Reaching People Where They Are: On the Highway, in Giant Trucks

02 Dec 2014

The New Mexico Alliance had a dilemma. The three major health care providers in the Albuquerque metro area were struggling to find a way to tell patients not to use the emergency departments for non-emergency situations, without making it seem like they were turning people away. No one hospital wanted to be perceived as unwelcoming. The Alliance brought the hospitals together and borrowed a tested messaging campaign from the northwest part of the state. The campaign mostly used radio advertising—and in New Mexico, where people drive long distances every day, radio proved to be a surprisingly effective way to reach people. The Urgent/Emergent radio campaign was a great success, with ER visits decreasing by more than 1,000 visits as compared to the previous year.

Allison Kozeliski, RN, is a clinical quality improvement manager with the New Mexico Coalition for Healthcare Quality.