Last semester I taught Consumer Health Informatics and Web 2.0 in Healthcare in the College of Pharmacy (COP) after having coordinated several iterations of it in the MS in Biomedical Informatics Program. At the end of the COP course, I asked the students for their opinions about the most useful and least useful lectures of the semester (with an eye towards improving future offerings). Many of the students mentioned topics that were discussed by one of the six excellent guest lecturers. While I sincerely appreciate each guest lecturer’s contribution, I thought it would be even more meaningful to share a student response about each guest lecturer/topic.
I’ll use the format below to do so (lecturers appear in the order they taught during the semester):
The course’s most useful lecture was Dr. Kang’s since it focused on policy and the big picture instead of just one or two tools.
Jeah-Ah Kang, PharmD
Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising, and Communications (DDMAC)
“Promotion of FDA-Regulated Medical Products Using the Internet and Social Media Tools”
Most useful was Dr. Gualtieri’s because it may be the only one that really looked at things from the patient’s side.
Lisa Gualtieri, PhD, ScM
Tufts University School of Medicine
“Blogging for Health: Communicating the Experience of Illness”
Most useful lecture was Dr. Dyer’s lecture. It was very cool seeing how healthcare was using this new tech and getting positive results. Very. Cool.
Jennifer Dyer, MD, MPH
Ohio State University, College of Medicine
“RU TAKING UR MEDS? (DR. SEZ TEXTING TEENZ HELPS!)”
I would like to see more experts like Dr. Fahrni. His lecture was most useful. It provided insight on what this breed of pharmacist does on a daily basis.
Jerry Fahrni, PharmD
Kaweah Delta District Hospital (now Talyst)
“Pharmacy Informatics – One Pharmacist’s Perspective”
The most useful topic was Dr. Mesko’s on virtual worlds because it was most forward looking. I wish we would use it more and create our own avatars.
Bertalan Mesko, MD
University of Debrecen Medical School
“Medicine in Second Life, the virtual world”
The most useful lecture topic would have to be the final lecture from Dr. Fox, it was extremely informative and I enjoyed it a lot. I’d like to see an additional lecture from him.
Brent Fox, PharmD, PhD
University of Auburn, College of Pharmacy
“The Pharmacist’s Role in Health 2.0”
Social media presence for the course contributors can be found here:
Lisa Gualtieri, PhD, ScM (@lisagualtieri)
Jennifer Dyer, MD, MPH (@EndoGoddess)
Jerry Fahrni, PharmD (@JFahrni)
Bertalan Mesko, MD (@Berci)
Brent Fox, PharmD, PhD (@Brent_Fox)
A tweet by Katherine Chretien (@MotherinMed) that her new article on physicians & Twitter has been published in JAMA served to remind me that I forgot to blog the poster presentation of our project, “Analysis of a national sample of pharmacist generated Twitter content” that was presented at the 45th Annual ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting in December in Anaheim. I did remember to send a tweet with a link to the image at the time (#ashpmidyear), but the rest escaped me. The poster is the PharmTwitter project that @markhawker and I and a couple NSU students worked on and represents an earlier stage with preliminary results. As an aside, we prepared a ‘conventional’ version of this poster for the meeting as well and then put it to a vote among the project team members as to which one to use at the conference. The vote ended up being a tie, so we had to use a tiebreaker.
Hopefully the full results will be coming soon via a journal near you (hint: it’s won’t be JAMA). All comments, as always, are welcome.
The Medicine 2.0 World Congress on Social Media and Web 2.0 in Health, Medicine, and Biomedical Sciences is one of the most valuable conferences I have ever attended. It has been the meeting in this arena with the clearest focus on actual research and evidence for Medicine 2.0 issues and also offers the best opportunity to connect with other researchers, clinicians, e-patients, business and policy people. In fact, the very first Medicine 2.0 Congress was where I was introduced to (and/or first met IRL) so many people who went on to become research collaborators, colleagues, and friends.
In the spirit of that original meeting, I am excited for this year’s Medicine 2.0 at Stanford (September 16-18, 2011). I have always appreciated the fact that Medicine 2.0 has truly been an international gathering, but am happy to see that it is coming to the United States for the first time. I am also eager to see another first, the one-day Stanford Summit at Medicine 2.0, which will directly precede the Medicine 2.0 Congress. The Summit is lining up to have an incredible array of moderators and panelists.
Given the quality of the attendees and the opportunities for discussion/dissemination of your research (and networking), if you are working in this field I would strongly urge you to respond to the Call for Abstracts, Presentations, Interactive Demos, Startup Pitches and Panel Proposals for Medicine 2.0 at Stanford. The deadline for submission is a (rapidly approaching) March 1st, 2011. You can click on the link for the Call or start the process by watching the overview below by this year’s Conference organizer, Dr. Larry Chu. Also, feel free to contact me with any questions and I look forward to seeing you there!
I saw a tweet by John @Poikonen that alerted me to the fact that a second article in as many weeks has been published on pharmacy and blogs. Two pharmacy students (Justin Elkins and Chilla Goncz) and I authored “Use of blogs by pharmacists“, which appears in the new issue of the American Journal of Health System Pharmacy. We identified all blogs that were pharmacist-authored, active (i.e. posts in the last 3 months), and written in English. Blogs focused on pharmacy, but not written by a pharmacist were excluded. Forty-four blogs were identified that fit those criteria. We used the most recent 5 posts to assess the blogs based on six categories (e.g. practice based topics, identifying information, positive language, critical language, professionalism and miscellaneous).
Most pharmacist blogs (68%) were written anonymously (versus 43% in Lagu’s study of physician and nurse blogs). Pharmacist bloggers were equally represented by community (43%) and non-community settings (43%); the practice settings of the remainder were indeterminable. These blogs most commonly used positive language to describe the profession (32%), other health care professionals (25%), and patients (25%). Critical language was more commonly observed in descriptions of patients (57%); almost half of all posts contained profane or explicit language (48%).
Most of the blogs (71%) contained mentions of pharmacologic therapies and current healthcare events (66%). We also noted that 25% of these bloggers had a Twitter account (relative to 11% of the general population in the same timeframe per Pew). Out of the 11 pharmacist blogs that were ranked by Technorati, all but two were primarily of a ‘ranting’ nature (e.g. Angry Pharmacist, Angriest Pharmacist, Your Pharmacist May Hate You). Interestingly, the only two ranked, but non-ranting blogs were written by non-US pharmacists.
Our full AJHP article lists all of the 44 blogs and while it is not open access, my hope is that via ASHP Connect and rapid response that this list of pharmacist blogs can be updated and curated using our article as a starting point.
Recently I have seen another round of the cyclical deluge of posts, pointers, and tips telling people what Twitter is meant for and ‘instructing’ them how they should use it. Most of this advice is invariably wrong simply because there is no certain way that Twitter should be used. It is impossible. Even Twitter doesn’t know what it wants to be when it grows up yet.
However, there are three perpectives about using Twitter that I believe have real merit. The ties that bind all three are that each touches on a range of uses for Twitter and the tones are personalized and/or contemplative, rather than authoritative.
1. How I Use Twitter as a Killer Filtering App by @Doctor_V [Nov 3, 2010]
Concise, clean approach that recognizes the fluid nature of the tool and how it can be employed
2. Twitter: filter, suggestion box, idea machine, window by @SusannahFox [Oct 18, 2010]
Four featured functions of Twitter including example accounts that support each method used
Both of those posts, like all good blog posts, have a number of comments that really add value. The third perspective is…well, it’s a little different. I first watched it on my phone and felt like I was watching a cross between Phil Laak and Mike Caro. @AndrewSpong aptly characterized it as “structured free association”. Just keep your hands inside the car and hang on for the ride that is:
3. The Four Modes of Twitter: Focused, Filtered, Serendipitous and Random by @PhilBaumann via @HealthIsSocial [Oct 29/Nov 4 2010]
I have collected these three perspectives here as a resource for those trying to figure out if it makes sense for them to use Twitter or those trying to get a better idea of Twitter’s utility or lack thereof. The first two perspectives are particularly well-suited for healthcare professionals, researchers, academicians, and students. The third offers more of a James Joyce exploration of the potential of Twitter and is not for the faint of heart. I believe all three have value and hope you find the same.
Social Media Governance, by Chris Boudreaux (@cboudreaux), maintains a list of companies with linkable social media guidelines and/or policies. He currently has 154 company entries in his database ranging from Ford Motor Company to The Ohio State Medical Center to MD Anderson Cancer Center.
The topic of corporate and company social media guidelines and policies seems to be coming across my desk more often of late. Although the Scribd (i.e., ‘social publishing ‘ site) item above is only a summary document with the friendly title “Digital Participation Guidelines” and not from a company focused on healthcare, it is still instructive. I like the emphasis on transparency and in putting employees in a position to succeed when ‘participating digitally’. The guidelines are promising in doing the following things:
- Recognizing employees’ propensity to make mistakes and trying to help them be proactive in avoiding them.
- Providing a clear idea of what circumstances support an individual employee’s qualified comments versus mandating a higher level response.
- Reiterating that digital now equals permanent.
- Encouraging collegiality and courtesy in communications.
Granted, from a legal perspective, they can be considered a little vague – but to be fair they spell that out along with the link to their more detailed, internal docs on the topic.
A more formal example is from the Ohio State University Medical Center (OSUMC).
I also like this more detailed breakdown of institutional and personal use by OSUMC. A particularly useful example it provides is when an employee creates a personal blog on their own time but mentions or describes themselves “in their OSUMC roles”. Despite all other aspects being ‘personal’, once that staff member introduces OSUMC employeement into the equation on their blog, that blog is then “governed by the Social Media Participation Policy” of OSUMC even though it also carries the required, “The views expressed here are my own and not those of my employer” statement.
Another great resource is the CDC Social Media Tools Guidelines and Best Practices. It actually has a breakdown by tool (e.g., Microblogs, YouTube, SMS) with separate documents covering each.
Bottom line: if you are using any social media/Web 2.0 tools and have mentioned or plan on mentioning your place of employment, you would be well-served to check and see if your institution has any social media guidelines or digital participation policies. Even if they don’t (yet), conducting yourself as if they do and following common conventions in those spaces would not be a bad idea. I suspect we may eventually see that social media policy training will be as universal as the sessions we get now on HIPAA and sexual harassment. It may just take a major lawsuit to cross that barrier – here’s hoping it’s none of us that make history in that manner!
Healthcare in general and pharmacy in particular, is still finding its way with social media. One of the least developed elements of Health 2.0 remains the legal aspect. A few years ago several of us starting discussing scenarios in which a legally valid pharmacist-patient relationship might be created based exclusively on Web 2.0 mediated interactions. This discussion has been aided, of course, by social media. Also, as part of an interactive panel at Medicine 2.0 a couple years ago we posed this question (attendees’ responses here).
This discussion has recently been formalized as a Commentary published along with Matthew Seamon PharmD, JD and Brent Fox, PharmD, PhD (@Brent_Fox) in the American Journal of Health System Pharmacy. An accompanying podcast has also been produced for it by AJHP. Ideally the article and podcast help promote dialogue and encourage the profession to think proactively on the subject.
Last year I developed a course titled “Consumer Health Informatics & Web 2.0 in Healthcare”. It was an excellent learning experience for me and hopefully beneficial for the students as well. The course was offered last semester in our College of Osteopathic Medicine – Biomedical Informatics Program. I plan to offer a similar course next semester in our College of Pharmacy tailored for those students and capitalizing on the lessons learned from the previous version.
While my course was a hybrid of consumer health informatics (CHI) and Web 2.0, the very first Web 2.0 and Medicine course was created by Bertalan Mesko, MD. Dr. Mesko (perhaps better known as @Berci) pioneered it when he was still a medical student. Berci was quite helpful in the early stages of the conception of my course and even went on to contribute a brief guest lecture on virtual worlds. Additional resources have since appeared in the literature detailing experiences teaching Web 2.0 in other disciplines.
My course covered basic CHI terminology and subjects like health information seeking behaviors and the evolution of participatory medicine as well as related topics like open access and digital health literacy. Additionally, it touched on some ‘classic’ informatics tools and technologies like telemedicine, mHealth, and electronic/personal health records. The course also featured a second guest lecture by Joan Dzenowagis, PhD, who spoke about Internet safety, governance issues, and the dotHealth initiative.
One of the main things I wanted to accomplish with the course was to have the students use the actual Web 2.0 tools and technologies that we discussed in practical ways. To that end, they completed a series of mini-projects including: editing health-related Wikipedia entries, creating Twitter accounts to follow thought leaders in their subspecialties, and creating RSS reader accounts to help manage their flow of information.
Overall, the course was well-received and I was relatively happy with its maiden voyage. My plan now is to continue modifying, customizing, and retooling the course based on the needs of pharmacy students and the previous students’ feedback and then submitting to the College of Pharmacy curriculum committee in the coming months. In the interim, I welcome your comments and questions.
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