Unusual Partners for Health: Healthcare Professionals and Librarians Partner to Communicate About Health Through Radio and Social Media Public Deposited

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  • May 20, 2019
  • Renner, Barbara Rochen
    • ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-3505-6341
    • Affiliation: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Health Sciences Library
  • Goldstein, Adam O.
    • Affiliation: School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine
  • Ottosen, Terri
    • ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-1749-927X
    • Affiliation: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Health Sciences Library
  • Richardson, Lee M.
    • ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-0076-9859
    • Affiliation: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Health Sciences Library
  • Healthcare professionals using the radio and other media outlets to communicate health information is not unusual. It is unusual for healthcare professionals to partner with librarians to communicate on a weekly basis about health issues through radio and social media platforms. This presentation details a project in which healthcare professionals from a large public university school of medicine and university health sciences librarians collaborate on a weekly consumer health talk radio show and its associated social media. This weekly radio show, which airs on a local radio station with a weekly listenership of approximately 35,000, provides practical, health-related news and information to listeners in a comforting, convenient, easy to understand style. It is hosted by a family medicine physician and faculty member and co-hosted by other health professionals. Each week, librarians post the show’s audio recording supplemented with links to high quality consumer health information. They also respond to the host’s periodic “shout outs” for the librarians to provide additional information on specific topics or issues. Librarians utilize health literacy skills to evaluate and select these internet resources and to create additional blog posts to elaborate on show topics or to bring together internet resources on a topic from the news. Librarians disseminate health information through the radio show’s Twitter account. The blog is also featured as current health-related content on the Health and Wellness Information Center webpage of the site that provides digital content to all citizens of the state via libraries state wide. Health Sciences librarians have collaborated on this health communications project since 2009, bringing their expertise in information discovery and organization, consumer health, and health literacy. There have been over 600 blog posts since July, 2010, when the blog went live, with over 82,000 views of the site since January 2011.Librarians have provided over 5,000 links to health information, currently averaging 17.7 links for each weekly show. The blog has been viewed in over 150 countries since February 25, 2012, when WordPress began providing this information and it was viewed in over 80 countries in the past year alone. Overwhelmingly, most visitors to the blog come from search engines. The remaining top five referring websites from which visitors to the blog arrive are, from highest to lowest, the university’s school of medicine website, the show’s Facebook site, the show’s Twitter account, and the WordPress Android app. The librarian who initiated the collaboration received the university’s public service award, which “recognizes outstanding engagement and service to the state…” and the library profession has been interested in exploring this example of librarian involvement in health communications, which has been presented at conferences and through publication in the professional and scholarly literature. The background of the show and partnership will be described along with information about the role of the librarians. Barriers, breakthroughs, best practices, and lessons learned will be shared, along with future plans.
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  • Health Communication: Barriers, Breakthroughs, and Best Practices (2019 : online)

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