Nova Scotia Health Authority’s online community engagement journey reveals vital insights into public involvement in the health sector.
The Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) is unearthing vital community insights across the province through their dedicated online engagement space Engage4Health. In the year of its launch, the site drew over 9,000 contacts of informed and engaged participants, complementing offline engagement with around 1,000 people in 42 face to face meetings.
Sustaining a growing, province-wide conversation
When the Nova Scotia Health Authority asked the province how they would like to be consulted in 2015 and 2018, support for online engagement grew by nearly 30%. Internal buy-in tells a similar story.“The more you use the online engagement platform, the more that it will be in demand because we can actually show people rather than tell them about it,” says Geoff Wilson, Director of Community Engagement and Health Board Support at the NSHA.
For an organization at the size and scope of the NSHA, having a flexible online engagement platform to have vital conversations with internal and external stakeholders remains an essential supplement to offline engagement. Online engagement continues to fill the gaps in bringing specific audiences and demographics into consultations. As Wilson continues, “I don’t think we as a public engagement team would ever say the online site replaces face to face engagement. But we’re coming to recognize for sure it only makes sense that for certain audiences in particular – certain demographics – the online thing as a consultation mechanism is an absolute essential.”
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