Thursday, July 30, 2009

review of benefits and patient outcomes

We are carrying out an 'open rapid review' of the literature for NHS Choices entitled Benefits and Patient Outcomes of Digital Health Services and seek the help and collaboration of the global online community in e-health. Collection of 'references' will end on September 14th. We have set up a 'discussion forum' which we are using to collect and collate publications relevant to the review and we invite you to join this community. Anyone can join and contribute by registering with their name, organisation, role, and contact details. (These personal details will be kept confidential to the project but your username will be shown against any postings).

You can browse the forum postings of citation data and if you know of additional papers add these as new items. You can also add comments to existing papers citations (eg comments about quality or relevance). We are particularly keen to identify (a) existing systematic or other reviews (eg PhD chapters), (b) good quality studies that have only been published in the grey literature (such as final reports), and (c) work just completed or papers still in press.

REWARD! All postings of citations to the discussion forum that do not duplicate a previous post will be awarded a 'ticket' for a prize draw. Contributors to the review (apart from the core team) will be awarded up to a maximum of 20 tickets for a prize draw. The prize draw will be held on September 15th with 3 prizes of £500, £250 and £250 (total prizes = £1000) being awarded.

The literature review is (currently) in six sections:

1. Accessing care and Patient Choice.For example, studies that have examined the extent digital health services are enabling informed patient choice of treatment option, patient choice in finding and selecting providers and how different types of information affect patient's choice of providers or preferred setting (home/self care vs visiting doctor).

2. Healthy LivingFor example, studies assessing if people using online services have an improved understanding, changed behaviour, or improved health outcomes related to health determinants such as diet, alcohol, smoking, exercise etc., if there are improved health outcomes are occurring as a result of digital health services usage.

3. Quality of primary care consultationsFor example, studies of e-health methods on the efficiency of consultations, uptake and effectiveness of Information Prescriptions.

4. Long term conditionsStudies exploring if people with long term conditions benefit from using online services in quality of life, satisfaction, support, or health outcomes and if it helps them better manage their care.

5. Preventative servicesStudies that have explored the effect digital health services have in take up of screening or vaccinations services.In the above five sections we are particularly interested to be able to examine socio-economic, age, gender, ethnic and geographic differences and how e-health methods impact on health inequalities. We also need to be clear about the generalisability from one setting to another (eg an insurance or private health care setting to a national health setting). This review is on behalf of the NHS Choices and so we are mostly interested in studies which may impact on English NHS policy, but of course we are interested in studies and publications from anywhere in the world if their findings have impact for England.

6. Methods used: strengths and weaknessesMethodologies which have been used to evaluate digital health services, their strengths and weaknesses.If you think we really ought to have another section please let me know. We invite you to join us in this rapid review, to have access to the bibliographic data, and to have the chance of winning one of the three prizes, by going to

Best wishesRay

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Health 2.0 conference coming to Europe

The Health 2.0 conference, which focuses on user-generated aspects of Web2.0 within health care, will be coming to Paris on the 6th & 7th April 2010.

This looks like an interesting conference and I'm wondering about submitting something for this one rather than Medinfo 2010 in South Africa (as, unfortunately, I'm unlikely to get funding for both).

I've not been to Health 2.0 before but reports I've heard suggest a very different feel to some of the more formal conferences - which might be fun - but less likely to get academic brownie points in the eyes of my bosses.

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Wikis as a publishing platform

Interesting editorial in the current issue of Open Medicine which examines Medical research and social media: Can wikis be used as a publishing platform in medicine?

The authors suggest that wikis are a potentially revolutionary tool for knowledge transfer to make it possible to keep reviews as current and relevant as possible." This is an interesting approach to post-publication peer review and the fact that editing rights will not be restricted to qualified clinicians and researchers has the potential to incorporate the views of patients and others with an interest in the topic areas. However it also brings it's own risk in information quality and requires the readers to ensure their own critiquing and evaluative skills are even more strongly applied to what they are reading.

The first paper to receive this treatment is A scoping review of analytic studies related to Asynchronous telehealth. It uses mediawiki software which will be familiar to users of wikipedia, and a quick look at the history shows that most (but not all) of the entries by anonymous users have been reverted.

It will be interesting to see how successful this approach is and to speculate about the potential changes from this publishing model will play out in the future.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

NHS CLINICAL INFO-MART 13th January 2010 Bristol

The UK Faculty of Health Informatics is organising a NHS CLINICAL INFO-MART

This will be an opportunity to share innovations and experiences in the field of clinical informatics that make a difference to patient care

Tuesday 13th January
Waterside, Watershed, Bristol

The UK Faculty of Health Informatics, in conjunction with Bristol Royal Infirmary’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit and the University of the West of England, would like to invite you to participate in a new opportunity to share Best Practice in the clinical informatics arena in a NHS Clinical Info-Mart.

At our first Info-Mart we plan to cover 5 main areas of huge interest, potential and often frustration for NHS staff. These are:

1. E-prescribing in secondary care
2. Clinical incident reporting systems
3. The development and use of community based information systems spanning across mental health, long term conditions and social care
4. Clinical Audit databases that are intuitive and interoperable
5. Tools and approaches to improve the accuracy of Clinical Coding

Although other relevant topics are likely to be discussed.

The features of the proposed info-mart are distinct from existing conferences and trade exhibitions in that it is:

* Clinically focused – the issues that we are trying to share or find solutions and lessons learned are led from a clinical viewpoint rather than a technical or sales perspective
* Focused on real experience of what already works – too often NHS staff have felt frustrated by Suppliers promoting technical developments that haven’t actually yet been deployed. This info-mart is designed to share what has already been tried and tested in different parts of the NHS across the UK from a clinical/service perspective
* Free of charge – the event is funded by the UK Faculty of Health Informatics and your personal details used when registering will not be shared with any other suppliers i.e. no follow-up sales calls or invitations to demonstrations
* Provides access to established Communities of Practice – if you want to progress ideas or issues more you will be able to sign up for free membership of an on-line community based on the Department of Health’s Informatics Directorate’s eSpace platform to keep in touch with other people that you have met on the day.

Format and structure:

Although the info-mart will be open all day from 9.30am until 5pm, unless you are a presenter or exhibitor you only need to attend when you wish to or are free to.

Presentations on each of the 5 main themes will take place at the following times in a separate auditorium adjacent to the info-mart as follows:

10am until 11am E-prescribing – solutions that work within secondary care settings
11am until 12 noon Clinical incident reporting systems
12 noon until 1pm The development and use of community based information systems spanning across mental health, long term conditions and social care
2pm until 3pm Clinical Audit databases that are intuitive and interoperable
3pm until 4pm Tools and approaches to improve the accuracy of Clinical Coding

The event is designed for NHS staff working in Medical, Nursing, Pharmacy, AHP, Social Care, Informatics, Senior Management, Communications or Education and Training roles

Organisation and next steps:

The event has been organised by 5 members of the UK Faculty of Health Informatics.
If you would like to discuss any specific aspects of the event then please contact:

Peter Murphy – Consultant Anaesthetist, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children,

Rod Ward - Senior Lecturer, UWE Tel: 0117 32 88477,

Dr Steven Sale - Consultant Anaesthetist, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children,

Tony Solomonides – Reader, UWE,

Bruce Elliott – Co-ordinator of the UK Faculty of HI/ Programme Manager – HID NHS CFH, Tel: 0778 6705 955,

If you would like to share your experiences at the event or wish to attend please contact by 31st October 2009.

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Thursday, July 02, 2009

New nursing web site

Dear Nursing Colleague

I am writing to invite you to become a VIP member of a new website I

Aiming to launch on 1 July

It is called ‘Community Nurses Network’ and, under the slogan of

‘Harnessing the knowledge of nurses outside hospital settings’, my aim

is to provide a forum for both learning and mutual support. What I

have said in the introduction to the site is "Nurses who work in

hospitals have easy access to a large number of people who share

experiences, but if you are working in the community that has been

really hard". Clearly, there are hundreds of thousands, if not

millions, of our colleagues in this position, and I want to develop

this site to be of real value to them.

One of the member's benefits will be to read blogs or articles from

experts. (i.e. You!) In return for your input, I am happy to offer you

a lifelong VIP membership, with full access to the site's facilities,

free of charge. This will be a great profile-building opportunity and,

if you have a book or other nursing-related materials to promote, you

If you visit the site now, you will see it is thin and still

very much under construction, but you can sign up for your VIP account

- see instructions below.

In fact, please sign up before July 2- even if you cannot commit to

writing something before that - because we will have to remove the VIP

signup before the public launch. Although, of course would be great if

you could read and get something going on the site before we launch it.

The web address is

I look forward to meeting up with you on site, perhaps in one of the

chat rooms! Any comments, feedback and suggestions about the site

before the launch can be sent to both me and my colleague who is

administering the site, Steve Hards (email or

Bob Pyke Jr., RN, NP

VIP Account Sign Up Instructions

To sign up for your VIP account, visit the site:

and just follow a link to join up, create your profile, then email my

Colleague Steve Hards at

He will upgrade you to the VIP membership and send you some pointers on

Setting up your profile or adding a blog or article, etc.