Health Observances: 12 Months of Patient Engagement & Patient Education
Posted on Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Health observances create ample opportunities for your facility to reach patients, stay relevant, and both improve patient engagement and improve patient education. Here is a month-by-month list of ideas to help get you started:
Health Observances Throughout the Year
Prepare for the year with this month-by-month guide to health observances.
JANUARY is National Blood Donor Month. There are fewer blood donors during the winter months due to inclement weather, illness, and the busy holiday season. To help prevent blood shortages and include your patients in the cause, hold a blood drive at your facility.
FEBRUARY is National Children’s Dental Health Month. Collaborate with a local dentist to create a presentation on the impact oral health has on overall well-being and invite your patients to attend. Attending educational events can greatly improve patient engagement. You can also download posters and fun dental health-related activity sheets for kids on the American Dental Association’s website.
APRIL is National Humor Month. Improve patient education about the importance of humor for health and well-being with the Decorate-A-Smiley Project. Children (and adults) can decorate smiley faces in the waiting room and you can display them for all patients to see. Be sure to also post information about the benefits of humor (this poster can be downloaded for free). You can provide funny books for kids to read as they wait as well!
MAY marks the start of National Run a Mile Days, which lasts through June 14th. Consider partnering with a nearby elementary or middle school and helping them host a Run A Mile Days event! Promote your facility and the idea that running is a fun way for kids and adults to stay healthy.
JUNE is Men’s Health Month. Men are less likely than women to see a doctor, whether for a health concern or standard annual exam. Improve patient engagement for the men in your community by hosting a health awareness event, health screening, or health fair.
JULY is UV Safety Month. Post warnings about the harmful effects of the sun to the eyes and guidelines for proper eye protection from UV rays around your facility and in your newsletter. Hand out sunglasses stickers to kids with a note attached that explains what factors to look for when purchasing sunglasses.
SEPTEMBER is Baby Safety Month, September 23rd-29th is Child Passenger Safety Week, and September 29th is National Seat Check Saturday. Give parents and caregivers the chance to have their car seats checked for proper installation by a certified child passenger safety technician at your facility. Offer free demonstrations on how to buckle children of all ages into car seats.
OCTOBER is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Send out reminders, via text, phone call, email, or postcard, to all female patients who may need to schedule a mammogram.
NOVEMBER 15th is the Great American Smokeout. Organize an event where patients can make a public commitment to quit smoking with the support of their family and friends, the American Cancer Society, and your facility.
DECEMBER is Safe Toys and Gifts Month. Why not conduct a toy drive for Toys for Tots? Invite both employees and patients to participate and provide them with guidelines for which toys are considered acceptable donations according to safety standards. This is a great charitable opportunity for your facility; plus, you’ll improve patient engagement by educating them about safe toys and giving them the chance to contribute a donation as well.
The Power of Social Media
In addition to the ideas listed above, be sure to utilize the power of social media to spread awareness of these important health topics and to help your facility stay relevant. Many of the organizations that sponsor these health observances even provide materials on their websites that you can share from your own social media accounts. Most of the 2018 health observances also have their own hashtags.
Check out even more 2018 health observances here. Perhaps there are others that your facility can use to improve patient engagement and improve patient education.