Tag Archives: #HCSMANZ

Health Care Social Media Australia and New Zealand

Luddites I Have Known

In the never-ending quest to enthuse midwives and nurses about professional use of social media I’ve talked to people about it, given inservice education sessions, demonstrated is use as an adjunct to education, facilitated workshops, submitted conference posters, contributed to journal articles and have been invited to speak at conferences. To spread the word I’ve taken the risk of being called geek wanker narcissist, and even had cards printed:

BusinessCard4

When I talk to people about health care social media, I always mention how it lets information be shared quickly and easily,  and network with people from a range of professions/walks-of-life from all around the world. However, the thing I value the most and try to emphasise the most, is the participative, interactive nature of social media. Social media is where the debates are held; those of us who want to influence and participate in decisions gather and test our ideas on social media. Twitter is especially good for this: it lets anyone join in and contribute to- and be enlightened by- the contest of ideas.

To see how Twitter works to share information and the contest of ideas, see these two recent examples (click on the pics to see the complete conversations unfurl):

In health and education roles I encounter many people who give dumb blanket statements like, “I will never use Twitter – I don’t care what Justin Bieber had for breakfast”. Much to my embarrassment, this is the sort of thing I hear nurses (especially those in positions of influence and power) say all the time. These people are so stubborn that they won’t even look, listen or learn about professional use of social media.

A few months ago two Australian nurse lecturers forthrightly and very confidently told me that Twitter and facts are (somehow) mutually exclusive, and they do not and never will use it. I tried being zen about the whole thing (water flows around resistance, rocks in the stream shift or erode), and celebrated some of the nurse academics who are more enlightned about health care social media (see storify.com/meta4RN/lecturers).

However, the same thing keeps happening: people in positions of power and influence in the health care and higher education systems are still using silly, uninformed, blanket statements to decry the use of social media and warn people off from using it.

No more Mr Nice Guy – I’m calling these people what they are: Luddites.

People being resistive to new technologies and innovations is not new, and in my lifetime I have seen that change is inevitable – the luddites and laggards will catch-up eventually.

In the 1970s I knew people who refused to play video-games like Space Invaders – “No it’s too confusing, I’m sticking with the pinball machine” said my friend when we went into the pinball parlour.

In the 1980s I knew people who refused to use ATMs (automatic teller machines) – “No, you can’t trust a little card and machine. I’ll wait until the bank opens on Monday.” said my relative.

In the 1990s I knew people who refused to use computers. Every now and then I still hear people say, “I don’t believe in computers” as if computers are akin to the tooth fairy or religion.

In the 2000s I knew people who refused to use a mobile phone, “Why would I ever need one?”, people would say. Now, in Australia, there are more mobile phones than people (for more info: meta4RN.com/mobile).

In the 2010s I know people who refuse to use social media. As evidenced by the “I don’t need to know what Justin Bieber had for breakfast” type of statements, the reason they don’t use it is twofold: [1] they do not understand it, and [2] they decline the opportunities to learn.

I guess I should be patient with my resistive colleagues – history shows that they’ll come around eventually. However, for those nurses and midwives in positions of power and influence, I’m hoping people will print and fax you a copy of this picture below. If  you can’t summon the willingness to learn about professional health care social media, please summon the dignity and sense to stop critiquing something you do not understand.

luddites

PDF version (suitable to print and fax to a social media denier of your choosing): Luddites

As always, your comments/feedback is welcome.

Paul McNamara, 3rd May 2014

 

 

 

Yay AHPRA!

The "Before" picture: 11th March 2014

The “Before” picture: 11th March 2014

Once upon a time I worked in a pilot program as a School-Based Youth Health Nurse. This role put me in close contact with teachers. By listening to their conversations about managing classroom behaviour I was introduced to a strategy that teachers use: “Catch them being good“.

In short, the teachers said it was very easy to get caught-up in noticing and reprimanding students about unwanted behaviours – so easy that it could completely monopolise lesson time some days. A smarter strategy was to hone-in on, recognise and celebrate students who were behaving well. Don’t try to catch students being naughty – try to catch them being good.

Over the last two weeks Australian Health Professionals have caught AHPRA, the agency that regulates us all, being good.

joiningOn Monday 19th March 2014 AHPRA joined the conversation on Twitter. After years of watching the AHPRA Twitter handle sit as stony-faced and as silent as an Easter Island statue, it suddenly sprang to life.

A few days later AHPRA announced that there would be changes to the advertising guidelines to be clearer about the use of testimonials, This change was in response to many concerns being raised by health practitioners that the initial set of guidelines had unrealistic, unworkable expectations regarding the use of social media.

Then, on Friday 28th March 2014, there was a Twitter chat with AHPRA CEO Martin Fletcher using the hashtag #AHPRAqanda. Health professionals were able to seek clarity around expectations of the advertising and social media guidelines, and engage directly with AHPRA and each other about specific concerns.

The "After" picture: 30th March 2014

The “After” picture: 30th March 2014

AHPRA are only two weeks into their engagement on Twitter and have been pretty clear that they intend to walk before they try to run.

I am very pleased that AHPRA are on Twitter because it will help me address some of the fear (bordering on paranoia) that is expressed every time I facilitate an inservice on professional use of social media. Health professionals often express that they are reluctant to use social media in a professional sense because they fear that either their employer or AHPRA will see it as a bad thing. Now I will be able to confidently counter that concern by reinforcing my previous argument that health professionals should be unafraid to speak up and join in the conversation on social media.

Now that AHPRA has joined the conversation, maybe there is something of a bridge across “the big scary chasm” between the early adopters and the majority of Australian healthcare professionals using social media.

Let’s hope so.

adopters

As always, comments are welcome.

Paul McNamara, 30th March 2014

Professional use of Twitter and Healthcare Social Media #NPD100

SmartCare-Poster

About the Conference

Peter Carr is an innovative Nurse Lecturer who coordinates the subject NPD100 Health Communications, Research and Informatics for undergraduate nurses at The University of Notre Dame Australia.

Peter, with support from his colleagues and students, has organised the SMART CARE Conference (SMART = Social Media Application for Research and Teaching) hosted by the University of Notre Dame, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Fremantle campus on Friday 25th of October, 2013. More about the conference here: #NPD100 The Conference

The tagline on the poster “#NPD100 The Conference” refers to the neat trick of using the subject code as the hashtag. Such a good idea. Some universities and workplaces still have a stop it or you’ll go blind! kind of attitude towards social media, so it’s very refreshing to see a university subject that so strongly encourages students to utilise social media professionally, to be digital citizens.

It is a terrific honour to be asked to contribute at this conference – I’m very grateful to Peter for asking me along. Together with Kane Guthrie and Marie Ennis O’Connor, we will have time to explore some of the uses of health care social media. To assist the flow of ideas to continue beyond one Friday in Freo, a copy of my #NPD100 SMART CARE Conference presentation is included below.

Professional use of Twitter and Healthcare Social Media

Two Notes in Closing

  1. Regular visitors to meta4RN will recognise the presentation above as having a lot in common with this recent post: meta4RN.com/poster. Yes folks: self-plagarism is alive and well. However, in my defence, the #NPD100 presentation will be able to explore some of these ideas in a lot more detail than the poster version.
  2. Ironically, I’m about to go pretty quiet on social media for a couple of weeks. After spending all week in Perth and Fremantle talking about and using social media, I’m going on holiday in country Western Australia with my lovely partner. On one of the slides above I present balance as being one of the risks of using social media. To manage that risk, there are times when ignoring social media and simply enjoying time with the people you love is the sensible, balanced thing to do. Digital citizens need to be analogue citizens too. :-)

See you in a couple of weeks!

Paul McNamara, 25th October 2013

A Twitter Workshop in Tweets

Monday at the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN) 39th International Mental Health Nursing Conference, we conducted a workshop on Engaging with Social Media. There were three workshop facilitators: Clare Butterfield from Canberra, Communications & Publications Officer (see @ACMHN on Twitter), Paul McNamara (me), Clinical Nurse Consultant from Cairns (see @meta4RN on Twitter) and, our special guest co-facilitator Emily Mignacca (see @emilymignacca on Twitter) graduating student nurse who commences as a RN specialising in mental health early in 2014.

Rather than use a PowerPoint or other traditional presentation method, I wrote the core content of the workshop as a series of Tweets. In real time as the hands-on part of the workshop was in action, we sent the Tweets out from the @ACMHN Twitter account. The Twitter feed on this page twubs.com/ACMHN2013 was projected onto a screen so workshop participants could see the @ACMHN tweets, their own tweets using the conference hashtag and, perhaps most importantly, the comments and interaction from other Twitter users who used #ACMHN2013. It was a successful strategy – I’ll certainly use it again for future workshops on using Twitter.

You are welcome to use all or part of A Twitter Workshop in Tweets below provided you abide by the Creative Commons Licence below. This licence lets others distribute, remix and build upon the work, but only if it is for non-commercial purposes, they credit the original creator and source – Paul McNamara (2013) A Twitter Workshop in Tweets http://meta4RN/tweets – and they license their derivative works under the same terms. You are also welcome to contact me to facilitate/co-facilitate your health care social media workshop.  My email is meta4RN [at symbol] gmail.com

1. Pre-workshop info/publicity

Engaging with Social Media – Clare Butterfield and Paul McNamara Monday 21st October 2013 12:30-2:30pm

Social media allows Collaboration and Partnerships in Mental Health Nursing to transcend time and place: time through collaborative, asynchronous communication; place by being connected to the world’s online clinical communities. This hands-on workshop aims to act as a launching-pad for those who want to turbo-charge the conference theme.

The workshop will be in two parts: The first, briefest part, will introduce four examples of professional use of social media, using Twitter as the primary example. This part of the workshop intends to show participants the value of engaging with social media.

The emphasis will be the second part of the workshop. This will be a hands-on session that will assist participants gain confidence in using Twitter. This part of the workshop intends to equip participants with skills in engaging with social media in a professional capacity. Wifi will be available. Participants are asked to bring:

  • a mobile internet device (eg: smartphone, tablet or laptop computer);
  • knowledge (ie: the relevant passwords) on how to download apps onto your mobile device;
  • for those who already have an established Twitter account, the knowledge (ie: the relevant passwords) on how to access it;
  • a spirit of curiosity and fun!

To reinforce the learning acquired in the workshop, follow-up “skill checks” will be scheduled during conference breaks on Tuesday and Wednesday. Please come along – the workshop facilitators expect it to be a dynamic, fun, enlightening masterclass in engaging with social media.

Emily Mignacca was invited to join in co-facilitating the workshop just a couple of weeks before the workshop. Although Emily missed-out on being named in the pre-conference publicity, her participation on the day was vital. Emily worked hard and did a good job supporting people who were more than twice her age pick-up some of the skills and enthusiasm she has in using social media professionally. You could do worse than follow @emilymignacca on Twitter.

twitter

Below is a list of my pre-composed, pre-ordered tweets for the workshop. There were minor adjustments, inclusions and exclusion made as we went along, but mostly we just sent them out verbatim.

2. #ACMHN2013 Twitter Workshop in Tweets

Creative Commons License
A Twitter Workshop in Tweets by Paul McNamara is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://meta4RN/tweets.

Before

Please RT to show Twitter’s potential/reach to participants in today’s #ACMHN2013 Engaging with Social Media Workshop

Starting soon: #ACMHN2013 Engaging with Social Media Workshop. Info: http://acmhnconferences.acmhn.org/speakers/ (near bottom: scroll down) #HCSMANZ

No PowerPoint slides at the Engaging with Social Media Workshop. We’re Tweeting the content using this hashtag #ACMHN2013

Warning: HEAPS of #ACMHN2013 Social Media Workshop tweets next 2 hours
To join: http://twubs.com/ACMHN2013
To mute: http://roniweiss.com/2011/05/03/muting-hashtags/

Start

#ACMHN2013 Facilitator 1 of 3: Clare Butterfield @ACMHN Communications and Publications Officer with – Face of ACMHN’s Twitter

#ACMHN2013 Facilitator 2 of 3: Emily Mignacca @emilymignacca GenY/Millennial, Almost-Mental Health Nurse – Future of @ACMHN

#ACMHN2013 Facilitator 3 of 3: Paul McNamara @meta4RN clinical nurse consultant + educator – Fellow of @ACMHN

First-up, a hard-sell on some professional uses of Twitter. For those playing-along at home see http://meta4RN.com/poster #ACMHN2013

What is Twitter’s potential/reach? Here’s a demonstration we prepared earlier https://twitter.com/meta4rn/status/392021423943716866 #ACMHN2013

Here are the results: http://www.symplur.com/healthcare-hashtags/acmhn2013/analytics/?hashtag=acmhn2013&fdate=10%2F17%2F2013&shour=9&smin=0&tdate=10%2F21%2F2013&thour=9&tmin=0&ssec=00&tsec=00&img=1 #ACMHN2013

Enough chin-wagging. Let’s start doing! Go to https://twitter.com/signup to start an account #ACMHN2013

Make a choice now: is this an official, personal or professional twitter account? Mental health nurses know about boundaries, right? #ACMHN2013

Need clarification on official, personal + professional? This Qld Gov site is clear + succinct: http://www.qld.gov.au/web/social-media/policy-guidelines/guidelines/official-use.html#ACMHN2013

On your professional twitter account you’re not representing an organisation, but are primarily talking about work-related stuff #ACMHN2013

Choose a short name (aka “handle”) eg: instead of @BartholomewBonython maybe @BartB #ACMHN2013

Bad news for people without exotic names: @JohnSmith @JSmith + @SmithJ are all taken ;-/ #ACMHN2013

Short names and concise tweets are good. Twitter = Brevity Central #ACMHN2013

Struggling deciding on a name? Get creative! Example: a nerdy mental health nurse might be @MHnerse #ACMHN2013

Or… a graduating student nurse might be @SN2RN #ACMHN2013

Don’t use your workplace name/initials unless you’re 100% sure you’re representing your employer rather than your professional self #ACMHN2013

That’s why I’m @meta4RN rather than @QueenslandHealthRN – there’s a BIG difference in implications/expectations #ACMHN2013

Think about how you’ll describe yourself in your Twitter bio. Do you need to name your employer? It might be easier if you don’t. #ACMHN2013

Twitter bios accommodate a bit of personality along with a description of you/your interests #ACMHN2013

Re bio: maybe better not to say “lost virginity to a rockstar”, but “enthusiastically supporting musicians” would be OK :-) #ACMHN2013

Professional doesn’t have to be boring #ACMHN2013

Still nervous re the name/bio thing? You’ll get away with being anonymous, but why? On the run? Witness protection program? #ACMHN2013

And a pic. You’ll need a pic. Eggs repel followers. #truefact #ACMHN2013

Your pic doesn’t have to be a photo. There are avatars available online PRN. eg: http://www.twittergallery.com/?p=1985 #ACMHN2013

DON’T BE AN EGG! #ACMHN2013

Right. When you’re ready, announce your arrival to the Twitterverse. No pressure: channel Neil Armstrong. #ACMHN2013

Oh, and use the conference hashtag so we can see your tweet on the #ACMHN2013 screen

Next up you’ll want to start following some people, otherwise your Twitter feed will be bare, and you will get sad, lonely and bored :-( #ACMHN2013

Who to follow? We can start with each other – a learn as we go thing #ACMHN2013

Twitter is not like Facebook. It is perfectly acceptable, not at all stalker-ish, to follow a complete stranger. #ACMHN2013

#ACMHN2013 Also, if you want to see who else is active in health care social media in Aus/NZ sus-out this hashtag: #HCSMANZ

#ACMHN2013 @nurse_w_glasses is a rockstar amongst social-media-mental-health-nurses: well worth following.

While we’re looking at who to follow, sus out the #WeNurses + #OzNurses hashtags – anyone/anything of interest? #ACMHN2013

If so, you may want to follow that person and/or retweet (ie: share) their tweet. #ACMHN2013

RT = ReTweet
MT = Modified Tweet
HT = HatTip/HeardThrough
More about Twitterisms here http://meta4RN.com/FF #ACMHN2013

Now, about hashtags… don’t be intimidated. You can use Twitter happily with never using one in your whole life #ACMHN2013 BUT…

Hashtags pull disparate conversations and people together. Like at this mental health nursing conference, for instance #ACMHN2013

Eg: even if you had the most incisive political tweet ever created, QandA viewers wouldn’t know about it without the #QandA hashtag #ACMHN2013

The hashtag thing can be fiddly at first. For the #ACMHN2013 conference this site makes it REALLY easy: http://twubs.com/ACMHN2013

Create your own hashtags, BUT learn from the Susan Boyle album launch hashtag: #susanalbumparty can be read 2 ways :-) #ACMHN2013

So, what to Tweet about? Anything that you think is relevant to people who may share all or some of your interests #ACMHN2013

Remember: the conventions of professional communication are long-established: letters, email etc. Why change it on Twitter? #ACMHN2013

Now, let’s pause and have a look at the @acn_tweet / RCNA (2011) Social Media Guidelines for Nurses http://www.rcna.org.au/WCM/Images/RCNA_website/Files%20for%20upload%20and%20link/rcna_social_media_guidelines_for_nurses.pdf #ACMHN2013

While we’re at it, let’s have a look at the @NurMidBoardAust guidelines too http://www.nursingmidwiferyboard.gov.au/documents/default.aspx?record=WD10%2F3224&dbid=AP&chksum=qhog9%2FUCgKdssFmA0XnBlA%3D%3D #ACMHN2013

Any surprises or comments about the social media guidelines? #ACMHN2013

#ACMHN2013 The guidelines are pretty common-sense stuff. Maybe this flowchart is all we need

SoMeFlowchart

On a mobile device? Install an app, eg: Twitter https://about.twitter.com/download #ACMHN2013

On a mobile device? Install an app, eg: HootSuite https://hootsuite.com/features/mobile-apps #ACMHN2013

On a mobile device? Install an app, eg: Tapbot http://tapbots.com/software/tweetbot/ #ACMHN2013

Probably the easiest way to learn Twitter is to follow people who have already learned Twitter. Stick with it – it’ll click in. #ACMHN2013

Do unto others. #TwitterTips #ACMHN2013

#TwitterTips #ACMHN2013 Be careful mixing personal and professional. Boundaries are important.

#TwitterTips #ACMHN2013 You already know about confidentiality; if you’re doing confidentiality wrong online it will definitely get spotted.

#TwitterTips #ACMHN2013 Naturally, you would NEVER give individual or detailed clinical advice on Twitter.

#TwitterTips #ACMHN2013 Generalised info is fine, eg: Getting great feedback from consumers about the @mindhealthc site http://www.mindhealthconnect.org.au

#TwitterTips #ACMHN2013 Try not to act like a dickhead. Also, don’t use words like “dickhead” – it’s unprofessional. #TwitterTips #ACMHN2013

#TwitterTips #ACMHN2013 Apologise if you do/say something stupid. BTW sorry for saying “dickhead” before.

#TwitterTips #ACMHN2013 Twitter spam is especially good at playing on the insecurities of newbies, so be vigilant + don’t click dodgy links.

#TwitterTips #ACMHN2013 Spam example 1:
This person is saying horrible things about you www.dodgylink.com DON’T CLICK!

#TwitterTips #ACMHN2013 Spam example 2:
This photo of you! LOL www.dodgylink.com DON’T CLICK!

#TwitterTips #ACMHN2013 Mostly you won’t Tweet from/about your workplace… you’ll have your work to do.

#TwitterTips #ACMHN2013 There may be an occasional exception to the workplace rule, eg: Gammin Hospital Christmas decorations are fabulous!

#TwitterTips #ACMHN2013 Would your patients or boss be offended by that photo? Yes = Delete. No = Tweet.

Finish

#TwitterTips #ACMHN2013 RT @charleneli: Twitter is not a technology. It’s a conversation. And it’s happening with or without you.

#TwitterTips #ACMHN2013 No need to worry about forgetting today’s workshop, it’s all here: http://meta4RN/tweets

#TwitterTips #ACMHN2013 Connect. Be generous. Have fun.

Creative Commons License
A Twitter Workshop in Tweets by Paul McNamara is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://meta4RN/tweets.

As always, your comments and feedback is welcome. Please use the comment facility below.

Paul McNamara, 23rd October 2013

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

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.

#HCSMANZ: be unafraid, speak up, join in (letter in the TQN)

My letter to the editor was published in the current issue of TQN, the journal published six times a year for Queensland nurses and midwives by the Queensland Nurses Union. Below is the content of the letter:

IMG_0236QNU Secretary Beth Mohle wrote an inspiring article (TQN April, p3) urging nurses and midwives to be unafraid, to speak up, and to remember that our community supports us even when our government doesn’t. This was in stark juxtaposition to the case study and reflective exercise on using social media (p36-38), which completely overlooked the benefits of nurses and midwives speaking up, being unafraid, and interacting with others in the community.

The April TQN case study cited an instance of racist, sexist and other derogatory comments getting an employee into trouble. This is not a social media problem; this is a racist, sexist, derogatory comment problem.

Let’s make the assumption that most nurses and midwives are wise enough to behave as ethically online as they do elsewhere. There is a worldwide community of health professionals using social media in constructive, creative, collegial ways. Queensland midwives and nurses should not be discouraged from joining this community.

The risks of using social media are often overstated, the benefits are frequently underestimated. Participate, be generous, be sensible, enjoy.

IMG_0235Citation

McNamara, P. (2013) Behave online as you would in real life (letter to the editor), TQN: The Queensland Nurse, June 2013, Volume 32, Number 3, Page 4.

Quick Comment

The title given to the letter, “Behave online as you would in real life” bugs me a bit. Being online is part of everyday real life; it is not, as the title implies, completely separate from real life.

Maybe the letter’s title could have been, “#HCSMANZ (Healthcare Social Media in Australia & New Zealand): be unafraid, speak up, join in”

End

As always, your comments and feedback are welcome.

Paul McNamara, 21st June 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

What is social media saying about perinatal and infant mental health this week?

For the last 12 months or so, under the soon-to-be-mothballed @PiMHnurse Twitter handle, I have been using a tool/website called paper.li to collate information into a weekly “online newspaper” called The Perinatal Mental Health Nurse. I’ve now given it a refresh using my new Twitter account/online social media “brand” @meta4RN.

“The Perinatal Mental Health Nurse” is an online newspaper that attempts to answer the question, “What is social media saying about perinatal and infant mental health this week?”

The purpose of The Perinatal Mental Health Nurse is to attempt to answer the question, “What is social media saying about perinatal and infant mental health this week?”. To flush-out that answer, Twitter, Facebook & Google+ are being used as the data sources, and these search terms have been set: “perinatal mental health” and “infant mental health”. To add a little local and mental health nursing flavour, the terms “ACMHN” (abbreviation/hashtag for “Australian College of Mental Health Nurses”) and “HCSMANZ” (abbreviation/hashtag for “Health Care Social Media Australia & New Zealand”) are also searched on Twitter.

[Addit. 28th November 2012] An additional search term has been added: “#bePNDaware”; this hashtag had strong uptake on social media during Australia’s Postnatal Depression Awareness Week (more info about that here).

The beauty of using paper.li is that it is one of those set-and-forget tools which, at first blush, seems kind of magical and empowering: “Who needs Rupert Murdoch? I just made my own newspaper!” Just set the sources and search terms and paper.li does all the rest for you. How much does it cost? Nothing. How much time does it take to set up? Not much; less than half an hour. However, over time too-frequent updates can become a bit tired, just part of the background noise, the flotsam and jetsam of Web 2.0. Hopefully with The Perinatal Mental Health Nurse the “noise” won’t be too intrusive – the updates have been set to just once a week (Wednesdays at 6.00am, Cairns time), which will be accompanied by an automagical Twitter and Facebook anouncement.

I hope that you’ll find some items of interest in The Perinatal Mental Health Nurse. If not, why not see if there are other paper.li online newspapers that are more to your tastes or, better again, start your own?

One last thing. If you’re looking for a more thoughtfully and academically curated compilation of information regarding perinatal and infant mental health, the best website that I know of is the Perintal and Infant Mental Health LibGuide

Paul McNamara, 20th October 2012

SoMe, You + AHPRA

First-up, just in case you’re late to how this story started, let me give a bit of background/context as I understand it.

  1. The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) lost control of distribution of their preliminary consultation paper on social media policy.
  2. The document started turning-up online – think WikiLeaks-Lite – and was soon being shared amongst health professionals and others via (you guessed it) social media (BTW: social media is often abbreviated as “SoMe”, which I hope is an ironic hat-tip to the assertion that using social media is a narcissistic undertaking – “it’s so about me“).
  3. For a week or so, it was the most dominant topic of conversation on Twitter amongst those who have an interest in Healthcare & Social Media in Australia & New Zealand (HCSMANZ). To get a feel for these conversations see this Storify (collating some relevant Tweets from 03/09/12 to 10/09/12), and this #HCSMANZ transcript (09/09/12)

Here’s a copy of the email I sent to AHPRA (it’s been in the public domain before now):

Dear AHPRA

As part of the consultation process, please follow the link below for a demonstration of how one arm of social media works

AHPRA on Twitter (with images, tweets)

I have found this conversation on twitter informative, thought-provoking, occasionally irreverent, often entertaining, and something that enhances (not risks) my understanding of what it is to be a health professional.

As you will see, health professionals are engaging with social media in a manner that does not conform with the draft guidelines. Health professionals are critiquing matters they find important, some are advertising their services, they don’t always hide their comments from the public (ie: their patients could read them), and are doing so in manner that is probably very similar to how they would interact in a tea room, at the nurses station or while attending a conference. That is the point I would like to make most strongly: social media is not different to real life, it is real life.

Social media does not stand apart from real life anymore than the telephone, email or letter-writing does. Health professionals are trusted to go “behind the curtain” (both literally and metaphorically) when with people (aka patients) often at their most vulnerable time in life. Surely then, health professionals should expect to be trusted in the very public arena of social media.

I submit the suggestion that AHPRA should revisit the draft policy from a completely different standpoint. Acknowledge an assumption of professionalism whenever a health professional is representing themselves as such, and encourage health professionals to embrace the potential of emerging technologies, not fear them.

Paul McNamara

It is a pretty unsophisticated response compared to many of the other comments made. If you really want to get into the detail of what others were saying, follow the links in the Tweets collated on Storify. If you don’t want that level of detail, but still want to understand what all the fuss was about, just read this response from Phillip Darbyshire (07/09/12), which ends:

If AHPRA cannot support this movement [health professionals using social media] positively and enthusiastically, then it should at least have the grace and wisdom to step out of the way and do not obstruct it.

Ironically, AHPRA have motivated me to get more involved in SoMe than I would have otherwise. I found many like-minded people via this Twitter hashtag: #HCSMANZ and have been inspired to do more, not less, with SoMe. I hope AHPRA finds this creative, energetic, kind-of-geeky group worthwhile consulting with in future.

APHRA have sent an email acknowledging receipt of submission to the preliminary consultation paper on social media policy, and advise there will be a round of public consultation.

You Me We haven’t heard the last on this subject.

Paul McNamara, 25 September 2012