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University of Colorado School of Medicine

University of Colorado School of Medicine • Communications Planning/Support

I DECIDE LVAD Logo - Dark Gray and blue sans-serif type with multi-color border and gray tagline

The Colorado Program for Patient Centered Decisions at the University of Colorado School of Medicine produces a series of patient-centered decision aids, including for left ventricular assist devices (LVAD), a medical option for patients with end-stage heart failure. LVAD placement is not without serious risks and requires major lifestyle changes, making for a complex medical decision. Dan Matlock, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Medicine and director of the Colorado Program for Patient Centered Decisions, and his team sought to expand use of this tool with all 175 LVAD clinics across the country.

Our Role
During 2019-20, Dr. Matlock engaged SCP to create a communications plan and outreach campaign to get the I DECIDE: LVAD decision support tool to every LVAD clinic. The goal was to have 80% of clinics try the tool and 40% of clinics use it consistently by 2021.

As part of this work, SCP conducted key informant interviews and third-party research. We worked with Dr. Matlock’s team to run a national baseline survey that helped segment these clinics into five categories (i.e., “innovators,” “early adopters,” “early majority,” “late majority,” and “laggards”) as identified in Rogers’ Theory of Diffusions of Innovation.

SCP created a new logo and brand identity for the decision aid and together we created specific messages and outreach strategies for each group. Components of the campaign included tailored emails for personalized outreach from the project director, social media engagement, a newly-designed user’s guide and quarterly newsletter, a 30-second promotional video, conference booth materials, and a new presentation template.

As a result of this campaign, more than two-thirds of LVAD clinics report using the tool, well exceeding the client’s original goal. In addition to achieving significant uptake of the decision aid, this project speaks to the benefit of using traditional marketing principles to implement and disseminate evidence-based programs. Following I DECIDE: LVAD’s success, Dr. Matlock’s team is now considering messaging and strategy work for additional programs they’re developing.

Learn more about the dissemination project in this journal article.

Our Work

Graphic showing campaign items for University of Colorado School of Medicine
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