Exploring how doctors, practitioners and patients can network & engage in conversations about medical practice, and share knowledge while maintaining confidentiality and ethical standards.
The fast- paced healthcare industry is continuously evolving - whether it be newly released studies, new best practices or new techniques, the healthcare community thrives off of innovation.
While annual conferences provide the opportunity for healthcare professionals to connect, the majority of professionals rely on email to exchange new findings. Healthcare professionals have recently placed an importance on social media networks (such as Twitter) as an additional outlet to exchange ideas. While social media provides an opportunity for medical professionals to connect and discuss best practices, this ultimately becomes problematic due to the confidential nature of the discussions.
So how can doctor's network, engage in conversations about medical practice, and share knowledge while maintaining confidentiality and ethical standards?
Igloo Software's Senior Vice President of Marketing & Operations, Andrew Dixon recently presented at the CIO Healthcare Summit where he discussed 'How Healthcare Organizations are Moving from Social Media Marketing to Social Business Strategy'. Instead of connecting on public social networks, more and more healthcare organizations are creating a social business strategy so they can collaborate on their own private network. Secure enterprise social platform organizations, like Igloo, unite healthcare professionals, practitioners and patients so they can collaborate on ideas and keep information in one area. After you leave the doctor's office, you no longer need to feel that sense of ambiguity questioning if you remembered everything he or she said. No longer does a conversation need to live in the room you had it; nor your email inbox, nor your notebook.
Enterprise social software erases ambiguity and allows information to be accessible yet secure. Here are four use cases of how enterprise social software enables health care professionals to stay connected outside the doctor's office.
Interested in facilitating novel, innovative approaches to the development and delivery of new diagnostics and treatments? It can be incredibly difficult to collaborate on this task through constant email exchange with various attachments. Confusion and frustration arise when there are various versions of documents living in an email inbox. With enterprise social software, conversations and content are organized; with version control, there are no more email silos. Below are examples of companies that have utilized enterprise social software to facilitate research:
- Kimberly-Clark Clinical Solutions is a health division of a large consumer goods company that has a very large health product portfolio including medical devices & infection prevention. To facilitate research, they launched a social extranet solution to act as a product evaluation center for open innovation & customer engagement.
- Ontario Health Quality Council, an independent provincial body for patient care, coordinates a myriad of stakeholders in a member portal to report on the health system's effectiveness and opportunities for process improvement.
Did you just have a doctor's appointment? Are you curious about learning more information about what the doctor said? While you may question the validity of checking Wikipedia or the intimidating results Google reports back, patients often feel alone when they leave their doctor's appointment. Healthcare organizations realize this and have bridged the gap by offering patients a portal where they can connect.
- Children's National Medical Center provide patients a secure, private virtual place where they can ask questions, find answers and share experiences around a specific health condition. Their Emergency Medical Services for Children Program (EMSC) National Resource Center also provides a secure portal for grantees to interact and share information with each other in support of EMSC's national child advocacy programs.
Want to bring together key stakeholders within a healthcare association to work together and improve healthcare delivery? A conference may be a great way to get everyone together, but how will you collaborate after?
Enterprise social software platforms provide practitioners a specific work area where they can collaborate on documents and share best practices.
- Drug Information Association uses a social extranet to connect their 18,000 members in the biopharmaceutical industry for online learning, collaboration and managing their communities of practice. Since adopting this new form of technology, their collaboration tools are now streamlined and this area facilitates knowledge exchange and relationship building in a private member portal for their 32 special interest groups.
- American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), one of the largest medical organizations, representing more than 100,000 family physicians and medical students nationwide improved their collaboration since launching an online community for peer networking, information sharing and practice transformation. Members have access to online seminars, practice tools and the "Ask An Expert" area. Known as Delta Exchange, the award-winning online network connects physicians, clinical staff, office staff, and primary care-focused residency programs committed to the Patient-Centered Medical Home.
- TransforMED, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) also capitalized on the benefits of social collaboration. In an effort to improve patient care and assist primary care physicians with medical practice redesign, over 500 practices and more than 5,000 medical professionals across the country connect and collaborate using Igloo Software.
External facing communities (extranets) have gained tremendous momentum for healthcare organizations. Effective collaboration, improved knowledge sharing, and accessibility anywhere - it is no wonder that more and more healthcare organizations like The College of Family Physicians of Canada, Aetna, and Femnene are adopting social intranets to collaborate inside their organization. Bye bye filing cabinets and shared folders. The organizations mentioned above stay organized with hierarchical storage of documents with unlimited folders, inline preview and full version control. Organizations and associations in the healthcare industry now have the power to stay connected to other healthcare professionals, practitioners and patients in a secure environment where confidential information is safe.
With all of these different options available, the conversation no longer needs to live in the doctor's office. Enterprise social software is opening the door for open information, effective collaboration and improved communication among health care professionals whether it be inside their organization or outside. For more information about Igloo Software, click here and if you are interested in trying us out for free, click here.