Hi fellow CMIOs, CNIOs, Applied Clinical Informaticists, and other HealthIT friends,
It's been a while since my last post - As you know, healthcare is very busy adapting to changes brought about by our global COVID-19 pandemic. While the pandemic has and continues to be a great source of sadness and tragedy, it also brings a lot of change - I think a lot of this change is going to be very good, and facilitate lots of innovative, new ways to deliver care.
So for this post, I thought I'd piggyback onto my last post, "Welcome to Healthcare", by showing how helpful it can be to use a standardized index of healthcare to optimize your organizational Intranet.
Why optimize your Intranet? It's the one 'filing cabinet' that everyone has access to, on their desktop, usually with one click. Imagine... Could your Intranet become a silo-busting, high-value tool that your employees use regularly to quickly find helpful information, that helps them troubleshoot problems, plan solutions, and easily learn about the people they work with? Could it also be an internal communication tool that invisibly teaches them about the structure of healthcare? I believe good indexing can do this, and I'll share why I believe this below.
But first - I'd like to provide some background, using one of my heroes, the brilliant Clinical Informatics pioneer Lawrence 'Larry' Weed, MD (1923 - 2017).
If you've ever written a SOAP note, it's because of Larry Weed's 1968 New England Journal of Medicine article, "Medical Records that Guide and Teach" - This was the breakthrough article that changed the way the whole globe writes clinical documentation. A copy of his original article in .PDF format is available on the Washington University web site by clicking here.
It's a fantastic read. What amazes me is that his SOAP note template allowed us, as clinicians, to organize our thoughts and then share them with other clinicians. One could argue that the whole specialization of healthcare in the 1960s and 1970s was made possible through his contributions to clinical documentation!
In short - Larry Weed was right. You can't separate reading, writing and thinking - They are intrinsically connected. How you read and write shapes how you think. (By the way, if you'd like to learn more about him, you can also see his 1971 Grand Rounds at Emory University by clicking here.)
Now, borrowing from Dr. Weed's lessons that what we read and write shapes how we think - let's look back at the sample index we discussed in my last post. (Remember, your mileage may vary, depending on your institution's needs...)