Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Importance of Communication

I recently participated in an interview about health care reform (especially wellness, prevention and national health insurance) with SCIENCE AND SOCIETY, an Internet radio program that covers environmental conservation, medical breakthroughs and health care reform, computer science and space exploration. SCIENCE AND SOCIETY was one of the first Internet radio programs on the Web and one of the first to introduce podcasts to Internet users.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with them, podcasts are downloadable audio files that many organizations and public figures circulate on the Internet to communicate their messages to a wider audience. These files can even be stored on iPods and other mobile audio devices.

In the interview, I was given the chance to address topics ranging from CHRISTUS’ experience with coordinated community care and staffing community clinics, the importance of medical homes, what must be done to make health care affordable for Americans, the shortage of primary care providers and use of physician extenders and CHRISTUS’ 10th anniversary. (You can listen to the interview here.)

I’m still learning about all the new communication vehicles available these days, but I have always recognized the importance of communicating regularly and effectively. Uncertain times make regular communication even more of a necessity, and CHRISTUS’ commitment to transparency compels us to tell our story through as many avenues as possible.

Obviously face-to-face contact remains important, which is one of the reasons I committed to visiting all of CHRISTUS’ regions before our 10th anniversary on Feb. 1. But even during my visit to our CHRISTUS Muguerza region in Mexico, we used video conferencing technology to transmit my messages to Associates in rural regions that we could not reach in our limited amount of time there. We will continue to use these types of technologies—which all our facilities have access to—to conduct virtual meetings in these tough economic times and to keep the lines of communication as open as possible as we move forward.

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