On this years last day i am looking back to what happened in healthcare in 2011 and also trying to make up my mind of what will be happening in 2012.
Over the last year the words Social Media (SoMe) in healthcare have become a sort of buzz-word, many talk about it just as if they have been into his field for ages. Looking to our research on Hospitals Europe using SoMe is still mainly used as a send-channel and not as two-way corridor. Real patient interaction is still a on going process of exploration. Allthough we’ve been in this field since early 2009 my own Academic Medical Hospital (www.umcn.nl) still is finding it’s way through the chances and pitfalls of this promissing developpment that is added to the channels-mix. Many still talk about it, few really are doing it.
Another Buzz-word is “communities”, just ask ten people what a community is and you will get 10 different perspectives. Just like health 2.0. At REshape we did a systematic review of the definition and found 46(!) in scientific literature.
Yes, communities were and will be one of thé trending topics in healthcare, but also after a giant and steep increase in nimber and topic just like the internet-bubble splash by a shake-out somewhere in 2013. Reasons for that will be : island-solutions, ego-systems, multiple username and password stress, adverse an incompetent security and most of all: push in stead of pull. We’ve been in here since early 2003 when my colleague jan Kremer founded the first ever digital outpatient clinic for ivf-patients. It lead to the spinn-out called MijnZorgNet. This also ignited i.e. the numerous digital out-patient-clinics at @umcn where patients have acces to their medical records, histology, x-ray photo’s and can discuss with peer-patients and the healthcare-team. Also we’ve set up the AYA4- community that gives young adults with cancer the option the digital-hang-out in a safe environment, with no healthcare-pro’s, with no parents; so just with peers. By this we are embracing patients into the healthcare-team. A lot of talking is going on, only few actually act on it.
Over the year we stopped using “we put patients central”, in our opinion this hollow
phrase does not resemble what’s needed to change healthcare to cope with the huge challenges we are facing and is again putting the relationship between HCP and patients in paternalistic perspective. So @umcn we’ve stopped putting patients central … and started to embrace them in to the healthcare team, their own team that is.
For 2012 for us we will take steps one patient a time, one day a time to make it possible for patients to be co-workers on their own health(care) : Patients as Partners is our slogan.
So we are talking a lot with them, not only by our Chief Listening Officer, our with the first ever E-patients Bootcamp at our newly founded Radboud REshape Academy chaired by e-patientDave, but also online, by conferences like our TEDxMaastricht, in our research but most of all by taking them seriously in give care. With great com-passion, since that is what most of the doctors and nurses made them choose for healthcare in the first place; taking care of people. In this we have a huge challenge in 2012 as well to find balance in protocols, guidelines, checklist but also in competition in and outside the healthcare institutions to keep the com-passion-flame awake. It is up to us all, to step-up, to adress, to aid, to talk and to teach how one can give great care, without neglecting rules that improve healthcare.
So please join us, again in 2012, in REshaping healthcare one patient, one professional, one step a time.
Think big, act small but please … stop talking about it …. and start doing it !
Again i would quote Francis of Assisi :
“Start with the essentials. Then do the possible.
And then suddenly you just do the impossible.”
Below our new years wish for 2012