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Making Texting Work for Public Health

NWCPHP-affiliated faculty publish results of a text messaging research project in the Washington State Journal of Public Health Practice.

NWCPHP-affiliated faculty publish results of a text messaging research project in the Washington State Journal of Public Health Practice.

June 27, 2011

If public health could harness the power of cell phone texting technology, imagine how simple it would be to warn the public of disasters, provide health tips, direct people to flu vaccine sites, and communicate other important and time-sensitive information. The problem is that while the technology exists, harnessing it is not so simple. Will people agree to receive text messages from their local health departments? Can critical information be condensed enough for texting? What about confidentiality issues?

Figuring out the logistical, legal, and fiscal challenges inherent in implementing text messaging within local health departments is the subject of a research project recently written about in the Washington State Journal of Public Health Practice by Hilary Karasz, PhD and Sharon Bogan, MPH.

Karasz is a public information officer at Public Health - Seattle & King County, the tenth-largest local health department in the United States. She is also an affiliate professor at the University of Washington. Bogan is a Project Manager in the Health Communications Team at Public Health - Seattle & King County. She is an affiliate instructor at the University of Washington.

More information about the project

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