How To Learn About the Audience for a Health Care Quality Report
Here are some things you can do to gather useful information about your audience.
Ask Your Audience About Themselves
Start by asking your audience as well as those who know them well about their concerns and information needs:
- What do they think about when making decisions about their health care? Their family's health care?
- What are their top concerns about health care and the quality of care?
- What health care services do they need?
- What decisions do they need to make?
- What would they like to know to make those decisions?
Focus groups and surveys can be effective ways to explore the attitudes of your audience and get their reaction to specific issues.
Use Information That You Already Have
Your organization may already have a lot of information in databases and files. If you're an employer, for example, employee records can reveal a great deal about the demographics of your audience. Or colleagues may have already gathered information about your audience for other projects. If you do use existing files, take appropriate steps to safeguard individual privacy.
Use Internal Informants
Try to cultivate internal informants—that is, people who have regular contact with members of your audience. Physicians and nurses, for example, may be able to provide important insights into the behaviors and concerns of patients. Similarly, members of the human resources staff who handle calls from employees and family members about benefits may be well-versed on their concerns. Union representatives, community leaders, and leaders of faith-based organizations can also be helpful.
Tap Into External Resources for Information on Your Audience
If feasible, take advantage of the information compiled by many public and private sources, including university researchers, State agencies, advocacy groups, and private firms that specialize in collecting information about health-related socio-demographics and psycho-demographics.