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 Creativity

What Do You Do For Relaxation?

Suburban GardenThis is a short post about some of the activities I do to help me relax and feel connected to the parts of me that aren’t complicated by logistics, obligations, and “have to’s.”  These are things that while producing output for others (and myself) give back to me in some way….on a meditative and soul-replenishing level.

I generally have two cycles….a spring and a winter cycle.  The winter cycle comes around when the temperatures dip down and there’s a chill in the air.  Decorations throughout the neighborhood indicate that candy and scary movies will pepper conversation.  As the temps forewarn of snows to come, the itch and urge to pull out all of the craft supplies blooms in me until I start noticing patterns and colors in great detail.  Before I know it, I’m looking at my faithful illustrated library of blankets and quilts, potholders and wreaths, canvases and rugs.

The spring cycle begins very nearly at the end of the winter cycle when the seed catalogs come pouring into the mailbox.  The sun begins a deliberate thinning of the snow blankets, melting icicles tap out a tempo to accompany the early Robins, and the scent of moist soil hits your nostrils.  This time of spring sets my imagination going on where to plant this year’s crops, what new vegetables and fruits I will attempt planting and how I want the yard color palette to look from different approaches to our home.

This year, just like the weather, my rhythm is all mixed up.  But its okay, because its helping me get through this ankle surgery.

LettuceStrawberries

On the left I have a small row of mixed lettuce growing in front of a row of green beans, and behind it are cucumbers.  I can go out and look at them every day and never get tired of what I see.  The lettuce has been growing and picked from since April without bolting and turning bitter.  Tomorrow we will pick from this short row for the 6th time!  The picture on the right is one of eight ever bearing strawberry plants that have just now started sending out runners.  These runners grow inches every day, and if you don’t get out and help their growth direction you can end up with strawberry plants where you don’t want them.  This is just a small sampler of this years produce.  I have jalapeno, banana, and Anaheim peppers; eggplant; peas; onions; tomatoes; basil; beets; radishes; and much more to plant before the growing season is over.

Ed's First Quilt ProjectWhile the yard is overflowing with edible landscaping, inside I have finally completed a project that took me years to complete.  I finished piecing together a small quilt top (suitable for an infant’s car seat) years ago and finally decided to try my hand at tying a quilt.  Its the easiest/fastest way at putting together a quilt.  You tape the backing to the floor, place your quilt batting on top of that and finally, place your quilt top on top of that.  Once you’ve safety pinned the sandwich together, you can begin tying through all three layers.  I finished this project because I wanted to prove to myself I was capable of piecing together and finishing a quilt project.

The two skills I lacked were the tying of the quilt and the binding process.  Thanks to a couple of books from the library, and YouTube, I was able to gain adequate instruction and practice on scraps to achieve a finished project.  It’s not perfect, but I wasn’t seeking perfection–just completion.  The binding job I am most proud of because I made the binding, attached the binding on the front side by machine, and hand stitched the back all the way around with mitered corners. This quilt is my first and has given me the confidence to begin my next project which is a King Sized quilt for our bed.

Below are a couple of pictures to show you the beginnings.  The larger quilt block will have sashing bordering it in a color that will have continuity throughout the quilt.  I hope to start on twin sized quilts for my twin daughters to last them through their college years.  These activities are things that I enjoy because not only does it keep my hands busy, but results in a worthwhile keepsake that leaves a mark behind and keeps older traditions and skills alive.  I hate to think that someday any of these activities will become novelties only due to mass production and automation.   There are still quite a few people who enjoy quilting and gardening, and I hope it continues on into our future.

King Beginnings

So, in addition to the above, I enjoy learning more about what interests our children, anticipating things to come as they plan their future, wondering what my wife will choose to do when homeschooling the kids is no longer a daily part of her life’s routine,  reading and creative writing, cooking, wood working, social media and a myriad of other things.  There’s never enough time in a day for me to attend to all of the projects and activities that I’d like to get around to.

Your turn!  What captivates your mind & time?

Cheers,
Ed

Posted in Education, Politics

Cavalier Arrogance ~ GOP

English: Andrew Jackson.
Image via Wikipedia

There’s only one sentence appropriate to introduce this posting:  I’m angry, sad, and embarrassed!

Someone must have forgotten that television is a world-wide accessible medium for communications.  Last night was an embarrassment to our nation, a ridicule of the Office of the President, and extremely juvenile display of testosterone!  It is a shameful thing to proclaim oneself as the “appropriate choice” to lead this nation, founded on virtues, morals, and liberty when one can allow these words to fall out of one’s mouth:   “Andrew Jackson had a pretty clear cut idea about what to do to America’s enemies…kill them!”  Just search for “Gingrich + Andrew Jackson” and pull up the 23 second YouTube video clip.  One must be very careful when spouting historical “facts” to support one’s position, pulling them out of one’s mental arsenal like a business card to “represent” your position and stance on a given topic.  Someone might actually take you seriously.

If Speaker Gingrich was to recall the history of Andrew Jackson, perhaps he wouldn’t be so ready to whip out that factoid and thrust it upon a frustrated and undecided South Carolina audience.  Andrew Jackson, in his seventh annual message to Congress, after the passage of the Indian Removal Act in 1830, decided the desires and needs of the settlers was more important than those of the native American Indian.  Even after the ruling of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall who reviewed the case (Worcester v. Georgia) finding the Indians in full right to their own land, their own nation and declaring that Georgia settlers had to get the permission of the Cherokee Indians to be on their land; Andrew Jackson refused to enforce the law.  Another situation where the President put himself above the law and due process.

The result of Andrew Jackson’s pathetic leadership was the death of thousands of Indians across five tribes.  Does the “Trail of Tears” phrase sound familiar to you?  It should, its not a poem, or a play, this was the fate of the real Native American Indians, forced to leave their lands, their homes, their crops, their hunting grounds…some in the dead of winter; pushed out in such a hurry they were barefoot and many unable to collect any possessions.  This arbitrary usurpation of native’s sovereignty and arrogance demonstrated by Andrew Jackson shows a complete lack of understanding and concern about the impact of American settler’s greed on the indigenous people’s welfare.

“The Creek Indians refused to go.  So United States soldiers came to their homes, chained them together, and marched them toward the west.  Hungry, cold, and weighted down with chains, thirty-five hundred Creek Indians died before reaching the new Indian territory.” (The History of the World, 2004, Peace Hill Press The Seminoles had factions between tribes, the White Stick and Red Stick Seminoles.  The Indian Removal Act was forcing Indians further and further West; to the point that America’s actions were forcing enemies to be geographically close to one another.  The pages of history books are filled with the injustices, inequalities, greed and arrogance toward the Indians…you can read for yourself.

Personally, I would not be proud to compare myself to Andrew Jackson, even if he were a “great President!”  The irony of Gingrich putting himself on the same level by espousing his Brutus approach to administration boggles the mind.  How can one with such a cavalier tongue be considered worthy of the highest elected office  in the nation?  “There are two things that men should never weary of, goodness and humility; we get none too much of them in this rough world among cold, proud people.” Robert Louis Stevenson (from his book “Kidnapped“)

When we debate and wrestle with the issues of our nation:  the economy, foreign policy, health care for an increasingly aging population, jobs, etc; we have a responsibility and an opportunity to set an example not only for our youth, but the entire world.  We should not argue the sanctity of life professing to be a pro-life advocate out of one side of our mouths, but out of the other declare predatory policy towards our enemies.  Is it right for a Republican Christian spout those words and selectively forget Matthew 5:44 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”  Has our secular sacred split become so ruptured that there is no more charity in the heart of our nation?

My children watched the South Carolina Debates on FoxNews with me.  They expressed equal disdain for such an attitude.  I was not proud to be in the presence of my children, observing the behavior of adults being so careless in their sublime chest-thumping bravado!  My son sat and drew a comic representation of the candidates I thought was too humorous not to share.

GOP Candidates

May the best man win!

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing

Tales & Adventures of the Sale of a 100 Year Old Home!

Acreage For Sale
100 Year Old Home for Sale By Owner

Here’s just a peek at what one home-owner goes through in prepping a 100 year old house to sell.  If the chore list isn’t long enough for the work that needs done outside a home….goodness, you just can’t believe the list for inside!  They say timing is everything, but yeah…no kidding, who has the answer to that cliche?  No time is ever perfect to begin such an endeavor.  If the economy isn’t in the toilet, then its the toilet that needs work!  Now we’ve watched our share of Home & Garden Television (HGTV.)  But after seeing the incredible transformations on TV, you look around your own house and wonder, where’s all my enthusiastic supporters?

So, starting off with that simple and fresh coat of neutral paint…who knew that the perfect blue tape you use to keep from painting parts you don’t want to are just going to rip the old paint you want to keep right off?  I mean really?  Who designs this crap…or maybe I just didn’t read the fine print.  Another thing about the walls–they tell you to “de-personalize” the walls so the prospective home buyer will be able to visualize their stuff in your space…its also supposed to make the room look bigger!  Of course they don’t mention the impact–moods of teenager occupants of these rooms your de-personalizing. Sighhh–who knew you’re making them put away their icons of comfort?

Bambi and Her Mother
Bambi and Her Mother in the Orchard

It just never seems to end! You finish one room and it looks so good you just can’t leave the next room like it is…its like potato chips–can’t stop with just one!  So the saga continues and today I broke down and bought $150 in 12X12 ceramic tiles to lay in the laundry room to get rid of the cheap sticky-backed linoleum tiles.  With that project yet to do and the repair to the front steps, hanging a new ceiling fan in the living room and planting the front flower bed–I’d say all of my free time is booked until our first Open House scheduled for 8 May…yes, that’s Mother’s Day!  You gotta strike while the iron is hot.  We’re getting all sorts of gawkers coming by our place now that Spring has decided to grace us!

One thing I must say I’m grateful for is YouTube! Amazing resource for anybody looking for answers and how-to demonstrations for all those odd tasks/jobs.  You can find a lot of professionals who do construction or remodeling for a living who share their ideas/expertise.  One site I found with a lot of helpful videos and information is AskTheBuilder.com.

Well, I really wish I could spend more time sharing with you, but the rest of the plastic Easter Eggs need to be stuffed for tomorrow’s hunt, and I’ll be getting up early to make French Breakfast Puffs for the kids.  Take care everyone and Happy Easter!

The pictures are ours…. of our house that we are selling ourselves and of deer in the orchard (orchard has nine fruit trees).

Follow me on Twitter @justasked

Posted in SocialMedia, Uncategorized

Social Media Entrepreneur Promotion Research Experiment

The  plan was to focus on a particular topic each week during the month of December and find savvy entrepreneurs who are using social media to market their wares.  Promoting other people and businesses is a huge passion, especially if individuals and shop owners are really taking risks, burning the candle at both ends and trying their best to expose their brand in the competitive market.

Original intent was to tweet out calls for recommendations from followers and anyone else who chose to chime in on their favorites.  So in being fair, those that were recommended were included in the compilation below.  The greatest disappointment was that there were very few “recommendations” from Twitter followers–just confirming suspicions that a large majority of Twitter users are in transmit mode only!

The following synopsis of four weeks of examining Tweets, Blogs, and crawling the web resulted in the following:

First week’s focus was Chefs, Cooks, Bakers:

@merita_bread http://www.meritabreads.com/ very simple, nice website (could stand to make known their Twitter presence on their main website…at least under the contact us page.)

@steamykitchen Jaden is a classy conversational social media maven of morsels to make your mouth water   http://steamykitchen.com/ Check out her website for recipes, contests, tips & tricks, and her TV cooking show.  Her website takes full advantage of all forms of outreach to customers via all forms of social media.  She will reply if you send her a Tweet!

For those wanting to keep close tabs on the calories they consume, you’ll find this link helpful:  http://nutritiondata.self.com/

To find more people on Twitter who are passionate about cooking try:  http://twitter.com/#!/search/users/cooking

Second week’s focus was  Artists in demonstrating their skills in any medium:

Really enjoyed doing searches on art (http://twitter.com/#!/search/%23art) and discovering a wide variety of people who qualify as master craftspeople down to those who really appreciate great art work!

@Lyne_Robichaud does some nice art work http://www.culturemauricie.ca/membres/view/479 handbags, topiary, jewelry.

@hildaneilypaint does some excellent Impressionistic Landscapes that you can view at http://hildaneilygallery.com/

@CrochetLibFront An exciting group of men and women who are crazy about crochetting!   http://www.crochetliberationfront.com/

Third week was focused on Authors/Writers:

This week of exploration into passionately verbose people centered primarily around writers that wrote about a variety of topics but were incredibly engaging and funny people!  This group of people were by far the most engaging, responsive, and conversational of all those I found on Twitter!

At the top of the list are two of Twitter’s favorite authors @ceebee308 (View Claude’s website here:  http://bigceebee.webs.com/)  and @LukeRomyn (view Luke’s website here:  http://www.lukeromyn.com/ really comedians in disguise as suspense/mystery writers.   Twitter followers have been signing this petition http://act.ly/2i7 to get Ellen Degeneres to host them on her show!

You can find a lot of other aspiring writers by checking out this Twitter search (http://twitter.com/#!/search/users/author)

Fourth week was retail sales:

This week of research was interesting following the Christmas rush and seeing what kind of bargains/sales were being discussed.  I’ll list those who I found had the greatest number of users tweeting about the sales they found:

Best Buy

Verizon

Borders

What’s most interesting about this week of observations is that there are seriously very few in the retail industry who have really captured an understanding of how to best use social media as part of their regular marketing and advertising campaign strategy.  There are still several National chain stores and establishments that do not take advantage of this media platform to expand their markets and infect potential customers with their brands.