Vaccines: How Do You Sell Prevention?
June 14, 2020
I started this post initially on Saturday late afternoon, and now finishing it up at 520AM Sunday morning. I have been getting up earlier and I enjoy the quiet of the early mornings. The breeze is rustling through our neighbors large palm tree. Those fronds hang over our yard and above the tent we pitched a few weeks ago. I napped there yesterday afternoon. The backyard birds are singing this morning. I have been blogging a lot and was intending to space out the posts more, but yesterday my mind was churning and I began a half-silly post again about Star Trek: Enterprise https://drplasticpicker.com/the-star-trek-enterprise-romance-of-tpol-and-trip-im-going-to-give-them-the-ending-they-deserve/.
But I have deleted most of yesterday afternoon’s post because it was silly. It is morning now. I prefer to blog in the early mornings because in the morning there is a sense of newness and possibilities. We watched “Knock Down The House” a documentary on Netflix about the 2018 Congressional elections with the kids yesterday. Initially our teenage son and Mr. Plastic Picker were reluctant. At the end of the movie, we are all glad we did watch it especially our tween daughter.
So my task for myself today is to ponder, how do we improve teenage vaccine rates paticularly HPV? Urgent Care Services has agreed to offer HPV vaccines during their visits. I received several emails yesterday from our Nursing Big Boss that their department wants a presentation “on the why?” as they need to get buy-in from their front-line MDs and staff. Nursing Big Boss really was asking for a canned presentation, but Dr. Plastic Picker knows an opportunity when there is one. I can easily put together a canned presentation from what we have and either give it myself or hand if off to the Urgent Care Leadership for them to deliver.
But remember, I’m a trash artist and I like to make something out of seemingly nothing. It’s all about the upcycle. I will upcycle this moment into a career opportunity for a younger physician, and a time to get engagement between two seemingly at odds department and create glory for the pediatric department.
How Do I Improve Teenage Vaccine Rates? Get a new messenger. We ponder this question at meeting after meetings. How do we improve vaccine rates? We talk about text messages, robo calls, and phones. We talked about missed opportunities and workflow and often people sit and point fingers and blame. Below is a text I sent to our Big Boss for Quality about old fashioned outreach efforts which we are doing still (text, phones, letter) that are still important. But I find that they are like carrier pigeons, old fashioned and slow.
RN Plastic Picker and I are trying to think out of the box and look at the world upside down, to try to move these vaccine rates. But part of how I sell prevention is actually to get more salespeople, if that makes any sense. You have to build engagement and buy-in. So how do I improve teenage vaccine rates? By finding my own AOC and have her sell the message with her youthful voice and battle the cynacism that is sure to exist in the Urgent Care module. I will engage one of our younger pediatricians who has proven to be an excellent messenger. She used to work as our South Quadrant Urgent Care Pediatrician so is well aware of the players on the other side. She also has star delivery power, and is young and invested. She has been on TV!
How Do I Improve HPV Vaccine Rates? Slip in messages about racial justice and equality. I will send an email to my younger colleague, and really she just needs to make up about 5 slides or so to deploy the facts about HPV vaccines. But we have to realize the audience we are dealing with. These are emergency medicine professionals, and they respond to big battles and dramas. These are people who have chosen to work at night when all the personal and medical and emotional crisis come in. We need to slip in a few sentences about how infrequent these teenagers come into care (on average 1-2 times a year). We need to tell them that HPV associated diseases discriminate because the health care system discriminates, and racial minorities have lower HPV vaccine rates and more HPV associated disease and therefore DIE because we don’t vaccinate. We need to tell them we need their help! They can right these health inequities.
How Do I Improve HPV Vaccine Rates? By writing a blog from the heart and sending a link to the young pediatrician. I created this opportunity for her and I think she will embrace it. If she does not, than I’ve already organized in my mind what that presentation would look like and this middle-aged middle-manager can deliver it as well. But what I’ve found is that if you create opportunities, fellow humans rise to the occassion. Any project especially in medicine when we are trying to influence other’s actions is more powerful when we have more engaged and invested members. Plus I love to multitask and I wanted to teach friends how I think as an Assistant Boss so that they learn.
So that is it. Thank you for helping me through thinking of how to sell the HPV vaccine. If you are the young pediatrician I sent this article link to, I think it is a great opportunity. They want it by mid-next week. I’ll do a quick pubmed search and sent you the information about the racial inequalities data, and also our access data about how often this age range comes in. I will try to block off your schedule so that you can attend the meeting virtually. Please text or call me if you have any questions.
This blog is great because I get to teach others how I think as an Assistant Boss which dovetails with my plans on leadership development in my own department and how to increase the influence of pediatricians in healthcare. I also am passing along a skillset of one way to be Assitant Boss without having to write a boring manual that no one will read, because I don’t think anyone read my Thing One, Thing Two, Thing Three Leadership Manifesto! That is okay. A lot of people read this blog though. Because in the end, Assistant Boss is just one stage in life. My next stage. Trash Artists! Here it is! My third piece that I started last night as part of my Flip Flop Art Series. I am mentoring our daughter on trash art, and she is going to enter the National Geographic Competition about plastic pollution. I actually think she has a great chance of doing well.