Yell Eureka if u c this!
That is a message to the attendees at the session I am now conducting at the IHI National Forum, entitled Using Social Media to Pursue Quality and Safety. I have asked them to keep their Twitter search open for the meeting hashtag, #IHI09, as an illustration of how quickly information can flow through the social media.
This post is timed to go up at 9:40am, just after the session starts. My blog posts automatically are fed to Twitter, and the hashtag will ensure that this post is collected by Twitter in the National Forum collection of tweets. The first person in my session to notice the tweet and yell "Eureka" will win a prize.
In the session, I will present our journey at BIDMC in the use of social media in encouraging our programs in patient safety and quality. This all started with some posts on this blog about central line infections, ventilator associated pneumonia, and hand hygiene. We discovered two things from those posts. First, the world would not come to an end if we disclosed clinical outcomes from our hospital. Second, the public presentation of these data acts as a stimulus to quality and safety improvement in the hospital. It serves to hold ourselves accountable to the standard of care we strive for.
Following publication on this blog, we moved to doing the same in a more expanded way on our corporate website. Here, you can see some of the same quality metrics, but you also see the full survey conducted by the Joint Commission when they came to accredit our hospital. Why? Well, the Joint Commission has important things to say about how well we run our place and where we should make improvements. How better for everyone in the hospital to see those things than to post them on the company website?
Each hospital has to decide for itself what degree of transparency is appropriate and comfortable, but as noted by John Toussaint here at the National Forum, it is an essential component of a culture of continuous process improvement. Social media can help spread the world.
Added later: The picture above is of the winner of the prize at this session, Dan Henderson, Health Justice Fellow, at UConn School of Medicine. Congratulations!