First off, what is HealthCamp Philadelphia? It’s a free mini-conference that gives health care providers and technically minded people the chance to come together and discuss their ideas. So why am I going? First of all, I’m looking forward to meeting some of my favorite tweeps like @holaolah, @LizScherer, and @PhilBaumann in person. Secondly, I’m hoping to have a discussion about the way patient information is exchanged between health care providers. In nursing we like to refer to this as “report.” Technology should theoretically allow our reports to be exchanged in away that is timely, accurate, and efficient. We have computerized nearly all the aspects of our health care delivery from ordering, to charting, to health records. Yet our nursing reports still consist of handwritten notes and rushed phone conversations! Why is this? To explain my frustration, I offer you a typical MICU scenario: A doctor goes to the computer and places an order for your patient to go to radiology for a procedure. You haven’t seen the order yet because you are in your other patient’s room, doing an assessment. You get a phone call. It’s the procedural nurse. “Your patient is coming to radiology, right? We haven’t gotten your transport sheet yet.” “I haven’t even seen the order yet.” “Well, try to hurry up and send us the transport sheet.” (The transport sheet is basically a patient report sheet that you fill out by hand and fax to the appropriate people.) So you finish the assessment while thinking about what meds you will need to give before your patient can leave the floor. You get another phone call. This time it’s the transport team. “Your patient is going to radiology, right? We haven’t gotten the transport sheet yet. We’ll have a team ready in 15 minutes but you have to fax us the transport sheet.” “Just got the order. I’ll get it to you as soon as I can.” As an ICU nurse, you have to grab this piece of paper from the nurses station, open up your electronic chart, and start writing down the information on a piece of paper so it can be faxed to 2 different parts of the hospital. Do you see the folly in this? (I guess you could say the transport sheets are kind of like my TPS Reports.) The flow of patient care has just been interrupted not once, but twice, by people telling you to “Hurry up and fax us the transport sheet!” You’re already working with electronic charting. Why do you have to transcribe something with pen and paper? Isn’t the whole point of making things ELECTRONIC so that you don’t have to do it that way? If another health care provider needs access to this information a patient report should be automatically generated and sent to the appropriate areas of the hospital. Then, if anyone has any questions about the patient, they can call you to get clarification, hopefully without too much interruption. So what’s the answer? There are many different ways to solve this problem. I’ll focus on one: I believe that twitter could serve as a model for relaying patient information efficiently, timely, and accurately. (And obviously you would address the issue of patient privacy as well.) Bonus points? The 140 character limit forces you to enter the most relevant and concise facts about your patient, so you’re not flooded with information that you don’t need at that particular point in time. And that’s just one use for twitter in the health care arena. Check out Phil Baumann’s slideshare presentation of 140 more! Is twitter an oversimplified way of solving this complicated problem? Perhaps. But the point is that we have to start discussing this. The technology exists to make hospitals so much more efficient, and yet I can tell you from a nurse’s perspective, we aren’t seeing much in the way of innovation. Hopefully in the near future we will be seeing more of these Healthcamp-like events where people can get together and start the discussion.
Posts tagged ‘social media’
I recently was fortunate enough to attend Blog Word Expo 2008, the world’s largest blogging and new media conference. Part of my agenda was to meet with other health care bloggers like Kim from Emergiblog, and Dr. Val Jones from GetBetterHealth, to discuss the possibility of putting together a track dedicated to health care bloggers at next year’s conference. We also met with Rob Halper, who oversees the Johnson & Johnson Youtube channel, and Shane Pike, of HealthCareToday. Together we brainstormed ways that we could make this happen. The result? A health care blogger track is a sure thing for next year (September 2009), and it’s going to be the first event of its kind that will bring all types of health care bloggers together. Potential topics include: HIPAA issues, using blogging to affect change in health care policy, and using your blog to leverage your expertise in your field. If you’re interested, Emergiblog has a poll up where you can see the list of topics and vote on the best ones.
One of our goals for the health care blogger’s track is to include all types of bloggers in the health care arena. That includes nurses, doctors, students, EMTs, technicians, medical librarians, social workers, pharmacists, researchers, and patients. One of the great things about health care blogging is that it brings together people from all specialties, and the result is one of the largest (and liveliest) ongoing multidisciplinary discussions on the state of health care. If you are still new to this idea of people blogging about health care, I would urge you to check out Grand Rounds. It’s a weekly roundup of some of the best blog posts with a medical theme.
Blog World Expo is a worthwhile and energizing experience for any type of blogger. If you have a blog, whether it be about nursing, or any thing else, I would urge you to go. Presentations included topics such as how to make money from your blog, building readership on your blog, and how to analyze your blog statistics. One of the best things about Blog World Expo was getting to meet other bloggers face to face. I had known of Kim and Dr. Val through their blogs for a couple of years now, but this was the first time I had a chance to sit down and have a conversation with them. It was a very energizing experience.
If you’d like to learn more about Blog World Expo and the health care blogger’s track, stop by Emergiblog and leave a comment with your email. Kim, the author of Emergiblog, is putting together an email list and will be updating us through out the year on this event. Hope to see you there!
In this post, we’ll take a look at Facebook, Blogger, and WordPress. Facebook is kind of a grab-bag for all of your social networking activity. You can create a profile, upload photos, write notes, and post links, and find people that you may know from high school, college, or previous places of employment (among other things.) If you are a traveling nurse and still aren’t using facebook, I suggest you sign up. It’s a very convenient and fun way of staying in touch with people. There are also social sites dedicated strictly to nurses and people who are interested in nursing. Nursinglink is one of them. It contains many of the same features that you see on Facebook but centers around nursing. If you are really ambitious about social networking you can start your own blog. What is a blog, exactly? The original word comes from web + log, and the first blogs were kind of like personal journals. They date back to earlier in this decade. These days a blog can be about anything you want it to be. It can be a personal diary, a way to update your friends and family on where you are traveling, or it can even be a collection of articles that you have written on a chosen subject. Travel nursing and blogging go hand in hand, and there is a great community of nurses who blog out there. Setting up a blog is really very easy to do, and free as well. You can start a free blog at wordpress.com or blogger.com. Each of these sites have templates that you can choose from and fairly easy to use interfaces. There’s a large community of nurses who blog. You can find a partial list of them at OrientedX3.com. There’s also a biweekly roundup of some of the best nursing blog posts called Change of Shift. You can see the latest edition of Change of Shift at crzegrl.net. In part three we’ll take a look at Twitter, a micro-blogging tool, and LinkedIn, a social site for professionals.
What could a travel nurse possibly want to know about social networking? How about everything? In my view, every travel nurse should acquaint themselves with at least one or two of the social networking tools that are available. I can’t think of a better way to stay in touch with friends and family while you’re on the road. With that in mind I wrote a series of articles for my friends over at travelnursingblogs.com. You can find part one here. I’d also like to thank Medical Solutions for sponsoring my trip to Blog World Expo. It was well worth it! Also, I just finished writing my about page. I’ve had this blog for a long time and it recently occurred to me that I’d really like to tell the story of how I got here to people who arrive by *accident* Enjoy!
First of all, what is social networking, and why would a travel nurse be interested in it? A social networking service is basically any type of website that provides a way for people to connect and socialize online. More and more nurses these days are using social networking services to connect with friends, family, and other nurses. Travel nurses, especially, can benefit from these new technologies. They travel from job to job, making new friends along the way and trying to keep in touch with old friends, not to mention the people they leave behind at their home base. Online communities, blogs, and photo-sharing sites can help them stay connected to everyone. But there are many different sites out there and figuring out which ones to use can sometimes be overwhelming. I’d like to share with you my top 5 favorite social networking sites, and explain how they can benefit the travel nurse.
Let’s start with one of my favorite social networking sites, Flickr
Flickr is a site that lets you store and share your photos. Two things make flickr especially useful, the ability to “tag” your photos and organize them according to subject, and the ability to search other people’s photos by subject matter. Also, you can create a profile and “friend” other flickr users. Flickr and traveling go hand in hand. Say you are about to accept a travel assignment in Baltimore, MD. You’ve never been there before and you are anxious to get a feel for the city. Perhaps you’d like to figure out what neighborhood to live in, or what sites you’d like to see. Flickr allows you to search all of the photos tagged, Baltimore. From here you might search other neighborhoods in Baltimore, like Canton or Charles Village. I recommend searching by “tags only” and by “most interesting” as opposed to “most recent.” That way, flickr will pick out the most relevant photos for you. You can also search by clicking on “Explore” and choosing “Places.” Then, type in the place you would like to see and flickr will show you photos that have been geo-tagged with that place, and also show you some photo groups that revolve around that location.
Flickr is also a social site, and so you can create a list of contacts. Flickr, like many other social networking sites, allows you to find people you already know by searching your email contacts on gmail, hotmail, and yahoo mail. When you become friends with someone, it will be easier to view one another’s photos.
Finally, when you start uploading your own photos, you can also “tag” them. Tagging simply refers to designating a keyword to your photo, making it easier to search for at a later date. You can basically choose any tags you want, and organize your photos according to subject matter, location, or when you took them.
In part two I’ll take a look at Facebook, and also talk about starting your own blog.
As you all know, I’ve been searching for and following nurses on Twitter and as promised, I have come up with a list of everyone I’ve found. Bear in mind that this list is not specifically nurses, more like nurse-type people. I’d estimate that maybe half of the people on this list are nursing students, with a few EMTs sprinkled in.
So have fun with it! If you were previously on the fence about joining Twitter, you might want to use this list as a starting point. All you have to do is create an account, then click on any of these links and hit the “follow” button. (Trust me, people on Twitter love to be followed. It makes us feel special.) I’ve found that this is a really fun and welcoming community of nurses and nursing students.
There are also plenty of interesting and friendly doctors to follow. For a more definitive list of doctors who use Twitter, I would suggest trying this link at FriendFeed. As for myself, I follow a handful of docs including scanman, doctoranonymous, fatdoctor, ruraldoctoring, symtym, berci, rlbates, medpiano, and drval. Twitter is an excellent place to have an open, informal, interdisciplinary dialog, and it will be even better, once Twitter becomes more widely used. And trust me, it will.