Category Archives: healthcare

Varying standards across hospital websites

As with all websites – the question to be asked: who are you serving?

American Medical News references a recent report from the Journal of Healthcare suggesting that medical practitioners and hospitals need to addess accessibility of their web sites – content should be written for the reader, not for the writer.

This is a challenge for all websites – not to bombard the reader with technical jargon.

Excellent example quoted is: ‘For example, some websites have data related to ventilator-acquired pneumonia, but they used only the acronym. Or they used “nosocomial infections” instead of the more understandable term “hospital-acquired infections.”‘.

The report also references limited use of social networks.  This is also consistent with findings of recent Deloitte report – suggesting only 6% of physicians using social media to communicate with patients.



Why such variation in adoption of IT by medical practitioners?

As someone who depends on doctors for medical advice, someone who works with doctors and someone who promotes innovation through technology I am frustrated at the inconsistencies across healtcare in the adoption of IT.

Core questions for me seem to be:

  • Does adoption of IT solutions have the potential to improve patient healthcare?
  • Can IT reduce risk to the patient?
  • Can IT assist medical professionals in getting more of their decisions right?
  • Can IT be implemented without significant impact on the business of the medical professional?
  • Does IT offer the medical profesional and the patient improved communication/ cooperation/ collaboration?
  • What are the downsides for the patient and for the doctor?
  • Are there quality applications and secure frameworks available to the doctor and the patient?

This new report from Deloitte, based in the US, would suggest that adoption is slow and inconsistent.

It would seem to me that market forces will ultimately drive this – and by market force I mean choice for the patient, requirement to communicate/ collaborate and regulation or the increasing requirement to demonstrate the quality of proceses followed.




Seeking changes in Health & Education in Ireland

Interesting to read Paul Rellis (CEO Microsoft Ireland) pushing significant amounts of technology in Education and Health as ways to address much of the problems we have.

Would agree 100% with Paul Rellis’s ideas around uses of digital technology.  However seems to me risk putting cart before the horse.  First we need a clear vision of what we are looking to achieve, then commitment from those in Health & Education to achieve the vision, commitment from the investor (govt.) in terms of any required investment.  The technology bit is not actually that hard – using Microsoft technology, other proprietary technology and open source technology – in any, to be agreed, configuration.

But first let’s set vision, get some commitment and manage the change.

Patient doctor collaboration

Interesting post on project healthdesign: The Doctor’s Role in a Health 2.0 World.

Describing the patient as the ceo for his own body ie he takes responsibility, while the doctro is described as the consultant – advising the patient, seems like a good model, which reinforces the idea that the patient needs to manage his own lifesytyle, etc.

The other interesting obeservation relates to the general ‘information overload’ being experienced by all of us in all walks of life.  It is quite possible that a patient may know a great deal more about his specific condition than the doctor providing the advice.  However the doctor hopefully brings a broader picture and understanding.  Seems no reason why the patient and doctro should not collaborate in advaincing the situation.  Of course this does tend to turn the more traditional doctor/ patient model on its head.

social media in hospitals

In his post earlier this week Jim McGee gives an insight into the use of social media/ social networking by the Mayo Clinic in the US.  Not surpisingly for a distinguished and go ahead operation they make widespread use of blogs, podcasting, twitter, facebook, etc.  Would be interested to understand what plans the hospitals (state and private) have to use social media here.  What is the attitude of hospital management/ admin, medics, other providers of services and patients?  Without doubt the current and emerging technologies provide opportunities for hospitals and medics to interact in deeper and broader ways with their patients and potenial future patients.