Blog post by Joe Babaian
The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.
– John Maynard Keynes
Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.
– Steve Jobs
We’ve all been embracing the shift in healthcare from information being contained to just the clinic visit, the surgery waiting room, the nurses’ office, and printed newspaper article. The good old days when the information we received was the information we believed. Well, we all know the good old days weren’t all that good and it’s the journey of developing new ideas and new innovations that takes hard work and matters the most.
We have reached a point where the quantity of information in healthcare is so massive that it actually has become opaque to many – the very people who stand to benefit from new options, current research, and new ways of communicating. This includes physicians, nurses, AND patients. As far back at 1996 ! we see an article discussing this and its only gotten worse since then. Take a look: “Health care workers overburdened by information overload,” from CNN in 1996.
Just yesterday I happened to visit the Suicide Prevention Social Media chat #SPSM (thanks Sean Erreger @StuckonSW), a focused group that makes a difference in mental health care for those at risk. Twitter wouldn’t even be founded until over 10 years past the CNN article above! The #SPSM chat allows carers and those at risk access to information – but that’s really too clinical of a term – access to resources that can and do make a difference in their lives. Here we have information overload curated and filtered down to the human level – healthcare works well in this view.
Here’s what a person searching for help or collaboration would have found last night:
— Sarah A Bernes (@SarahABernes) June 15, 2015
Now, I know that’s about as welcoming as anything I’ve ever seen in healthcare. Friends and new friends. Think about that.
So we have new ideas and, like Keynes mentioned, it’s not easy to escape the old ones. Further, as Jobs pointed out, we need leaders that drive innovation. When we combine new ideas and innovation, we get things like Twitter, care communities, new ways to run medical education, and healthcare coming online, opening doors to accessible and cogent information.
In this new age, we not only have to contend with processing the vast amount of information out there, but we must consider how to reach the people that need it and present things in a cogent way. We err when we make assumptions about the “golden age” of #DigitalHealth when we don’t consider those without the means to truly engage (whether due to income/low SES, lack of information about the tools, or just being on society’s fringes). Dr. Steven Chan writes about this in “Beyond an Apple a day: why digital health needs to target Android” on MedPage Today by asking:
Where is Android in the digital health ecosystem? And why should we pay attention to non-Apple platforms?
These nuances show us where we need to focus:
- Bringing physicians online without fear (educate, inform)
- Reaching underserved communities (outreach, educate, resources)
- Meeting people/patients where they are (social media, local clinics, weekends)
- Sharing information that’s cogent, current, & reliable (curation, new channels)
Healthcare’s direction is the same as always – forward. We must be agile and smart enough to adapt as we use the newest tools to reach the populations we seek. It will never again be so simple as the family doctor saying, “Polio is bad, take this shot.” Everyone must be ready to act agents to connect the new reality with the people and patients that need Healthcare Leaders of all stripes to make a difference.
Let’s consider all the new ideas, changes to Healthcare and the implications along with the #hcldr community of professionals, patients, clinicians, administrators, lurkers, and advocates! Please join us on Tuesday June 16, 2015 at 8:30pm Eastern (for your local time click here) as we discuss the following topics:
- T1 How has the super-wealth of healthcare information impacted you as a provider? As a patient?
- T2 What do you feel is the future of social media tools in healthcare?
- T3 What great ideas do you have to get the right healthcare information to the people who need it? What are some bad ideas you’ve seen?
- T4 What can we as healthcare leaders do to make healthcare information & resources truly egalitarian?
“Beyond an Apple a day: why digital health needs to target Android” Steven Chan, Medpage Today, June 5. 2015 http://www.imedicalapps.com/2015/06/beyond-apple-day-digital-health-needs-target-android/ Accessed June 14, 2015
“Health care workers overburdened by ‘information overload’” Al Hinman, CNN, Jan 28, 1996 http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/9601/information_overload/ Accessed June 14, 2015
“Study: Healthcare Industry Contains Most Cloud Data Breaches” Michael Cusanelli, Talkin’ Cloud, June 15, 2015. http://talkincloud.com/cloud-computing-security/06152015/study-healthcare-industry-contains-most-cloud-data-breaches Accessed June 15, 2015
“IN NEW WORLD OF HEALTHCARE CHOICES, HELPING PATIENTS MAKE GOOD DECISIONS” Andrew Kitchenman, NJ Spotlight, May 21, 2015 http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/15/05/20/in-new-world-of-healthcare-choices-helping-patients-make-good-decisions/ Accessed Jun 13, 2015
“What Can We Do to Simplify Healthcare?” Markus Fromherz, The Health Care Blog, April 10, 2012 http://thehealthcareblog.com/blog/2012/04/10/what-can-we-do-to-simplify-healthcare-2/ Accessed June 14, 2015
Iron Lung Ward – FDA – CC License http://goo.gl/E0dBBA