Manager of Public Policy, PROMO Missouri
Often times the hardest part of policy work is finding the right person to connect with who can make policy change happen. The tricky part is once you have finally identified your contact, what next? What do I say to get them engaged in a review of their internal policies? In the last installment of the Missouri case study, we revealed tips that would help LGBT health advocates maximize their engagement with hospitals and their targets. In this installment, we will discuss some points to keep in mind when talking with Senior-officials that ultimately got them engaged and interested in reviewing their hospitals welcoming policies.
During our follow-up call routine, we had the opportunity to connect with Senior-level officials from 11 of Missouri’s Top hospitals. Many of them helped us connect with the right person in their hospital, who can address the policy concerns; sometimes we were referred to their parent healthcare organization. Often than not they were curious to seek technical assistance on our review.
It is important that once you have been connected to a Senior official of the hospital to make the most of your outreach with them, without taking too much of their time.
Four things to keep in mind:
- Confirm that they have seen and reviewed the outreach letters – most of the time I was asked to give a brief background of our work.
- Reiterate the urgency – mention the Healthcare Equality Index and the Joint Commission guidelines for patient-centered care, let them know that you can follow-up with any information.
- If still hesitant – make a business case for why LGBT welcoming policies are critical to the hospitals and the patients they serve.
- Re-ask our main ‘ask’ again… – have you identified a hospital representative who will be working on these policy updates, if so, can we be connected with them.
We had found that after we had ‘re-asked the ask’ the Senior official was able to either give us a name and contact information of the person who would be our representative, or identity themselves as the main contact. Most of the time, we continued to work with the Senior official until the policy changes had been made. The next installment of the Missouri case study, we will provide a breakdown of the technical assistance process we offered to hospitals, including best tips for success. We have several success stories to offer readers in the next installment: stay tuned!