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Boosting awareness of Telehealth in Lanarkshire – Fraser’s story

Euan Duguid 

Communications Support for Telehealth 

We use technology like mobiles and tablets at work at rest and at play.  For some, however, it may take a quantum leap of the imagination to picture the text message at the heart of health care.  For others, it may strike (unfounded) fear into their hearts – and suggest their friendly local health professional is being replaced by automation.  The fact is, Telehealth is now a major tranche of health and social care delivery – augmenting traditional supports, ensuring patient safety and supporting people to lead independent lives.

My aim, from a communication perspective, was to raise awareness, providing a clear and reassuring public/staff message of what Telehealth is, how it works and highlight its multiple benefits. And given we’re dealing with communication technology we also wanted to add a healthy dash of innovation and interactivity to the process . . . 

So how did we go about this? 
Based on real life case studies, clinical advice from my colleague Morag Hearty, NHS Lanarkshire’s Telehealth Lead, along with her expert team, a script was developed for an animation that sought to meet all of above aims.  The resulting production told the story of Fraser, who’s supported by Telehealth/Florence.
No spoiler alerts . . . . please do watch the short animation to find out more. 

Communication these days isn’t just about sending out messages. It’s often about involving our audiences and social media allows that to happen.  Fraser struck a chord with many people (his animation has been taken to events and conferences locally, nationally and even overseas). But, he’s a lively character – and we really wanted to draw on his joie de vivre and bring him to life.

So the second phase of Fraser’s journey has just begun!

We’ve just launched (in February) our second short animation – and, as the story goes (spoiler alert!) Fraser is so active you can find him out and about across Lanarkshire and, indeed, beyond.  So the challenge we’ve issued to staff groups and the wider public is to #FindFraser

Our Telehealth team have been busy distributing posters of Fraser all over. From voluntary sector cafes, leisure centres to GP waiting rooms.  When people see the poster we’re encouraging them take a close up photograph of him, post it to social media using the hashtag #FoundFraser.  In turn, they receive a reply from Fraser, signposting to the original animation and more information about Telehealth.

Has Fraser been successful? 
Well, the original animation has received positive feedback and has now been shown UK-wide by a variety of partners and agencies, including Simple Telehealth Community, NHS 24 and Scottish Centre of Telehealth and Telecare.  Further feedback from clinical leads shows that the animation has resonated with and is even being used by health professionals overseas.

Local media have publicised the animation and partners in Lanarkshire’s health and social care landscape, including local authority, third sector and carer representatives are sharing Fraser’s story through their own extensive networks. Many hands make light work . . . .

So, the original aim, to raise awareness of Telehealth, is on track in terms of reach – with additional feedback suggesting audiences ‘get it’ after watching the original, easy-to-follow animation.

In practical terms, Fraser’s story is supporting an upward trajectory of 2000 Telehealth users in Lanarkshire and there’s early evidence showing that he’s boosting uptake of Telehealth elsewhere in Scotland.

Finally, the interactive #FindFraser campaign will now allow us to accurately measure how many people are engaging with Fraser, through social media analytics.

Exciting times.

See Fraser featured in ‘The Pulse’ for NHS Lanarkshire April/March 2017.

Stay tuned – and don’t forget to keep your eyes out for Fraser!

For more information please contact

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