Posted in Education, Politics, SocialMedia, Technology

Social Media in Healthcare and Local Government

Sharing the latest article I wrote for my Master’s in Public Administration course work at Bellevue University.  Check out the Healthcare Hashtag Project (link in references below).

This post offers a brief summary of an article found using the Elton B. Stephens Company (EBSCO) database on the use of electronic communications to serve clients of the healthcare industry.

Today’s technology allows many opportunities for patient-centered care.  Email, text messaging, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter offer today’s nurses a chance to modernize healthcare practitioner methods of patient interaction.  The article cites a Pew Research Center study reporting 85% of American’s are online, and 55% of these people are using mobile devices (Weaver, Lindsay, Gitelman, 2012).  These statistics suggest a public ready for new methods of interacting with healthcare providers.

Using modern communication technologies, nurses can educate the public about four changeable behaviors, identified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as negatively affecting the health of Americans:

  • Lack of Exercise
  • Poor Nutrition
  • Tobacco Use
  • Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Nurses are in the best position to use technology to improve the health and communications practices between healthcare providers and patients.  “Experience suggests that nursing leaders–and those who discover they can lead in this way–will seek the opportunities and efficiencies that electronic connections afford both their patients and them (Weaver, Lindsay, Gitelman, 2012).”  If nurses are in the best position to use technology in modernizing healthcare service delivery, could these same practices be applied to public administration?

City governments have access to the same no-cost solutions as other for-profit organizations.  YouTube and other social media offers free platforms for broadcasting and disseminating local government activities.  A quick search for local municipalities’ use of technology proves there is still a lot of room for improvement by our local governments.  The City of Papillion is a great example of a local government instituting best practices using electronic communication.

Papillion City Happenings YouTube Video
Papillion City Happenings YouTube Video

To remain relevant as a governing body, public administration must follow communication methods of the people governed.  “If conversation norms govern how often we talk and with whom, there are other structures that govern what we talk about and how we talk about it, not only in conversations but also in media and other communication modes (Gastil, 2008, p. 226).”

References:

City of Papillion. (n.d.). Retrieved November 30, 2013, from
https://www.facebook.com/CityofPapillion

City of Papillion. (n.d.). Retrieved November 30, 2013, from https://twitter.com/CityofPapillion

Gastil, J. (2008). Political communication and deliberation. Thousand Oaks, CA:
Sage Publications, Inc.

Papillion City Council for November 19, 2013 [Video file]. (2013, November 20).
Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=H6eRVtopGiY&feature=share&list=UUJtw2GjLfFIAueHjKT-1rdA

The healthcare hashtag project. (n.d.). Retrieved November 30, 2013, from
http://www.symplur.com/healthcare-hashtags/

Weaver, B., Lindsay, B., & Gitelman, B. (2012). Communication technology and
social media: Opportunities and implications for healthcare systems.
Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 17(3). http://dx.doi.org/10.3912/
OJIN.Vol17No03Man03

Posted in Relationships, SocialMedia, Technology, Wellness

Viewer Discretion is Advised

I received feedback from those on my Facebook page that the picture I’m including here should have come with a warning. So, if you’re eating something, you might want to wait to read this.

Back on January 10th, I slipped and fell on black ice in a parking lot at work. A couple hours later I was in the hospital getting x-rays due to the enormity of pain & swelling. Because initially, there was no indication of a break in the bones…I was released with pain meds, told to elevate & ice and I should recover in time.

A follow-up appointment in February yielded another x-ray due to continued pain & swelling. Finally, around April, due to no explanation for continued swelling I received a referral to a podiatrist! After examination, I was given an appointment to have an MRI. After a whole month, at last, I received authorization through the VA health care system for a surgical consult from downtown doctors.

This appointment with a foot/ankle specialist at Ortho West revealed that not only had my ligaments been ripped off my ankle back in January, but on that day I received a fracture to my Tibia, as well as a 3cm vertical tear in my right peroneal brevis tendon. Because the fracture was never diagnosed or treated (getting off of my foot long enough for the fracture to heal), scheduling myself for the tendon repair would give me the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone! So, finally, on 8 July I was scheduled for the procedure~a couple of hours and 16 staples later, I was on my way to begin recovery.   If you want to take a look at exactly what happened in my case…I’m pasting a url to a YouTube video of the procedure: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DU7e669fZLA. If you have a weak stomach at all I don’t recommend you watch it.

Picture of the finished work on 8 Jul

Right Peroneal Brevis Tendon Repair!

What it looked like at home until 11 July!

Bandaged

Freed from the bandage 12 Jul

Reclining

Today, 15 July is the first full week post op!  I’m thankful to be home in my own environment, but this procedure took a lot more out of me than I ever could have predicted.  I’m thankful for a great family who has catered to every need…and to everyone out there on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ & LinkedIn who’ve sent messages and posts of encouragement and support!

OrthoWest, the Orthopedic specialists, and the Nebraska Orthopedic Hospital staff were fabulous.  I haven’t ever encountered a hospital workflow system that put people first like these two health care establishments do.  Their business processes, Information Technology and automation solutions were designed with the patient’s needs in mind.  If you need orthopedic consultation, I highly recommend this team of professionals!

I have spent my recovery time using distraction techniques like reading, being deeply engaged in social media, listening to my wife read to the family during lunch times, watching a few videos with the kids, listening to Pandora and sleeping!  I am so thankful for my family and the network of friends across the globe who’ve taken the time to inquire about my status and post notes of encouragement.  Many of these friends I’ve known for a couple of years now but have never met in person (thinking of a lot of #UsGuys pals).  This is just one example of how social media can be extremely helpful to the emotional well being of individuals.

Apologies if this post was a little disturbing (pictures/video) but when you have many people asking what happened…how’s it going…a blog is the best way to speak once~inform many!  I thank you for reading!  Hope you all are well and in great health!

Cheers

Posted in Children, Relationships

Children ~ Future Heirs of Imperfection

A black and white illustration of a mother and...
A black and white illustration of a mother and son reading a book on a chair. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Good Afternoon All,

A quick recap on life before I delve into the subject of my post.  Since my last post much has changed–as is inevitable in life.  Circumstances beyond our control mix  and mingle with those that we can exercise control over.  As one of those American‘s beginning furlough yesterday, I chose to spend it on the operating table & recovery.  Yes, finally, I was able to have the operation to repair my tendon which suffered a vertical tear on my right ankle back in January when I slipped on black ice.  One of my challenges is to determine what to do with my furlough days (one day off per week for the next 11 weeks!)  besides recovering.

Journaling, blogging, gardening and quilting are on the menu for my enjoyment/entertainment, as well as, as the subject infers spending more time with the family.  I’m writing this post today because of a great article I read from an individual I follow on LinkedIn named Michael Lazerow.  His post was titled “Entrepreneur’s Choice:  Is Your Kid Worth $100 Million?”

I found his article well thought out and extremely thorough in navigating through the thought world of priorities one faces as a parent.  The challenges he addresses are especially important for the entrepreneurial sort of parent(s).  If you are married and one of you has or is planning to operate your own business–be “the boss” then there’s a lot at steak and many choices to weigh.  Here’s an excerpt from his post:  “For me, at least, the hardest part of being a working parent is not the long road trips or long hours or frustrated clients. It’s the internal struggle I fight between two equal and opposing forces – the time I invest creating shareholder value and the time I invest building family values.”

Considering now the thoughts you might have about the circumstance/situation, what are “WE” doing about the circumstances, the questions, and what choices are we making to bring these thoughts into social debate; and useful assistance to those faced with the challenges?  Michael ends his post with the following:  “Ultimately, the best present you can give your kids is your presence. Your full and undivided presence. And, just like earning $100 million, that’s not always easy.  What decisions would you make differently if you truly valued your children more than $100 million?”

As believers in a faith, we “attend” church to congregate with others who practice their faith in similar ways to us.  As writers; we join reading a writing groups; as collectors, we join stamp clubs, auto clubs, quilting guilds, and others who share similar interests…..but where oh where is the group for Parents in our day-to-day rhythms?  Online seems to be the only place where this topic gets the attention it deserves, but its too often a one-to-one relationship (the individual reading the article or post–and the author)  Child Care facilities are hardly the place to meet the need, however, a modification to the model would be ideal if psychologists and other family care professionals were to facilitate.

For those that do work for others, parenting issues are water cooler and lunch room discussions if at all.  Besides your co-parent, who do you talk to, ask questions of, and share these experiences/challenges?  It can only be that much more of a challenge to those who are single parents.

This topic is what I believe a LOT of men could really use.  Parenting isn’t traditionally attributed positively in association with men…. unfortunately our society places topics/activities into gender categories.   A movie with a great plot, relationship intense dialogue, and focused on an individual struggling with a major life issue is put into the category of chic flick.   Ask a group of married men their druthers whether to spend a Friday or Saturday evening watching a chic flick or watching/attending a sporting event or online gaming…most will NOT choose the chic flick–especially if asked in front of a group of guys.

For years I have hoped for/wanted a men’s group that meets to help each other be better men, fathers, and husbands.  I have felt in order to even get attendance, it would have to be a covert operation whereby I started a monthly night our for guys with our home schooling or back in the day when our daughters were younger, at the Twins Club.  I’m going to give it a try with our current home schooling group when I’m back on my feet–but, I just wonder if anyone else out there sees the same thing that I do?  There is power in numbers!  Parents (both men & women) should be able to join a group “FOR PARENTS” without having to pay a “family counselor”…to discuss and share things that work, things that didn’t work so well, and just be able to provide general support for each other.    Most groups that exist are for individual aspects of parenting (La Leche League–for breastfeeding; special needs, troubled youth, etc.)  Support groups need to exist for those without a chronic medical or mental issue, where parents can encourage each other to make better choices!

My wife has done an excellent job as a home schooling mother at creating some family traditions.  Reading aloud to the children during meals has helped to distract the kids from normal “Mom, he’s looking at me!” spats that normally arise from close proximity.  It has worked well and she’s continued the habit–the twins are now almost 18 and our son will turn 14.  It has helped them develop a voracious appetite for reading on their own.  Each Thursday, the kids go to the library and check out new books–they get through and read almost everyone they check out!  They all enjoy the reading time!  So, being able to share something as simple as that little coping mechanism a mom has during lunch times adds to the quality time spent together and teaches many important lessons.

These are the types of exchanges and ideas that can be helpful to new or struggling parents.  Fitting time into life’s schedules to create new/better habits and develop deeper relationships with our children beyond the logistical or parallel entertainment (TV watching) is what parents crave/need.  You don’t know it until you experience a pocket of it here and there…but when you have those moments, its like a “I could’ve had a V-8!” moment.  But we must consciously chose  to reprioritize HOW we spend our time and then develop consistent habits.

Children need and find structure comforting, even if they don’t seem to be appreciative, boundaries are what gives children a sense of stability and trust for their environment and caretakers.  If we don’t provide it for them, they will seek it out, even if it comes with great risk.  I’m interested in hearing your thoughts about choices you’re making to improve your quality time with children/grand children; or even with establishing a group for the purpose of becoming a better parent.

The practices we put in place (or don’t), the traditions we build (or don’t), the value we create (or don’t), the choices we make (or don’t) all end up being the legacy we leave behind.  Whatever you do (or don’t) are behaviors your children witness and observe (learn) internally as a way to do life–most proudly pass on to their children these behaviors and choices (both good and bad). What example are you setting?  Whether you like it or not, parenting is teaching, and what is taught, is learned and carried on to the next generation!

Cheers All!  Again thanks to Michael Lazerow’s post about parenting to help trigger this post!

 

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Posted in Business, SocialMedia, Technology, Writing

I Have a Book In Me

Thanks for reading!  There’s a question at the end for writers and authors…I value your input.

I just have to share a brief story about a friend/colleague.  He calls me up and asks for a few minutes of my time during a break at work.  So I say “Sure!”  Turns out Zach is an animal society non-profit volunteer and board member, and he wanted some advice on “improving” their website .   Zach stated that they already have a dedicated domain name and a website that’s currently out of date.

So, immediately the wheels start turning, my adrenaline gets pumping and dots are being connected at wicked speeds….I can just feel the synapses firing in my brain!

So my friend (lets call him Zach) says that their non-profit website is sort of “just there!”  The guy that volunteered to design and maintain their website moved to the East Coast but continued to maintain the site…until recently when his computer died.  Now they’ve turned to Zach for help.  He was looking for suggestions that would be cheap or free.  So I started off with some basic questions.

I asked what is the Purpose, Audience, and Goals of the website to the non-profit organization.  So I wrote those words down on the back of my printed out schedule for the day like this:

Purpose (of the site):  Membership, Volunteers, Fundraising

Target Audience (of the site):  Society Members, Volunteers, Contributors

Goals (of the site):  Raise Funds, Increase Membership, Increase # of volunteers

I mentioned that there was a huge difference between purpose & goals.  Purpose is why it exists, why you bother devoting any time to it in the first place.  Goals are achievable targets (increase fund raising by 5% per month, increase membership by 10% each month, gain 5 new volunteers each month.)

I asked him how the non-profit uses tech to engage their audience…apparently there is only one person who posts things on Facebook.  (I just did a search on FB and found nothing but external links)

I said, “Zach, if you’re not using free services like Twitter, Facebook, Quora, and LinkedIn to engage your audience, you’re missing out!  If you would begin using those services, within six months, I guarantee you’ll achieve all of your goals and increase the number of volunteers (under age 30) of your non-profit society!”

I told Zach that they asked for “help with a website” but what he needed to present to the board, was a business plan.  A domain name and non-interactive website are the same as a vacant lot or empty building!  It’s just a place–nobody’s going to come or even come back if there’s nobody to talk to.  I suggested that he deliver a proposal for a strategy to really give their society a long-overdue boost!  I suggested he take the page of notes and turn it into a quick 5-slide PowerPoint presentation to present at the next board meeting!

We agreed to get together later when we could devote more time to discuss the plan and he asked me for a copy of the notes I took so he could begin looking into the social media aspects.

My mind was on fire about this idea…I thought wow, that session was more than a brief visit/discussion, it was a consultation!  This sort of thing happens to me a lot, and I really enjoy it.  That is where a lot of my passion lies.  On my lunch hour I had to put the adrenaline to use.  I logged onto my Evernote account and quickly outlined my page of notes.  When I finished, I realized what was staring me in the face could be the table of contents for a practical book that would help literally hundreds of people.

So here’s my question!  Leaning on great advice from a dear #usguys friend @loiscreamer , I won’t ask “Does the world need another social media enthused business basics book for entrepreneurs?”  but instead…should I go the self- ePublishing route or traditional query letter path? I know I could churn it out in a couple of months, go through several drafts and edits, and be ready for publishing by year’s end.  What do you think?

Easter Day Update:  So, I decided to go for it and have taken the advice of several encouraging people to begin my book.  You can read more about it at the blog created specifically for writing my book here:  http://profitdiagnostics.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/book-petri/