messages;
· be adaptable and flexible in our communications approach.