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The home for VPR's coverage of health and health industry issues affecting the state of Vermont.

Health IT Group Seeks Trust, Awareness With Ad Campaign

The company behind a statewide electronic health information network is preparing to spend up to $175,000 on a public relations campaign to increase awareness and use of its system. 

Vermont Information Technology Leaders sent a Request For Proposals (RFP) to eight “qualified advertising agencies,” according to Rob Gibson, the company’s vice president for marketing and business development.

According to the document, VITL is seeking an agency to run dual campaigns – a $75,000 “General Awareness Campaign with the goal to improve brand awareness of VITL” and a $100,000 “Provider Awareness Campaign with the goal to introduce new VITL services to the health care provider community.”

The company is seeking to boost awareness as it rolls out the Vermont Health Information Exchange (VHIE) across the state. That exchange (not to be confused with Vermont Health Connect, the state’s health insurance exchange) is designed to be a central database through which health care providers can access information about their patients.

The health information exchange has been in a testing phase at pilot sites across the state. As VITL prepares for statewide launch, the company is also revising its information sharing policy, a move that has some doctors and advocates concerned.

The new policy is specifically mentioned in VITL’s RFP for the campaigns:

There are some concerns among consumers when it comes to the global provider consent policy, which allows all providers involved in a patient’s care to access a patient’s health information. A majority of Vermont residents support the sharing of their health information across the broad spectrum of health care providers, but this support wanes as we begin to consider providers beyond primary care doctors, specialists and hospitals and begin to include other providers, such as dental and oral health and mental health providers. The opinion survey digs deeper into Vermonter’s attitudes toward sharing their health information on the exchange and provides some actionable information that can be used to develop specific messages.

Success, by VITL’s measure, will be increased name recognition among Vermont consumers and an increase in the number of providers signed up to VITL’s services.

According to the RFP, VITL wants the campaign to go into development in July and be launched as soon as possible after that.

Taylor was VPR's digital reporter from 2013 until 2017. After growing up in Vermont, he graduated with at BA in Journalism from Northeastern University in 2013.
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