Tag Archives: geeky stuff

Professional use of Twitter (my #ACMHN2013 conference poster)

At the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses 39th International Mental Health Nursing Conference (Perth, 22nd-24th October 2013) there are three poster presentations (no oral presentations) regarding social media:

  1. Utilising social media collaboratively to strengthen interdisciplinary understanding and networking (Zara Mills)
  2. Twitter: a contemporary nursing conversation tool (Rhonda Wilson)
  3. Turbocharging mental health nursing collaboration and partnerships: professional use of Twitter (me)

Social media is a good fit for the conference theme “Collaboration and Partnerships in Mental Health Nursing” (hence the full name of my presentation). There are many examples of nurses acting as “digital citizens“, reflecting the ever-changing practice domains and the importance of partnerships to the nursing professions. My poster presentation cites four examples of nurses embracing social media, adapting content that I have accrued on my blog and presented as the closing plenary session at the ACMHN Consultation Liaison / Perinatal Infant Mental Health Nurses Conference in June 2013.

Anyway, with no further ado, here’s a breakdown of my poster presentation for the conference with the #ACMHN2013 Twitter hashtag:

Abstract 

Working in partnership with consumers, carers and colleagues is part of mental health nursing’s heritage. Over time we have adapted this collaborative approach to the technologies available to us. For example, telephones and videoconferencing are commonly used to establish and maintain therapeutic and professional relationships by mental health nurses. Yet, for some of us, there seems to be hesitation to use one of the technologies of our time – social media – in a similarly confident manner.

This presentation will make a clear distinction between official, personal and professional use of social media. Using case studies, four specific examples of professional use of Twitter will be presented, covering these aspects of mental health nursing:

  • mental health promotion
  • sharing mental health nursing conference information and innovations
  • collaborative multi-national discussions re contemporary issues
  • enhancing education

Referring to these examples, the argument will be made that professional social media participation builds collegial relationships and enhances the profile of mental health nursing.

Those baffled or intimidated by social media are strongly encouraged to attend, as are those interested in exploring ways mental health nurses can use social media to turbocharge our collaboration and partnerships.

The abstract was submitted as an oral presentation, but accepted as a poster presentation. I used many (not all) of the ideas found in Colin Purrington’s enlightening and entertaining blog post “Designing conference posters“. The post was divided into into four parts, each part giving different examples of nurses embracing social media. Those four parts are presented separately below:

1. Health Promotion

1

#bePNDaware and Postnatal Depression Awareness Week 2012

Hashtags mark keywords or topics. This facilitates information sharing: clicking on a hashtag will lead you to other tweets with that same hashtag.

As a health promotion strategy, #bePNDaware was the designated Twitter hashtag for Postnatal Depression Awareness Week 2012. This facilitated the sharing of resources, information and support across a variety of agencies and individuals.

Data

From midnight beginning Thursday 8th November 2012 to midnight ending Sunday 25th November 2012 (Cairns time) using the #bePNDaware hashtag there were:

  • 250 Twitter participants
  • 928 tweets
  • 3 of the most prolific Twitter accounts represented mental health nursing
  • the “impressions” (potential number of views) was over 1,500,000

So what?

Australia’s National Perinatal Depression Initiative (NPDI) cites improved community awareness as one of the key performance indicators for the success of the NPDI.

As the data demonstrates, Twitter provides a vehicle for active participation in health promotion activities with a very large reach.

Social media health promotion is an example of effectively using the internet. Some nurses are “digital citizens” who use the internet to curate and share health-related information.

For further data analysis and information about this example, please visit meta4RN.com/bePNDaware

2. Sharing Conference Information

2

Case Study: The Reach of One Tweet

A key purpose of health care conferences is to share information and professional values. Can social media play a role in this?

Below is a tweet of a statement made during a presentation at a small Consultation Liaison and Perinatal Infant Mental Health Nurse conference held in June 2013. The presenter’s message went beyond the 70 people attending the conference in a small Queensland regional city, and reached many thousands of people elsewhere in Australia and internationally.

Data

579 = the number of people following the @meta4RN Twitter account in June 2013. So, that one tweet could have been seen by up to 579 people/organisations.

That single tweet was retweeted (ie: shared/passed-on) by five other Twitter accounts, each with their own group of followers, thus:

  • 9712 following @nurse_w_glasses
  • 8433 following @yayayarndiva
  • 1969 following @ClaudiaNichols
  • 1403 following @HR1529
  • 178 following @SameiHuda
  • + 579 following @meta4RN
  • = 22, 274 impressions (potential views).

This conference tweet had an audience over 300 times larger than the conference audience.

Data: Three Nurse Conferences on Twitter

  • Consultation Liaison & Perinatal Infant ACMHN Conference
    • Noosa
    • June 2013
    • Approx 70 delegates
    • Conference Hashtag = #ACMHN
    • 125,794 Twitter Impressions
    • 141 Tweets
    • 26 Twitter Participants
  • Australian College of Mental Health Nurses 38th International Mental Health Nursing Conference
    • Darwin
    • October 2012
    • Approx 700 Delegates
    • Conference Hashtag = #ACMHN2012
    • 395,557 Twitter Impressions
    • 586 Tweets
    • 38 Twitter Participants
  • International Council of Nurses (ICN) 25th Quadrennial Congress
    • Melbourne
    • May 2013
    • Approx 4000 delegates
    • Conference Hashtag = #ICNAust2013
    • 2,201,098 Twitter Impressions
    • 3,764 Tweets
    • 288 Twitter Participants

For more information about these examples, please visit

3. Discuss Important Issues

3

Case Study: #WeNurses Twitter Chat

Planned Twitter discussions (those with a designated time and topic) are known as “chats”.

On 21st December 2012 (Cairns time) nurses from the United Kingdom and Australia came together on Twitter to discuss issues raised by the highly publicised suicide of a colleague. During this chat 33 participants used the #WeNurses hashtag. There were 360 tweets, and the impressions (aka “TweetReach”) of the chat was well in excess of one million views.

The structure of the discussion and the issues that emerged are as below:

  • Preliminary Information
    • Introductions
    • Setting the Tone
  • Theme: Communication & Confidentiality
    • Patients and Mobile Phones.
    • Social Media
    • Individualising Communication & Confidentiality
    • WiFi for Hospital Patients
  • Theme: Compassion
    • Prank Call
    • Targeted Crisis Support
    • Clinical Supervision
    • Supportive Workplaces
    • Preventative/Early-Intervention Resources
    • “The 6Cs” (Care, Compassion, Competence, Communication, Courage & Commitment)
    • Integrating Defusing Emotions into Clinical Practice
  • Finishing-Up
    • Key Learnings
    • Closing Remarks
    • Farewells

Outcome

Nurses from opposite sides of the world utilised a high-profile social media platform to engage in a conversation about the high-media-profile suicide of a nurse. Unlike much of the commentary on both social media and mainstream media, the #WeNurses discussion was conducted professionally, calmly, and with thoughtfulness and grace.

For a curated transcript of the discussion and more information about this example, please visit meta4RN.com/WeNurses

4. Enhance and Amplify Education Sessions

4

The Experiment

A perinatal mental health workshop on 8th February 2013 also served as an experiment in using Twitter to bookmark and share resources. Using HootSuite 19 scheduled tweets with the #bePNDaware hashtag were sent from the @meta4RN Twitter account before or during the workshop. Additionally, one tweet was sent during a break and one after the workshop had finished (ie: 21 tweets in total). The scheduling of tweets allowed the facilitator to be fully present during the workshop, while simultaneously making links to the resources/topics discussed in the workshop readily available to workshop participants and a broader audience.

Data

9 Twitter accounts other than @meta4RN retweeted 6 of the original tweets; one tweet re Clinical Practice Guidelines was retweeted 3 times. Between 7:00am and 7:00pm on 8th February 2013 (Cairns time) there were 30 workshop-related tweets which, through the amplifying effects of social media, had 17,784 impressions.

Outcome

The links shared on Twitter had a theoretical/potential reach of 17,784 people. This is in stark contrast to the number of participants who attended the perinatal mental health workshop face-to-face that day: 4 people.

For references, more information and a short video about this example, please visit meta4RN.com/workshop

Four Versions of the Poster

1. Portable Document Format (PDF) pdficon

meta4rn.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/twitterposter.pdf

2. Picture (JPG)

3. Prezi (online presentation) prezi.com/user/meta4RN

4. YouTube (animated online presentation) youtube.com/meta4RN

The YouTube version was made in four steps

  1. Visual content assembled and arranged using Prezi
  2. The track “Sevastopol” generously provided royalty-free by mobygratis
  3. Vision and sound captured and melded using Screenflow
  4. Completed video uploaded to YouTube

Citations (this section added on 9th November 2013)

Sometimes it is useful to be able to cite references that carry more prestige than this blog page (short IRL = meta4RN.com/poster), well have I got a deal for you! Because the poster was presented at the ACMHN conference it was accepted into the book of abstracts published by the IJMHN, this allows you to cite this content thus:

McNamara, P. (2013) Turbocharging mental health nursing collaboration and partnerships: Professional use of twitter (poster, Australian College of Mental Health Nursing 39th International Mental Health Nursing Conference – Collaboration and Partnership in Mental Health Nursing). International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, volume 22, Issue Supplement S1,  page 22.  doi: 10.1111/inm.12047 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/inm.2013.22.issue-s1/issuetoc

Also, snippets of this content made there way into a paper recently accepted into another nursing journal. If you can get access to the full content via your employer/university (otherwise there’s a paywall) you will find info that reflects some of this blog post. The paper is currently in press, so the citation will change from this in coming weeks/months:

Wilson, R., Ranse, J., Cashin, A. & McNamara, P. (2013) Nurses and Twitter: The good, the bad, and the reluctant. Collegian (Royal College of Nursing, Australia), 4 November 2013 (DOI: 10.1016/j.colegn.2013.09.003) http://www.collegianjournal.com/article/S1322-7696(13)00090-5/abstract

End

That’s it. Thanks for dropping by. As always, you’re welcome to leave comments/feedback below.

Paul McNamara, 1st October 2013

Hits and Misses: The First Twelve Months of meta4RN

Today I will blog about my blog. I feel quite uncomfortable about it, and am very afraid that I will completely disappear up my own bum.

On 24th September 2012 meta4RN.com was launched with two posts. One said “Hello World!“, the other post “About” set the agenda and explained the rationale for the blog. Now, exactly 12 months later, let’s see what’s happened.

hits

Hits

country1Serendipitously, the 11,000th hit on meta4RN.com happened on the day of its first birthday. Actually, it wasn’t coincidence at all – it was more the desperate attention-seeking of somebody sad enough to write a blog about his blog. I could see that the milestone was getting close and started promoting pimping various pages of meta4RN.com on Twitter from about 5:00am.

Early-waking insomnia has me conveniently awake in prime-time evening social media time for Europeans. Many of the social media connections I have made are in the UK – one of them, Anne Cooper also starting blogging in 2012. Although Annie started blogging just a couple of months before me, she taught me a valuable lesson on Twitter: Pimp Your Blog! (see Tip 7 here: anniecoops.com). Annie acknowledges Wendy Lee (aka @TheRealBaglady)  as the source for this idea. I think we should also give credit to those who wrote the bible and the people who translated it into English… the biblical proverb, “don’t hide your light under a bushel” is very similar in meaning to the proverb, “pimp your blog!”

country2Twitter accounts for nearly a quarter of all hits on meta4RN.com. To the best of my ability I’ve tried to mimic the Twitter style of @mamamia – they take the “pimp your blog” idea to the next level with around-the-clock, mostly-not-repetitive, nearly-always-poignant-funny-and/or-interesting Tweets promoting mamamia.com.au content. When I’m pimping my blog I use scheduled tweets and a bit of imagination to try to channel the mamamia style of Twitter wit and wisdom.

With Twitter well in the lead, here is the Top 10 of referral sources to meta4RN.com:

  1. Twitter
  2. Search Engines
  3. Facebook
  4. Nurse Uncut
  5. Google+
  6. Philip Darbyshire
  7. PANDA (Post and Antenatal Depression Awareness Association)
  8. impactednurse (by the inspiring Ian Miller)
  9. Outlook.com
  10. Croakey (the Crikey health blog, by the very supportive Melissa Sweet)

The blog has attracted over 100 comments, and I am very grateful for the support of all those who have referred/linked to the meta4RN site. Overall there are about 90 websites and oodles of Digital Citizens that have directed traffic in this direction – my sincere thanks to you all.

There have been meta4RN.com views from 85 countries, however many of these countries have visited less than a handful of times.

Searching for Meaning

WordPress (the platform used for meta4RN.com) gives access to some of the search engine data. Predictably, Google was the search engine used for 95% of the  queries that found meta4RN.com pages. The most common search terms related to the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) – scanning through the very long list of search terms that led people to meta4RN.com it looks like nearly a third of all searchers wanted info about the EPDS. This is reflected in the stats for pages with the most hits too: setting aside the “generic” Home, Archive and About pages, the Top 10 of page views goes like this:

  1. Using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (November 2012)
  2. Emotional Aftershocks (August 2013, re hospital violence)
  3. #ICNAust2013: Looking Back at a Nursing Conference through a Social Media Lens (May 2013)
  4. Perinatal Jargon Busting (April 2013 – interestingly, this had the most hits in a day – 22/07/13, the day Prince George was born – when this quote from the post was shared on social media: “Babies are born. Women give birth. Pizzas are delivered.”)
  5. Nurturing the Nurturers (January 2013)
  6. Social Media for Nurses: my ten step, slightly-ranty, version (january 2013)
  7. #acmhn2012: Looking Back at a Mental Health Nursing Conference through a Social Media Lens (October 2012)
  8. Precovery: a proactive version of recovery (March 2013 – subsequently this post was adapted for publication as per this citation: McNamara, Paul and McCauley, Kay. (2013).‘Precovery’: A proactive version of recovery in perinatal mental health. Australian Nursing Journal: , Vol. 21, No. 1, Jul 2013: 38.)
  9. Follow Friday and other Twitterisms (July 2013)
  10. #bePNDaware: Looking Back at Postnatal Depression Awareness Week through a Social Media Lens (November 2013)

Misses

In this section, let’s have a look at things that have not gone so well.

Quantity: The original idea was for a post a week – that has not been achieved. There have been 33 posts in the first 12 months (this one will be the 34th). I’m planning to change the original goal to at least two posts per month – that’s more realistic for me: somebody with a fulltime job, a social life, and a bad habit of being verbose and over-inclusive when writing blog posts. Like now, for instance.

Quality: I can’t believe how awful I am at proof-reading my own work. Every time I publish a post I have to go back and edit out the typos and nonsensical sentences that are included. Weirdly, I seem to be much better at noticing the mistakes after they’ve been out out in the public domain… it’s as if I’m an Apple iO7 designer or something. [look Mum - contemporary humour!]

countrymapReach: as per the map above, meta4RN.com has totally failed to capture the all-important Chinese market. 我要加倍努力接触到中国的护士。Not doing at all well in cracking Greenland either. Damn.

Dud Posts: Less than 50 visits have been made to these three posts – a poor reward for effort, but also an indication that sometimes I waffle-on about stuff that not many people care about.

  1. What has social media been saying about clinical supervision this week? (January 2013)
  2. Should May 15th be International Mental Health Nurse Day? (May 2013)
  3. Hello World! (September 2012)

Appearance: I really dislike the random hyphenation of this blog. It is truly awful and ugly sometimes. Also, the overall look if meta4RN.com is a bit daggy. I might give it a bit of a refresh in coming weeks/months – stay tuned.

So What?

This is a meta post – like a conversation about conversations (see number 5 here: meta4rn.com/about). The purpose of this post is not to show the answers, but to show my working-out… you know, just like my Year 5 maths teacher always said, “Getting the right answer can be dumb luck – I want to see how you arrived at the answer! Show how you worked it out!” Hopefully somebody can pick-up some ideas from seeing the working-out of a nurse who blogs.

I didn’t know what “blog” meant until about 12 months ago (slow, i know). It is word play from the original “Web Log”, which was contracted to “WebLog”, which was playfully converted to “We Blog”, which then left the thing that “we” do as a “blog”. Cute.

I am pleased to have an avenue of conversation about professional matters that is not constrained by the traditions and discipline of academic journals. I think the language we can use on blogs is much more accessible, and the freedom of sharing ideas for consideration is liberating. Practice-based-evidence instead of evidence-based-practice. It’s still peer reviewed, but is not hidden behind a paywall. Professional blogs are not in competition with journals, and will never attain their level of academic credibility. However, hopefully these sort of blogs can go some way towards bridging that long-lamented theory-practice gap. I hope so.

Hat Tips

When introducing meta4RN.com this time last year, I acknowledged Ian Miller of impactednurse.com and all those who participate in Health Care and Social Media in Australia and New Zealand (#hcsmanz on Twitter). I want to reinforce my thanks for their support and inspiration now. Ian is especially impressive in leading the way for digital citizen health professionals.

There have been dozens of other who have been very supportive of meta4RN.com over the last twelve months. I will not attempt to list them all, but will just single-out two:

Melissa Sweet of @croakeyblog on Twitter and croakey online plays a significant role in sharing health-related information in the social media environment. I have been especially grateful for Melissa’s feedback and support for some of the meta4RN.com blog posts. Very rewarding and gratefully received.

My partner Stella is incredibly tolerant of the time I have spent on something that does nothing to pay our mortgage or enhance our social life together. I am especially grateful to Stella for affording me the luxury of experimenting in this space: thank you darling.

End

Thanks very much for reading meta4RN.com – as always, your comments are welcome.

Paul McNamara, 24th September 2013

Follow Friday and other Twitterisms

indoctrinateI’ve made no secret of my bold plan to try to indoctrinate enthuse nurses and midwives re professional use of social media, especially Twitter. This blog post is primarily for the benefit of Twitter newbies, especially health professionals dipping their toes into professional use of social media.

I’ll post a link to this page most Fridays too as an explanatory note about my OTT #FF use.

Experienced Twitter campaigners probably won’t be at all interested in this blog post (quick! jump away now! watch this funky short video instead!), but those unaccustomed to Twitterisms may find it helpful to have info and context readily available in the same stream where the #FF hashtag is being used.

What is #FF?

CroakeyJackson#FF = #FollowFriday = Follow Friday (did you think it was something rude? shame on you and your dirty mind!).

Use the #FF hashtag to recommend a Twitter account/person to others. Why bother? It’s a good way to show appreciation, to build the connectivity of your networks, and it’s part of the “Share. Enjoy. Be generous.” Twitter ethic I’ve mentioned previously.

I like to individualise my #FF recommendations by Tweeting one at a time with a brief introduction, which I often lift/adapt straight from the bio. This way my #FF recommendations will look something like this:

#FF @reeannekeena – community mental health nurse and cricket tragic living in far north queensland #FNQ

To my way of thinking, mass #FF tweets are much less compelling as a recommendation. The mass #FF tweets look something like this:

#FF @reeannekeena @impactednurse @CEOKimRyan @ACMHN @HPitt3 @karenyatesjcu @croakeyblog @AngieGittusRN @MerynFry

Does #FF work to promote more followers? As far as I can tell, only modestly. I'm pretty sure Harry only gained two new followers when I recommended him with a #FF. That's better than nothing, but the ROI is limited.

Does #FF work to promote more followers? As far as I can tell, only modestly. I’m pretty sure Harry only gained two new followers when I recommended him with a #FF. That’s better than nothing, but the ROI is limited.

All the links above are live – you could do worse than follow these people on Twitter, but I don’t know that many people will be inspired to just go ahead and do so because of a list of names. I reckon one Tweet per #FF with a brief introduction is much better.

However, does #FF actually work to promote more followers? As far as I can tell, only modestly. I’m pretty sure Harry Pitt (see screenshot) only gained two new followers when I recommended him with a #FF. That’s better than nothing, but it’s worthwhile being realistic, and knowing that the impact of the #FF hashtag is limited.

What is OTT?

OTT = Over The Top = my use of #FF.

On reflection, I think I’ve been OTT with the #FF thing. On Twitter, as in real life, too much chatter just becomes white noise: it gets heard, but doesn’t really get listened to. So, with the goal of not diluting the potential potency of recommendations, I will keep my use of #FF down to about half-a-dozen times per Friday from now on.

Less [Twitter stream clutter] is [probably] more [effective].

With all those #FF tweets, do you ever work on Fridays?

Yep: most Fridays I am at work, so resort to using scheduled Tweets to trickle-out my #FF recommendations throughout the day. My rationale is threefold:

  1. A tweet every hour or two is less intrusive and irritating than a rush of five tweets in five minutes.
  2. Twitter has connected me with other health professionals in every Australian state/territory, and in a heap of other countries all around the world. That means lots of different timezones. By spreading out the #FF tweets there is a better chance of broad introductions rather than narrow, place-specific recommendations.
  3. I’m experimenting with social media, Twitter especially, to test its usefulness for healthcare communication. Part of the experiment is to build the profile of the meta4RN portfolio. For this I’m treating meta4RN a bit like a brand; #FF not only recommends others, but also keeps the meta4RN portfolio visible. At time of writing (July 2013), I’m planning to make #FF a meta4RN staple activity to promote and link healthcare professionals on Twitter.

HootSuiteScheduling tweets is pretty easy using tools such as HootSuite and TweetDeck. The only real risk with scheduling tweets is when a major event happens, say a terrorist attack or natural disaster. Under those circumstances Twitter erupts with activity specific to that event, and scheduled tweets can seem incongruent/out-of-touch or, in a worse-case scenario, insensitive and stupid. I’ll try to keep an eye out for this but fully expect it to happen from time-to-time; hopefully because #FF tweets are pretty benign it won’t be too much of a problem*.

What is RT?

RT = ReTweet = a way to share information that somebody else has already shared. If you’re familiar with Facebook, a RT is like hitting a “Like” button on steroids. Most retweets are not preceded by RT now, because the Twitter “retweet” button has done away with ye olde RT. It still pops-up though, especially if people want to add a comment.

PANDAMTWhat is MT?

MT = ModifiedTweet = a way to share information that somebody else has already shared, but edit or tweak the message a little. By making it MT rather than RT, you’re making it clear that it’s not a direct quote of the original.

See the screenshots of my MT of @PANDA_NATIONAL for an example.

What is HT?

HTHT = Hat-Tip or Heard-Through = a way to acknowledge the source of your info without necessarily quoting them.

What about other abbreviations like LMAO, ROI, TYVM, PMSL?

LMGTFY

What is LMGTFY?

The easiest way for me to explain is to ask you to click here: LMGTFY

What is the #hashtag thing about?

This explanation is a cut and paste straight from Twitter support:

  • hashtagPeople use the hashtag symbol # before a relevant keyword or phrase (no spaces) in their Tweet to categorize those Tweets and help them show more easily in Twitter Search.
  • Clicking on a hashtagged word in any message shows you all other Tweets marked with that keyword.
  • Hashtags can occur anywhere in the Tweet – at the beginning, middle, or end.
  • Hashtagged words that become very popular are often Trending Topics.
  • If you Tweet with a hashtag on a public account, anyone who does a search for that hashtag may find your Tweet
  • Don’t #spam #with #hashtags. Don’t over-tag a single Tweet. (Best practices recommend using no more than 2 hashtags per Tweet.)
  • Use hashtags only on Tweets relevant to the topic.

For Twitter newbies, don’t get too freaked by the hashtag thing. You can ignore hashtags and still enjoy Twitter. However, when you find your feet you’ll find them very useful – I’ve previously written about hashtags being used for health conferences, health promotion and education. There are plenty of other hashtag applications too.

eggWhat else?

Don’t be a silent egg. That is, add a profile pic, a bit of a bio and introduce yourself to Twitter. Getting started on Twitter is usually a slow learning curve anyway, but not sharing anything at all will make it excruciatingly dull.

That’s probably all you need to get started, other than a warning about Twitter spam. You have probably developed a good radar for email spam by now, but Twitter spam seems to be especially good at preying on the insecurities of Twitter newbies. So, if you get a message that looks a bit like this:

@meta4RN This person is saying horrible things about you dodgylink.com/8g6lyn

or

@meta4RN Have you seen this photo of you? LOL. dodgylink.com/8g6lyn

just delete/report the message.

Whatever you do, don’t click the links! There is a good chance your account will then start sending out spam if you do. That’s a really irritating way to learn about Twitter spam; prevention is best, but there is support available if you do stumble into a spam-pit: support.twitter.com

End

That’ll do for now.

If required, there’s a bit more info that may be useful for healthcare professionals new to Twitter via my previous blog post Social Media for Nurses: my ten step, slightly-ranty, version.

As always, your comments/feedback is welcome.

Paul McNamara, 21st July 2013

* Please consider this an apology in advance. I know for certain that an important/tragic event will happen on a Friday. Consequently, there is a pretty good chance that my #FF scheduled tweets will show up in the Twitter stream. This may seem incongruous and callously unaware at the time, but in reality it’s just a product of not being able to continuously monitor Twitter.

I hope no offence is taken; none is intended.

Thinking Health Communication? Think Mobile.

Uptake of mobile phones is pretty extraordinary in Australia. Our population has recently topped 23,000,000 (ABS) yet we have over 30,000,000 (ACMA) mobile phones in use. Are our health agencies keeping up with this?

This video above and blog post below explain the rationale for using SMS for health communication, and provides examples drawn from clinical practice.

IMG_1910Why Use SMS?

Many health agencies block the number on outgoing calls. From my experience in a role where I made phone contact with everyone who was referred to the service, I estimate that only one in every three or four calls are answered from a blocked number. From the same role, I found voice-to-text messaging for unanswered calls more common than voicemail by a similar factor – three or four to one. Although voice-to-text accuracy has improved remarkably over the last couple of years it’s still prone to muddling words. The other thing about voice-to-text is that it is difficult to confer detail or convey tone – both of which are important when addressing people who have been referred to a mental health service.

SMS1To get around this problem I made a number of template messages on the work mobile phone (a hideously clunky-to-use Nokiasaurus), and used these template messages as an adjunct/alternative to voicemail and voice-to-text. Most of the templates included my name, position, the name of the service, and a shortened URL. The rationale was to use the SMS as an introduction.

The wording of the SMS templates was done with input from a very skilled and passionate Consumer Consultant. Nevertheless, when i first started using them I was wondering whether we had got the tone and/or language wrong. There were very few prompt replies.

In my personal life SMS conversations have a pretty quick tempo: I send a message, you reply within a minute or so; I send a photo, you send an emoticon straight back.  A snappy way to communicate.

My Australian accent and this man's Japanese accent made verbal communication difficult and imprecise. SMS solved that.

My Australian accent and this man’s Japanese accent made verbal communication difficult and imprecise. SMS solved that.

Using the SMS template above rarely yielded a quick reply. People returned contact sometimes within a few hours, but more typically a day or so later. I imagine (guess) that they were waiting until they were in a place and a head-space where they would feel comfortable (or less uncomfortable?) talking to a mental health nurse they’ve never met. Fair enough – I’d do the exact same thing if the tables were turned.

The slowest return contact from a SMS was six weeks. That lady introduced herself by saying, “I was hoping I wouldn’t have to make this call, but things have changed now. I need some help please…”

Why use a short URL?

Simply, so that those with smartphones can easily visit the web site to see what we’re on about. The web presence and short URL are important, I think – it puts information about your service, alternative services, and other resources directly into someone’s hands.

Each SMS is only 160 characters long (why is a Tweet only 140?), and the full URL at 76 characters long would take-up nearly half the message: http://www.health.qld.gov.au/cairns_hinterland/html/pmh_referral_pathway.asp whereas by using a URL shortener we only use 17 characters http://qld.so/pmh

What is lost in corporate branding is made-up for in practicality.

Is it that big a deal – do people actually access the internet from their phone? You betcha! As you can see below, the market penetration of smartphones is highest amongst the age groups most associated with childbearing (i.e.: the perinatal mental health target demographic).

Mobile phone, smartphone and tablet usage. Source: Australian Communications and Media Authority (2013) Communications report 2011–12 series Report 3: Smartphones and tablets: Take-up and use in Australia. Commonwealth of Australia

Mobile phone, smartphone and tablet usage.
Source: Australian Communications and Media Authority (2013) Communications report 2011–12 series Report 3: Smartphones and tablets: Take-up and use in Australia. Commonwealth of Australia

Is This All a Bit White & Middle-Class?

Put the info where it's always handy: on your client's phone.  Brochures are so last century.

Put the info where it’s always handy: on your client’s phone.
Brochures are so last century.

This is a question us whitefellas who live in parts of Australia where there are a lot of first-nation people need to be checking on all the time. We don’t want to bugger-up an opportunity to do our bit towards closing the gap in health outcomes. So, in regards to mobile phone/internet use, it was interesting to see these three observations in the Joint Select Committee on Cyber-Safety report on the inquiry into Issues Surrounding Cyber-safety for Indigenous Australians (which was released last week):

  • “As for other young people in the community, mobile phones are a valuable communication tool for Indigenous youth who are enthusiastic adopters of the technology.” (3.5)
  • “Research shows that mobile phones, where coverage is available, are the preferred communications device for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.” (3.8)
  • “Smartphones have emerged as the preferred online platform, given limited household internet connectivity and the life circumstances of many Indigenous Australians.” (3.2)

referralThis information together with my clinical experience makes me feel pretty confident to say that mobile phones are not just a middle-class whitefella thing.

In 2011-2012 19% of perinatal mental health referrals I received were for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, and 99% of all people referred had a mobile phone number cited on their referral.

However, I was less successful in engaging Indigenous than non-Indigenous women via phone. I recognise and accept that my gender and cultural background are barriers for some, but it may also be that the template SMS messages might not be user-friendly across cultures. It’s not for me to say really, cultural safety is “an outcome of nursing and midwifery education that enables safe service to be defined by those that receive the service” (Ramsden 2002). With that in mind, it would be a good idea to revisit the wording of the SMS templates with some Indigenous health professionals and service users before replicating/adapting this communication strategy .

The Small Print

IMG_1906Please do not phone the numbers used in the screenshots as a way to access perinatal mental health or me. The funding period for that role was 23/08/10 – 30/06/13 (more info here).

The screenshots with text in green blocks used on this page and in the video are all of fair-dinkum exchanges of communication, but were manipulated via my personal smartphone to capture the way the conversation flowed (forwarded the actual SMS messages to my personal phone from the work Nokiasaurus).

The screenshots with text in blue blocks are completely fictional, made only for illustrative, artistic and/or comic affect.

It should be obvious that I am not representing any organisation here; if you’re still wondering please visit meta4RN.com/about and see Q13.

References

Australian Communications and Media Authority (2013) Communications report 2011–12 series Report 3: Smartphones and tablets: Take-up and use in Australia. Commonwealth of Australia

Image: International Morse Code, from Page 96 of Radio Receiving for Beginners. Rhey T. Snodgrass and Victor F. Camp (copyright 1922 by The MacMillan Company, New York), sourced via http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:International_Morse_code.png

Joint Select Committee on Cyber-Safety (June 2013) Issues Surrounding Cyber-Safety for Indigenous Australians. The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia: Canberra

Ramsden, I. (2002) Cultural Safety: Kawa Whakaruruhau, Massey.

End

As always, your comments/feedback are welcome.

Paul McNamara, 29th June 2013

Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Nurse eNetwork

At the 2nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Perinatal Infant Special Interest Group (PI SIG) of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN), a report will be given on the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Nurse eNetwork.

There’s over 200 more people on the eNetwork than who will be at the AGM, so this very brief post and 5 minute-long video are for those who are interested in the eNetwork but won’t have a chance to be in Noosa when the report is given.

In short, the eNetwork is growing, thus:

Slide06

Activity on the eNetwork is humming-along, like this:

Slide12

And the place to subscribe/unsubscribe is here:

If you want more info please visit this page and/or have a look at the video.

Two last things.

[1] I’m not representing the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses, or anyone else for that matter (see Q13 here). This video/blog post have come about because I had a bit to do with getting the eNetwork up and running, so am interested in looking-at and reporting-on its development. That’s it.

[2] This is a scheduled blog post. So, although written on 03/06/13, it’s scheduled to go public at about the same time the ACMHN PI SIG AGM ends.

Paul McNamara, 6th June 2013

Perinatal Mental Health Workshop: an experiment in social media enhanced education

The Workshop

The perinatal mental health workshop goes for 4 hours, with three scheduled 5-10 minute breaks. It has been repeated and refined dozens of times over the last 12 years (pretty sure I did the first one in 2001). I haven’t kept count of how many people have done it – it would be a number somewhere either side of 300, I guess. The workshop is based on adult learning principles and is divided into two parts: knowing (empirical learnings) and doing (experiential learning). An example of the flyer/agenda for the workshop is here (PDF). The primary message I want (hope) participants to take home is that by being authentic, emotionally intelligent professionals we can make our screening more sensitive and our responses more therapeutic.

In the perinatal mental health workshop we talk together. There is nearly always more than 100 years of clinical experience in the room, sometimes there is over 200 years of experience in the room.

There is no powerpoint presentation. There are nurses, midwives, indigenous health workers and allied health staff. We share our knowledge, our experiences and our stories with each other as a group. There is a lot of information to get through; the workshop facilitator’s job is to keep the mutual sharing of information safe, and to give it structure, credibility and meaning. The facilitator makes sure to keep the agenda and the learning objectives on track. As is befitting of an adult education session, the workshop is a conversation.

Maybe Twitter is just another conversation. A conversation not as intimate or in-depth as the one held in the workshop, but a conversation that isn’t restricted to one specific place or one specific group of people.

education

#bePNDaware data & screenshot courtesy of the Healthcare Hashtag Project via http://www.symplur.com

The Experiment

As an experiment on 8th February 2013 I used social media (this Twitter account linked to a Facebook page) to bookmark resources for participants and share them with anyone else who is interested. Using HootSuite 19 pre-scheduled Tweets with the #bePNDaware hashtag were sent before or during the workshop. One Tweet was sent during a break in the Workshop (the one about Circle of Security – I was rushing and sent a broken link – oops), and one after the workshop had finished (the one with the photo of the whiteboard).

The scheduling of tweets allowed the facilitator to be fully present during the workshop, while simultaneously making links to the resources/topics discussed in the workshop readily available to workshop participants and a broader audience.

9 other Twitter accounts retweeted 6 of the original tweets; the tweet re the Clinical Practice Guidelines was retweeted 3 times.  In all, between 7:00am and 7:00pm on 08/02/13 (Cairns time) there were 30 workshop-related Tweets which, through the compounding effects of social media, yielded a theoretical/potential reach of 17,783 (source). The actual impact would have been much smaller, but is difficult to quantify (for me, anyway).

To see who joined the conversation by retweeting and other data, please visit Symplur.

workshop

Geeky Stuff

I hope you like the video, here’s how it was done:

  • content was compiled, arranged and animated using Prezi
  • the completed Prezi was captured as video using ScreenFlow
  • the music Flying Over The Dateline by Moby is very generously provided free for non-commercial use via mobygratis.com in this instance the licence/approval number is 58935
  • the finished product was uploaded to YouTube

It takes a bit of mucking-around, but it looks/sounds pretty cool, I reckon. I’m not so confident that it will make sense to anyone who isn’t familiar with Twitter, but anyway…

Perinatal Stuff

The links tweeted during the perinatal mental health workshop (in order as they appear in the video and on this Storify) are:

Perinatal Mental Health – Cairns

National Perinatal Depression Initiative

Perinatal Mental Health Clinical Practice Guidelines

Perinatal Mental Health in Indigenous Communities 

Stay Connected, Stay Strong… Before and After Baby

Behind the Mask: the Hidden Struggle of Parenthood

Queensland Centre for Perinatal and Infant Mental Health

Still Face Experiment

Circle of Security

Using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale

Just Speak Up

PANDA

mindhealthconnect

Nurturing the Nurturers

Closing Remarks

That’s it for this attempt to use a 4 minute video to give a glimpse of a 4 hour workshop, and to share the idea of using social media as a tool to expand the reach of an education session.

Want to hear something funny? Of the workshop participants that day, two were on a self-imposed period of respite from Facebook, and none of them used Twitter. The experiment in social-media-enhanced-education was more useful to people away from the workshop than in it. Oh well – at least I can send the participants a link to the video now…

As always, your feedback is welcome.

Paul McNamara, 29th May 2013

#ICNAust2013: Looking Back at a Nursing Conference through a Social Media Lens

IMG_1722The International Council of Nurses (ICN) 25th Quadrennial Congress was held in Melbourne from 19th May 2013 to 22nd May 2013. The conference was extended by a day each side: on 18th May there was a student assembly in the morning and the opening ceremony in the evening; on 23rd May professional/facility visits were scheduled.

The conference theme was “Equity and Access to Health Care”. The main objectives of the Congress were:

1. To advance and improve equity and access to health care.

2. To demonstrate the nursing contribution to the health of individuals, families and communities.

3. To provide opportunities for an in-depth exchange of experience and expertise within and beyond the international nursing community.

It is with objective number 3 in mind that we now look back at the ICN 25th Quadrennial Congress through a social media lens; specifically, we will examine the use of the Twitter hashtag #ICNAust2013 at this major international nursing conference.

#ICNAust2013 by Numbers

Quantitative data has been collated by the Symplur Healthcare Hashtag Project. I can’t speak too highly of Symplur’s website/service. There are other Twitter aggregation tools available, but it would be hard to beat the simple-to-set-up and beautiful-to-look-at combination that Symplur offers: sample.

210 of the 288 #ICNAust2013 participants.  Image source/credit: http://www.symplur.com

210 of the 288 #ICNAust2013 participants.
Image source: http://www.symplur.com (thank you!)

The time period for data collection has been set from midnight commencing Tuesday 14th May 2013 to midnight ending Thursday 23rd May 2013, Melbourne time (the conference host city). In social media terms, the days/weeks/months leading-up to a conference are vital for establishing the use of a specific Twitter hashtag to enable all participants and interested lurkers to share their ideas easily (more about this later).

First #ICNAust2013 Tweet in the period being examined

First #ICNAust2013 Tweet in the period being examined

In the days leading-up to the conference (Tuesday 14/05/13 to Friday 17/05/13) there were 58 #ICNAust2013 Tweets by 22 participants. This developed a bit of a buzz/publicity, allowed some consistency in establishing the hashtag, and the promoted the development of a “core community” of conference Twitter participants. A few of those pre-conference #ICNAust2013 participants went on to be the most active and most mentioned of all participants.

Use of the #ICNAust2013 hashtag started to explode on the morning of Saturday 18/05/13 – the same time as the student assembly. From morning to 1.00pm on Saturday (Melbourne time) 111 Tweets had been sent by 26 participants (source).  By midnight that night, after the opening ceremony, there were 259 #ICNAust2013 Tweets and 49 participants (source).

The scene was set: it was clear that the ICN 25th Quadrennial Congress was not going to be restricted to the walls of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. This conference was going online in real time via nurses using Twitter.

Over the ten days being examined (14th to 23rd May 2013) 288 individual Twitter participants used the #ICNAust2013 hashtag, collectively generating 3973 Tweets.

GoingViralIn the examined period, the least number of #ICNAust2013 Tweets per day was 1 – on Wednesday 15/05/13. A week later, the highest number of #ICNAust2013 Tweets in a day was attained: 1052 on the last day of conference – Wednesday 22/05/13. Over 900 Tweets were sent on two other days: Monday 20/05/13 and Tuesday 21/05/13.

In the examined period, the least number of participants was 1 – on Wednesday 15/05/13. The highest number of participants in a single day was on Monday 20/05/13 when 122 individuals sent Tweets using the #ICNAust2013 hashtag. A similar amount of people, 118, used the hashtag on day one of the conference, Sunday 19/05/13.

Predictably, the vast majority of #ICNAust2013 activity occurred over five consecutive days: from the student assembly on the pre-conference Saturday and over the four days of conference sessions. During that period, 3875 #ICNAust2013 Tweets were sent – over 97% of the total (source).

Summary of #ICNAust2013 data for the days of the conference plus the student assembly/opening ceremony day

Summary of #ICNAust2013 data for the days of the conference plus the student assembly/opening ceremony day

Over the 10 days being examined, the #ICNAust2013 hashtag had the possibility to be viewed up to 1,836,486 times – aka the “Tweet Reach” (source). The “Tweet Reach” or “impressions” is a metric for how many impressions a healthcare hashtag has made in users’ tweet streams. Symplur computes total impressions by taking the number of tweets per participant and multiplying it with the number of followers that participant currently has. This is done for all participants in this time period and then finally the numbers are added up (source). I feel very cautious about interpreting this number literally – to do so would be to exaggerate actual impact. That said, it does give an illustration of the capacity of Twitter to spread information to a very large audience.

ProlificSymplur gives us a “leader board” of the top ten most active #ICNAust2013 participants. It is noteworthy that in the top ten [seen here on the right], five of the participants are from one school of nursing: James Cook University in Far North Queensland. Between them these five prolific Twitter accounts sent 1225 Tweets using #ICNAust2013, accounting for over 30% of activity.

Also noteworthy is that one participant – @Laurie_ENL - is part of the emerging nurse leader program run by the Australian College of Nursing (ACN). Another participant – @santemondial – is a Committee Member of the ACN’s New Generation of Nursing faculty. Related to this, @debracerasa was previously the CEO of the Royal College of Nursing Australia (RCNA) – the precursor to the ACN,  her ongoing interest in promoting nurses and nursing is clear. These three participants were instrumental in starting off the #ICNAust2013 “Twitter storm”  the morning before the conference.

The top ten of most prolific #ICNAust2013 participants included only one non-Australian – @ruthft1 – a Professor of Nursing and Deputy Dean visiting from the United Kingdom.

The only male on the leader board was @PDarbyshire – the 2012 Social Media Nurse of the Year who leads research and practice development projects internationally (more info about Philip here).

It is interesting to note that once the conference was underway use of the #ICNAust2013 hashtag became a 24 hour-a-day activity, as illustrated below (source: Symplur]. This chart takes a snapshot of one 24 hour period (Tuesday 21/05/13, Melbourne time), and clearly illustrates that although the majority of activity occurred during daylight hours while the conference sessions were underway, use of the #ICNAust2013 happened outside of conference hours too.

Distribution of #ICNAust2013 Tweets across the 24 hours of Tuesday 21/05/12 (Melbourne time)

Distribution of #ICNAust2013 Tweets across the 24 hours of Tuesday 21/05/12 (Melbourne time)

Scanning through the transcript it becomes clear that there are two reasons for this 24 hour coverage. Photos and quips from social activities in the evenings after the “business” of the conference was finished were shared by delegates using the #ICNAust2013 hashtag. Overnight and in the early hours of the morning conversations started in the conference in Melbourne were elaborated on, responded to and shared by others all over the world.

Anja1Anja2Some German nurses with an interest in the historical aspects of nursing were especially interested-in and active with using the #ICNAust2013 Twitter hashtag.

The day after the conference ended there was still some #ICNAust2013 use: 40 tweets by 23 participants (source).

I was intrigued to see that for some participants their first and only #ICNAust2013 Tweets came after the conference had ended.

So, let’s revisit and summarise some of the quantitative data (numbed by numbers yet?):

  • 58 #ICNAust2013 Tweets in the lead-up to the conference (an average of 14.5 per day)
  • 259 #ICNAust2013 Tweets on conference eve (Saturday 18/05/13)
  • 3616 #ICNAust2013 Tweets during the conference (an average of 904 per day)
  • 40 #ICNAust2013 Tweets on the day after the conference (Thursday 23/05/13)

Just think about this for yourself for a moment: for the conference organisers, which of these periods was the most crucial time for using the #ICNAust2013 Twitter hashtag?

My answer is a bit further down under the subheading Lessons for Conference Organisers.

#ICNAust2013 Content

For qualitative data purists, the entire transcript of Tweets using the #ICNAust2013 hashtag between midnight commencing Tuesday 14th May 2013 and midnight ending Thursday 23rd May 2013 (Melbourne time) is available here. As with the quantitative data, this qualitative data has been aggregated by Symplur’s Healthcare Hashtag Project.

For those not interested in scrolling through all 3973 Tweets, two curated extracts are presented.

click the pic to see the whole story

click the pic to see the whole story

[1] On the last morning of the conference Joseph Proietto presented the keynote “Obesity: Personal or Social Responsibility?” Using the #ICNAust2013 hashtag, nine participants Tweeted the relevant points of the keynote as they each interpreted them, along with their reflections and thoughts. I know this has been a long read already, but please please please take 5 minutes to read through this curated excerpt – it is a charming demonstration of how social media can be used professionally and in an entertaining, personable and enlightening manner.

If you read this I guarantee that you will learn 4 things in 5 minutes:

  1. How obesity works
  2. How Twitter at a healthcare conference works
  3. How an aggregation tool like Storify can add value to Twitter content
  4. How nurses can be simultaneously generous, incisive and funny

It’s my favourite thing to come out of the conference.

[2] This next curated list of Tweets is not as coherently themed as the previous example, but I like it because it captures use of the #ICNAust2013 in the pre-conference period, and gives a sense of the build-up in hashtag use and anticipatory excitement amongst participants. This Storify covers the time period from Tuesday 14th May to the night of the opening ceremony on Saturday 18th May 2013. Click Here

HealthcareHashtagProjectLessons for Conference Organisers

I think the International Council of Nurses (ICN) 25th Quadrennial Congress was a success in social media terms, but it could have been better.

There was no announcement of a Twitter hashtag on the conference website and the ICN has had no participation on Twitter at all. The Australian College of Nursing’s Twitter handle – @acn_tweet – took the lead in using and promoting the #ICNAust2013 hashtag but, with 200 or so followers, didn’t have the penetration to get it firmly established with everyone before the conference.

ManyHastagsAs far as I could find, no planning had been done into measuring or aggregating the #ICNAust2013 Twitter feed before the conference; remember, this is a conference that promotes and values research. It costs nothing to use Symplur’s Healthcare Hashtag Project and only takes a few minutes to set-up. Social Media lacks hierarchy , so it does not matter if somebody 4000km away from the conference with no formal links to the organisations conducting it becomes the person to report on it. However, I don’t have a mandate to do so – it’s something that should have been planned by the conference organising team well in advance. I set-up this page on the Saturday morning as the student assembly was getting under way; that’s cutting it fine – it would have been better to have this in place early in the planning stages.

MarkyMarkTweetsThe #ICNAust2013 hashtag had good uptake amongst Australian nurses, but was less successful in gaining traction with international delegates and invited guests.

This is important because key delegates, keynote speakers and politicians often have many thousands of Twitter followers, so can popularise a Twitter hashtag and raise awareness of an issue or event to a broad audience very quickly.

As far as I can tell from my distant vantage point, ambiguity about which hashtag to use remained throughout the conference. Right to the very end of the conference alternative conference hashtags were being used, including:

GenieOut#ICN13 (the shortest)

#ICN2013 (the conventional)

#ICNcongress (the same length as #ICNAust2013)

There is a good argument to be made for brief-as-practical conference hashtags, but it is pretty common to use the full four digit year. Two characters either way doesn’t really matter – what is most important is to decide on a Twitter  hashtag then promote the hell out of it. Use the hashtag at every opportunity in the lead-up to the conference (this is the most important time), on the printed material given to conference delegates, and on the projected slides used at the beginning of each day/session of the conference.

My suggested format for a conference hashtag would be like this:

My Organisation Official Name + this year’s conference = #MOON2013

It probably doesn’t matter if you do something different if you make sure that you really pump the publicity so everyone knows – the visiting politician/dignitary, the keynote speakers, your members, your speakers and, most importantly, all of your conference delegates.

virtualattendThe conference delegates are the unsung heroes who generate the content in the twitter stream and promote your organisation-event-cause-brand; conference organisers owe them the courtesy of making it easy and rewarding to do so.

Ambiguity and inconsistency with Twitter hashtags dilute the power and reach of social media. As the quantitative and qualitative data presented above show, #ICNAust2013 contributed towards the conference objective “To provide opportunities for an in-depth exchange of experience and expertise within and beyond the international nursing community”.

Had everyone using social media at the conference used just one hashtag it would have been even more successful.

Final Notes

Thanks to all the Tweeting delegates at the International Council of Nurses 25th Quadrennial Congress. Your tweets entertained, enlightened and amused, and made virtual attendance a pleasure for those of us who couldn’t attend in person.

Those familiar with this blog will recognise that today’s post is as a companion piece to these two posts:

Please encourage any healthcare conference organisers and/or healthcare Twitter novices to visit these sites.

For impressions of the conference from someone who actually attended in real life, please see Philip Darbyshire’s review ICN Congress, Melbourne 2013: Fantastic or fizzer? and his photo gallery here.

Sorry about rambling-on so much; as always, your constructive comments are welcome.

Paul McNamara, 25th May 2013