Public health and personal wellbeing are tied together in the relationship between knowing and behavior. Healthy People 2020 has an entire section dedicated to health communication and health information:
Use health communication strategies and health information technology (IT) to improve population health outcomes and health care quality, and to achieve health equity.
Ideas about health and behaviors are shaped by the communication, information, and technology that people interact with every day. Health communication and health information technology (IT) are central to health care, public health, and the way our society views health. These processes make up the context and the ways professionals and the public search for, understand, and use health information, significantly impacting their health decisions and actions.
The objectives in this topic area describe many ways health communication and health IT can have a positive impact on health, health care, and health equity. They include:
Supporting shared decision-making between patients and providers.
Providing personalized self-management tools and resources.
Building social support networks.
Delivering accurate, accessible, and actionable health information that is targeted or tailored.
Facilitating the meaningful use of health IT and exchange of health information among health care and public health professionals.
Enabling quick and informed action to health risks and public health emergencies.
Increasing health literacy skills.
Providing new opportunities to connect with culturally diverse and hard-to-reach populations.
Providing sound principles in the design of programs and interventions that result in healthier behaviors.
Increasing Internet and mobile access.
Why Are Health Communication and Health Information Technology Important?