One of the things I felt should’ve been included with this advice was a CPD accredited video that would’ve helped Doctors understand the topic and challenges better and I think this incredible 15 minute presentation by Michael Seres at the recent “e-Participation and the NHS” event in Glasgow would be ideal.
Not only would it provide some excellent grounding for any Doctors who are trying to get their heads around the topic and issues but it covers many parts that the authors of the guidance document itself should’ve considered:
“there was a gentleman in Elgin who a few months ago had 9 operations for bowel problems, he had a stoma he had intestinal failure and his Consultant in Elgin decided he needed to consult a bowel transplant centre in order to get a referral. He tried to speak to Addenbrooks Hospital but they refused to even speak to him. Unbeknown to his Consultant at the same time he was following my blog. He was emailing me with questions asking what it was like going through the transplant and finally he emailed me in desperation saying ‘I’m bed bound I have a stoma that has an output of 4 litres per day. I need help. What can I do?’. I was very very lucky, I spoke to my transplant surgeon at Oxford and asked if he’d see him and assess him. Within 2 hours the surgeon had come back to me saying he would. Within 2 weeks Oxford NHS Trust and his hospital at Elgin had arranged for him to come down to Oxford. We coordinated a ten day assessment, fourteen days later i saw him in intensive care after he had a very successful bowel transplant“
When you realise we live in a time where a Patient’s survival might come down to a social media connection isn’t it time to accept that we need to be doing everything to ensure that Doctors are also benefiting from the use of these consumer tools?
“How are you feeling, no I mean how are you really feeling? I’ve noticed you’ve not posted a blog for 3 days“
“I get a text pretty much every morning from my surgeon asking what’s been going on over night. I give him regular updates, I text pictures of wounds, to the left of a cannula that blooming well hurt when it was in the finger, to the right is a wound. He just checks it, is it oozing, what’s happening, I have abscess on my legs at the moment. Every day I just take a picture on my phone I text it to him he comes back to me with do this don’t do that. The simple reason for doing it is that when I go and see him face to face there is an action plan in place immediately, we know what’s going on. He knows what to do I don’t waste 2 hrs journey driving there to sit and ponder. We just get straight to the point the tests are booked and I can have my treatment and believe me I’m not special I’m just another patient“
If you still have any doubts about whether Patients will use their mobile phone as an integral part of their care or have an interest in sharing their information before in-office consultations please print out this last quote and stick it to the wall above your desk.
“I use Linkedin with my Surgeons and my Medical team quite a lot. We share articles that are out there, new treatments that we’ve heard of, videos that we may have seen. I’ll email him, he’ll email me back and we can discuss the treatments as they go on“
I really hope that the GMC reads this quote and reconsiders the advice that it’s providing to Doctors to “not use social media to discuss individual patients or their care, with those patients or anyone else“.
I find it very interesting to note that while Michael Seres and the GMC are both on Twitter only the organisation that advises others to identify themselves online and link to their professional profile has elected to be anonymous…