Mobile integrated healthcare-community paramedicine (MIH-CP) is fueled by community involvement and collaboration. This intermeshed framework highlights the importance of stakeholder meetings for MIH-CP programs. MIH-CP cannot survive without strong partners.
Just like large businesses have meetings with their stockholders, MIH-CP programs should stay connected with their stakeholders, including interested governing bodies, local health officials, and the people they serve.
MIH-CP is still a relatively new endeavor. In this stage of growth, the foundations of the program must be strong. Stakeholder meetings ensure that new programs get off the ground and that any problems are quickly corrected.
Reasons Stakeholder Meetings are Critical to MIH-CP Success
Stakeholder meetings are a chance to build strong bridges of confidence between separate organizations. It’s also a chance to talk through any issues and prevent small things from growing into monsters. Further, it’s an opportunity to hear the voice of the people.
Here are several reasons stakeholder meetings are essential:
- Need assessment and planning
- Correcting problems and adjustments
- Ensuring community involvement
- Building unity
Let’s look at all these below.
Stakeholders: Needs Assessment and Planning
Imagine water for a raging fire when thinking about a community paramedic program. Fire is the myriad of healthcare problems facing the world. Epidemics, rising costs, chronic diseases, childhood injuries – the list continues.
You want to avoid accidentally spraying the water in the wrong direction. So instead, you must focus your water on the fire.
Stakeholder meetings give you a chance to hear from all members involved. At these stakeholder meetings, you’ll be able to listen to the needs of the people, your partners, and those in government. In addition, these meetings ensure that you start your program on the right foot with resources for the fires that pose the greatest threat to the community.
For this reason, try to identify your stakeholders and meet with them as soon as possible. This can prevent future hang-ups and ensure your program starts strong.
Stakeholder Meetings to Make Adjustments
At some point, your mobile integrated health program may need to change. Sometimes, the ship finds itself in unsteady water, and you must adjust the course.
However, it can be difficult to view things objectively from the inside. Sometimes you need an outside perspective. This is where stakeholders can be hugely valuable. Even if everything is going well from your perspective, the stakeholders may have something different to say.
Furthermore, it allows you to see your decisions’ effects and make real-world adjustments based on how others feel. For example, perhaps you thought the chronic disease program was going well, but the clinic and physician running the program have a different opinion.
In these cases, the stakeholder meeting gives you a chance to correct it and allows the person to voice their concerns without building resentment.
Ensuring Community Involvement
The essence of mobile integrated healthcare is community involvement. You must hear from all aspects of the community to get the best picture of the people you serve. In addition, some stakeholders may not be entirely obvious.
For example, the local community center may not be directly involved in mental healthcare or drug rehabilitation. Still, they are vested in seeing their community do well and may have something valuable to say at a meeting.
With that said, there is also a place for a broader stakeholder gathering that addresses the concerns of the people directly involved in the operation of the MIH-CP program. In later sections, we’ll discuss how to run a stakeholder meeting. But, for now, let’s talk about unity among the stakeholders.
Building Stakeholder Unity
For a business or a program to run well, each partner’s needs must be carefully balanced. If one side begins to only think of themselves, the whole operation can go up in smoke.
What do we mean by building unity? First, we suggest establishing open and consistent lines of communication with all those involved in the operation.
People to contact:
- Government and donors
- Community partners
- Internal partners/Employees
Let’s look at these in more depth.
Building Unity with Government and Donors
Some say the squeaky wheel gets the oil – there’s undoubtedly an element of truth to this. However, there may be an even better way to win the attention of those whose resources and expertise you need: to become a trusted associate—a friend.
Getting to know EMS officials and hospital donors will create a smoother business. In this modern world, many people need help understanding the importance of face-to-face interaction. Working with other humans is often preferred to robots.
Try to connect with these officials – it will give you an inroad when you need help.
Now let’s talk about community partners.
Building Unity with Community Partners
Stakeholder meetings with community partners, such as those from the hospital or police department, can improve day-to-day interactions. These people may not be directly within your company, but they are directly involved in your mobile integrated health program. Therefore, ensuring they feel heard is essential.
However, these people should stay in a loop on an operational level. Consider using software that allows integrated interactions. For example, Julota’s EMS tools allow members of different companies to interact and safely share patient information easily.
Finally, let’s talk about your staff.
Stakeholders within the Program
In recent years, EMS has been plagued by staffing shortages. Therefore, taking care of your staff is essential, as these shortages show no signs of letting up.
If your team members feel directly involved in the program, they will be more vested in making it succeed. Furthermore, the paramedics, EMTs, nurses, and firefighters providing the care will be the first point of contact with the public.
Regardless of how smoothly the program runs on an operational level, the public will only view the program in the best light if these people are happy and feel valued.
We’ve discussed the importance of meeting with stakeholders – both broad and narrow. Now, let’s cover a few tips for holding effective stakeholder meetings.
MIH-CP Stakeholder Meetings: Best Practices
Don’t underestimate a stakeholder meeting. These meetings can change the course of a program. If the EMS/MIH-CP directors play their cards right, they can inspire confidence and greater involvement.
Those who ignore their partners may find themselves with dwindling support.
Here are several ways to prepare before stakeholder meetings for MIH-CP programs:
- Make sure you know your constituents.
- Meet at regular timeframes
- Prepare the Stakeholders
Below, you’ll find more information on each of these steps.
Stakeholder meetings for MIH-CP programs: Know Your Partners
It’s easy to talk about ourselves. And, in many cases, there’s nothing wrong with this. However, during a meeting, there should be a clear focus on the stakeholders. Ask yourself, what are their interests?
Depending on the size and type of mobile integrated health program you operate, there could be multiple stakeholders with different needs.
This may require significant research on the part of the MIH-CP leaders. However, community paramedic leaders can be assured – that none of this research will be in vain.
Indeed, many stakeholders will be impressed that the EMS leaders did their homework. However, even more important, they will be engaged.
Community Paramedicine Business Meetings: Regularity
On top of engaging your stakeholder by knowing them (by name, occupation, and interest), it’s also vital to maintain organization within stakeholder meetings on a macro and a micro-level.
Let’s focus on the macro.
To keep stakeholders in the light, it’s good to have regular stakeholder meetings at intervals they can anticipate. But how often?
For your closest stakeholders, your employees, you might have a quick meeting every week or even every day if needed.
For partners directly involved in the work but not a member of your company, monthly or quarterly meetings would be appropriate – this depends on how much you work together on the day-to-day operation.
Finally, a yearly meeting may be appropriate for stakeholders with tertiary involvement, such as government or hospital officials.
The key is to keep things regular but not overwhelm anyone or waste their time.
Keep the Stakeholders Informed
Ensure that stakeholders know what the meeting will be about. Also, allow them to submit their concerns. This will keep people involved and ensure that the meeting addresses all significant concerns.
It’s wise to have some method of communication with stakeholders outside of meetings. This will make sure that time-sensitive matters are addressed.
Running a good stakeholder meeting takes planning and preparation. However, the positive results make an effort worth it.
Conclusion on the Benefits of Stakeholder Meetings
Stakeholder meetings for MIH-CP programs will help your program thrive. They offer a chance to get an outside perspective of a community paramedic program’s health – letting you correct minor issues that may have been simmering out of sight.
To host a good stakeholder meeting, it’s wise to investigate your partners’ needs and interests. This will build mutual respect.
Finally, stay connected with your partners on a day-to-day basis. Julota offers secure, cloud-based software that allows partners to collect and share data easily.
Contact Julota to see how their software can strengthen communication with your MIH-CP stakeholders.