Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Wisdom of Patients: Health Care Meets Online Social Media

From Jane Sarasohn-Kahn...
Social media on the Internet are empowering, engaging, and educating health care consumers and providers. While consumers use social media -- including social networks, personal blogging, wikis, video-sharing, and other formats -- for emotional support, they also heavily rely on them to manage health conditions.

You may want to visit her blog at

Monday, April 21, 2008

A list of Open Source Software in Health Care
By Holger Schmuhl, and a link to his web site,

Monday, April 14, 2008

Wikipedia, academia & health

An interesting article in Information Today by William Badke, of Trinity Western University entitled What to Do With Wikipedia challenges the current antipathy in academia towards wikipedia.

He suggests that academics need to take on board the reality of digital information sources or be seen as out of touch by their students, and that they should embrace the educational opportunities available rather than sticking with traditional "analogue" systems.

Similar arguments need to take place in the health context, where many health professionals criticise the quality of the information in wikipedia and other online user created resources, but the patients and clients they come into contact with are most likely to be using this sort of resource.

As Badke suggests we should all be using the opportunities to enahnce the information environmnt, as well as educating "users" (which include students and patients), about indicators of information quality.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Nurses, Midwives & Healthcare Staff CfH conf June 2008

NHS Connecting for the health will be running their third annual "A conference for Nurses, Midwives & Healthcare Staff: Cultural Change in Professional Practice - The Information Revolution" on 17th June 08 at the Central Hall Westminster, London

The conference aims to: "provide delegates with an opportunity to learn more about the National Programme for IT and how it will deliver better and safer care, from a clinical and patient perspective. There will also be an update on the progress which has been achieved over the last twelve months, and an opportunity to see live demonstrations of some software packages. A Q&A panel will provide people with an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback about their own experiences of using IT. An interactive session will also demonstrate key areas of the programme such as Lorenzo (patient administration system), essential IT and training on the job and clinical assistive technology. Speakers at the conference will include Chris Beasley, chief nursing officer, Susan Osborne and Barbara Stuttle, joint national clinical leads for the nursing professions.

Further details & booking form.

I hope to be attending this one & will do a report on this blog.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Call for Research Proposals - Evaluation of the effect of IT on interactions between healthcare workers and patients

The NHS Connecting for Health Evaluation Programme has an interesting call for proposals open at the moment. NHS CFHEP 010: Evaluation of the effect of IT on interactions between healthcare workers and patients is designed to "evaluate the effect of IT
on interactions between healthcare workers and patients...." and meet the "need to understand how different configurations of IT equipment and screen layouts may affect communication acceptability."

This area has long been an issue which has been perceived by some as a barrier to increased use of IT in healthcare delivery. It will be interesting to see the results in terms of IT arrangement and the effects of IT use on the time taken for consultations. It will be even more interesting to see if the results affect the perceptions and opinions of medical and other healthcare practitioners, who perceive that the use of IT in patient consultations may be seen as reducing their omnipotence & whether this may contribute to changes in medical paternalism.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Nightingale Declaration for Our Healthy World

Please sign the Nightingale Declaration for Our Healthy World at ­ ­

Each year, we gratefully celebrate International Nurses Week around May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale (1820-1910). At this time in human history, however, the world needs much more than celebration.

Nursing shortages in the U.S. and other developed nations are now critical—epidemic, worldwide. The problem is serious, complex and impacting health and well-being across the globe. Nurses and allied healthcare providers—recognized as the ‘arms and legs’ of healthcare as well as the ‘heart and soul’ of healthcare implementation—need your help.

Overcoming this crisis will require exceptional advocacy and leadership. To that end, the Nightingale Initiative for Global Health (NIGH) is engaging in interdisciplinary dialogues for partnership. We are collaborating with nurses, midwives, related professionals and allied healthcare providers and other concerned citizens throughout the world. With focus on connection rather than specialization, NIGH is building a diverse and committed global network for addressing this challenge and implementing our objectives for education, empowerment and support during the upcoming decade.

By accessing the NIGH website at and signing the Nightingale Declaration for Our Healthy World, you will join over 18,500 citizens from 86 countries in answering this call.

Why this Declaration? Signatures representing all 192 Member States of the United Nations will lay the foundation for accomplishing NIGH’s proposed adoption of two United Nations Resolutions by the 2008 UN General Assembly declaring 2010: International Year of the Nurse and 2011-2020: United Nations Decade for a Healthy World.

With these proposed UN Resolutions bringing visibility, recognition and value to nurses and allied health care providers, this action not only empowers them, but raises public awareness as to the crucial connection between empowered nurses and allied healthcare workers and the health of people everywhere.

In 1893, Florence Nightingale wrote: “Health is not only to be well, but to use well every power we have.”

Standing alongside Nightingale, each of us has an opportunity—right now—to use our power to make a difference. For the sake of our own health, our children’s health and the world’s health please join us by taking this first critical step and signing the Nightingale Declaration for Our Healthy World!

Barbara Dossey, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, FAANInternational Co-Director, Nightingale Initiativefor Global Health