Connecting and updating the various health professionals
involved in a patient’s care, not to mention the patient’s family members, has
long been a challenge in healthcare. So it’s exciting to see how health
organizations are taking advantage of social technology to address this
challenge. Wise Elephant Family Health Team, in Brampton, Ontario, is a great
Wise Elephant has been using Yammer, a private social networking
platform, to build out solutions that can connect a patient’s entire care team
and support system. Yammer works much the same as Facebook but with the high
level of security needed for professional and organizational use. One of the
ways Wise Elephant is using the Yammer platform is to create a vehicle for a
patient’s caregivers—which may include a primary care doctor, specialists,
nurses, physical therapists, and community and home caregivers—to easily communicate
and collaborate. The care network can also include authorized family members.
Using this social technology tool, everyone can
stay up to date on the patient’s care plan and progress. Care team members can
use the Yammer-based network to share patient updates such as test results and
changes in medications. And patients can post self-assessments. For example, a
patient may share that he or she is feeling unwell one day and everyone on the
patient’s care network becomes aware that this person may need some extra help
that day or week. It’s a great tool for getting everyone on the same page with
an individual’s treatment and condition, which can really help improve
Patient-centered care networks are just one of the
latest developments in how Wise Elephant is using the Yammer platform to enable
better, more connected care. Wise Elephant initially began using it to connect
the 10 doctors working at its three clinics as well as the pharmacists, nurses,
psychologists, occupational therapists, and community health workers who
deliver care to its patients. After experiencing how beneficial the social
technology was for their work, the physicians at Wise Elephant started a
not-for-profit organization called the Health Quality Innovation Collaborative
(HQIC) to open the system up to other family health teams and organizations.
HQIC continues to develop solutions based on the Yammer platform as well as Microsoft
SharePoint Server to provide easy, efficient ways for health professionals to
connect with each other and their patients.
You can read more about the many innovative ways
Wise Elephant and HQIC are taking advantage of Yammer to improve care team
collaboration and patient communication in an article titled, "Healthcare
providers use Yammer to stay connected," in the June/July issue of Canadian Healthcare Technology.
And if you’ll be attending Canada’s Health Informatics Executive
Forum in Halifax, Nova Scotia, you can hear Dr.
Sanjeev Goel, a family physician at Wise Elephant who spearheaded HQIC, discuss
how using Yammer has benefited his organization and his practice at his
presentation on September 27.
I know Dr. Goel is incredibly
excited about how Yammer is changing how healthcare is delivered for the
better, as am I. Social technologies with the right security features in place
enable health professionals to communicate and collaborate in ways that simply
weren’t possible before. And, ultimately, better connected care leads to better
outcomes for patients. It’s a great example of how technology is having a real
impact in health.
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