by Nancy Ryerson
, Staff Writer | October 10, 2013
From the October 2013 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
Lauer thinks an increase in on-the-ground reporting could help reporters write more accurate and balanced stories. “Many of the people reporting on health care have no health care experience. They don’t know what the inside of a hospital looks like, why a physician thinks the way they do,” he says. “That has to change.” At Modern Healthcare, he asked all of his reporters to visit hospitals to get a feel for an average workday in the medical field. “The reporter doesn’t need to be a physician or a lab tech, but they should have a fix on what that lifestyle is like, so when they report they have a more in-depth way of figuring out what their needs are,” he says.
Covering the underdog
Lauer hopes that as reporters develop a clearer perspective of what it’s really like in the health care world, they will be more likely to cover what he sees as under-reported topics, like struggling hospitals. “I could go out today and ask people about Mount Sinai Hospital, an under-privileged hospital in Chicago, and they wouldn’t even know what I was talking about,” says Lauer. Ultimately, Lauer doesn’t think the way content is delivered matters as much as the content itself. “People in publishing are throwing in the towel,” says Lauer. “But change is good. We need to find even more innovative ways to communicate with our audience.” That willingness to bend to the winds of change applies to health care, too, Lauer says. “We as a health care industry haven’t kept up with other industries — just look at where we are with IT,” he says. “But I think we’re finally waking up.”
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