HES Awards: Your questions answered

As nominations for the best in healthcare engagement come in thick and fast, we’re being asked various questions about the Healthcare Engagement Strategy Awards.

Who’s eligible?

The completely open nature of the Awards means that they’re literally open to anybody or anything that is engaging with others, to achieve health outcomes. That might sound a little vague, but we’re expecting to discover some new things through this process.

This approach is based on Creation Interactive’s ‘Discovery’ methodology, which looks at healthcare engagement starting with a completely open mind in order to discover insights that shape effective strategies.

So far, we’ve received nominations for websites, people, healthcare and pharmaceutical companies, patient organizations, movements, Twitter users, and we’re sure there’s much more yet to come.

Who’s engaging whom?

We hoped that the Healthcare Engagement Strategy Awards would get even more people thinking about engagement in healthcare. And already, this is happening. In fact, we’re being asked about engagement – who is engaging whom?

This is exactly the kind of question we hoped you’d ask. There are so many players in the healthcare arena – healthcare professionals, regulators, pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment manufacturers, government, industry associations, patient advocacy groups… and, of course, consumers, carers, and patients!

Now here’s our thinking: successful healthcare engagement should ultimately improve the health or lives of ordinary people – patients, carers, and/or consumers. Of course, to achieve that goal requires many components of communication and engagement. So for example we might see nominations for strategies around clinical trial recruitment, public health awareness, healthcare professional knowledge sharing, patient communities, or effective healthcare product communications. That’s just the tip of the iceberg though – we really don’t want to constrain your imagination when it comes to nominations.

Ultimately, I’ll come back to the basics: Where do you see successful engagement between parties in healthcare, that is achieving positive health outcomes? Nominate that now!

Is there a list of nominees?

Nominees are coming in literally by the minute, and we’re expecting that to continue right until nominations officially close at midnight on 31 December 2009. That’s one reason why we decided not to publish a list of nominations.

The other reason comes back to the open nature of the Awards. We want you to keep an entirely open mind when you nominate – not to be constrained by existing nominations.

However, we’ve had a fair few questions about who’s been nominated so I have mentioned a few by tweet, to get you thinking. Just search Twitter for #hesawards.

What if I nominate something or someone that’s already been nominated?

We’re really happy to receive duplicate nominations– in fact, receiving multiple nominations for the same activity, person or strategy will tell us something about its reach and influence.

Note that multiple nominations will not count as ‘votes’ as such, but we do encourage you to show your support for existing nominations. See ‘How to nominate for Healthcare Engagement Strategy Awards‘ for more details.

What categories can I nominate for?

You might already have guessed that the open, ‘Discovery’ nature of the Awards nomination process means we decided not to restrict you to specific categories.

In my view, this approach should be obvious really, and I wish more Awards were judged on an open basis like this. But it requires a whole new way of thinking.

In the ever-evolving, always-discovering world in which we live, I believe we must keep an open mind if we are to learn new things quickly.

It’s a way of thinking that is already natural to some elements of the healthcare industry – in my first interview with Johnson & Johnson’s Marc Monseau about the JNJBTW blog, he spoke about the way the blog’s audience was defining itself:

“After doing this for a year, one of my biggest surprises was that the people who read the blog are not who I originally thought they would be — they are not just members of the media or healthcare bloggers — but include doctors, nurses, employees, competitors, retirees, supporters of J&J and detractors. It’s that the audience — and this is important — the audience is defining itself — which is different from how we’ve looked at the world in the past.”

How do I nominate?

To nominate for an Award, simply tweet @EngagementStrat, include hashtag #hesawards in your tweet, and tell us what or who we should be considering.

For more ideas about nominating by tweet, see ‘How to nominate for Healthcare Engagement Strategy Awards‘.

How many nominations can I make?

Nominations are unlimited – you may nominate as many entries as you would like to.

Can I support an existing nomination?

Yes, we encourage you to do so. See see ‘How to nominate for Healthcare Engagement Strategy Awards‘ for more information.

Is there an entry fee?

No, there’s no entry fee! It’s completely free to nominate entries – just send a tweet (see ‘How to nominate for Healthcare Engagement Strategy Awards‘ for more information on how).

This means you really can nominate any piece of successful healthcare engagement, right now. We want to hear from as many people as possible – so far we’ve heard from industry insiders, PR companies, agencies, professionals, and patients. Keep those nominations coming!

When and how will Award Winners be announced?

The winners of Healthcare Engagement Strategy Awards will be announced first in January’s edition of Healthcare Engagement Strategy e-journal which will be published and distributed on Tuesday, 26 January 2010. Results will not be released via Twitter until after the e-journal has been published.

To make sure you’re first to hear the results, subscribe to the e-journal for free at http://engagementstrategy.com.

Who will be selecting the winners?

We’ve put together an international Healthcare Engagement Strategy Awards judging panel, selected from Creation Interactive’s team members in Australia, Mexico, Spain, the UK and the USA.

Find out more about the International Judging Panel.

Where can I find out more about the Healthcare Engagement Strategy Awards?

We’ve written a few articles that will tell you more about the awards. Try these for further reading:

Announcing the Healthcare Engagement Strategy Awards

Momentum is building for the HES Awards

HES Awards: The International Judging Panel

How to nominate for the Healthcare Engagement Strategy Awards

Or, to see the latest tweets around the hashtag #hesawards, check What the Hashtag or search Twitter for #hesawards. And join in the conversation!

More questions?

Go ahead and ask! Tweet me @EngagementStrat or email me.

Finally, thanks for your support. And don’t forget to keep nominations coming in by tweeting @EngagementStrat with #hesawards.

Daniel Ghinn

Daniel Ghinn is Editor of Healthcare Engagement Strategy and CEO of Creation Healthcare, the online market research consultancy for healthcare. He is a prolific writer and speaker on emerging trends healthcare engagement in the digital age.