(This is the first in a series of two posts looking at social media and health).
Health service leaders are not famous for embracing engagement with the media or general public. This observation is not intended as any personal slight as the situation is the inevitable result of the systems they work in, and the expectations of their bureaucratic and political masters.
However, it seems a sign of the changing digital times that the Australasian College of Health Service Management (ACHSM) is one of the health organisations at the forefront of harnessing the online revolution for communications, education and engagement.
Yesterday, the ACHSM was live-tweeting from a meeting of Australian and Canadian health leaders. They shared some interesting information about health and aged care reform, as you can see from their Twitter feed.
They also shared links to useful material about health workforce planning, the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority’s draft pricing plan, consultation papers for the development of an Aboriginal health plan, and the NSW Health Governance Review document (PDF alert).
On Radio National’s Life Matters program this morning, I gave this piece of citizen journalism as an example of how social media can benefit health and healthcare by helping to break down silos and hierarchies and to foster innovation, transparency and wider engagement.
The program’s presenter, Natasha Mitchell, also spoke with Debra Cerasa from the Royal College of Nursing Australia (RCNA) about the opportunities that social media is affording the nursing profession, their colleagues, patients and the wider community. (Declaration: I recently wrote a series of articles for an RCNA publication profiling how nurses are using social media for professional gains.)
Meanwhile, here is a selection of the ACHSM’s tweets from yesterday’s meeting.
(Quoting Dr Mary Foley, DG of NSW Health)