Archive for October 5th, 2003
In a moment of alarming
Despite my pre-conference jitters that it would be too roudy and my early-conference
"We KNOW that’s what politicians think, you cynical shmuck," I wanted
Anyway, a good time was had by all. I made some new friends, heard
Of all the ideas I heard or imagined at BloggerCon there is one that keeps filling out and growing legs in my head, which is much less distressing than it sounds. I used it several times today in the Beginner’s sessions as an example of novel uses of the Blogging format.
It rose out of a conversation I was having with the inestimable Doc Searls (actually Doc was doing most of the conversing while I teetered dangerously on the edge of exhaustion, clutching a glass of red wine). We were commiserating on the common situation facing many people our age, of having a parent hospitalized and under the simultaneous care of a cadre of specialists who rarely communicate.
The standard care at most major hospitals dictates that there exists a “primary” physician for each case, but in reality this individual is rarely the professional most closely involved in the treatment, which often involves three or four medical specialties, physical and other therapies, and sometimes sessions with non-medical care givers. Given non-synchronous scheduling, over-scheduling and normal organizational confusion, this “team” rarely if ever actually meet, and communication is haphazard.
This lack of communication is responsible for thousands of deaths every year in the US from inadvertent drug overdoses, drug antagonisms, treatment incompatibilities and just plain mix-ups in planning and carrying out a coherent treatment plan.
What a perfect position for a blog to fill! What if a hospital opened a sort of medical blog for each patient, and each doctor, nurse and therapist would make an entry each time they saw the patient. After all, what is the medical chart hanging on the bedpost but an old-fashioned blog, inefficiently organized and difficult to decipher?
What if the first thing each new specialist or nurse did when they came to see the patient was to check the blog, read in reverse chronological order, beginning with the most recent and relevant, the composite mosaic of that patient’s treatment?
What if the patient him or herself could post entries: reactions to medicines, reports of symptoms, questions about treatments, which could be read at the time of any visit, whether the patient was awake or asleep, conscious or unconscious? Would this not facilitate the overall quality of the treatment?
Would not all of the participants benefit from a more complete and profound understanding of the ongoing processes? Apart from avoiding the tragic errors and unnecessary deaths due to accidents and mix-ups.
Furthermore, in case of any physician-ordered tests, the lab results would be immediately linked to the patient’s blog where they could be checked by any of the attending personnel without actually leaving the lab server. The blogs would have to be fully searchable, so users could immediately identify all references to a particular drug, or doctor’s name, or medical term.
It is true there would be privacy and ethics considerations which will require much thought and strict regulations governing what information would be available to which participants. But clearly the potential benefits merit consideration.
A solution to this problem could save thousand of lives. I’m not saying blogs are that solution but its an intriguing idea and a good example of how the blogging format can apply to situations and problems not obviously related to the internet.
Are there any real doctors out there who have tried this? Are any hospitals experimenting with blogs? Is anyone working on software specifically designed to facilitate this kind of Patient Coverage Communication issues? Is any one interested? Feel free to point out why I’m irrationally unrealistic or merely redundant, yet again.
"A clown will next week deliver a sermon in a cathedral while balancing
Dowbrigade at the Hong Kong
Dowbrigade has rethought his whole approach to Blogging. Listening to real-life heroes like
Lydon talk about the transformative nature of the medium have inspired me to give up my rantings and ravings and start checking my sources, and linking to both sides of every story, and eschewing gratuitously scandalous double entendres, and writing mature opinions of serious subjects……..Naaaaah.