So 'what was missing?' I hear you ask. My answer; patient / carer representatives, hospital (site) representatives and a general lack of social media use. The event organisers had set up a hashtag #patientrecruitmentsummit however a colleague and I were the only people there who engaged with it apart from the event organisers tweeting one photo.
It is important to realise this culture shift and recognise the evolution of healthcare.
I was unable (& incredibly disappointed) not to be able to attend this event however the beauty of SoMe made me feel asthough I was in the room. No, before you ask, it didn’t take hours out of my day…twitter never does…yet those few seconds of joining in throughout the day made me feel connected. And it wasn't just me...I was able to share this with my team; my patients who have since joined twitter, also wanted to be involved; so, patients…in clinics…being seen for research visits…sitting with their phones following #WGT16…why on earth wouldn't we use social media?
I believe that people and organisations need to step back and breathe; rather than questioning legalities, use the twitter platform as it is meant to be used…as a communication tool. Once that is achieved, from a research perspective you can move into other uses, such as sharing research opportunities with patients and staff…you can share studies which patients &/or relatives may wish to participate in, or indeed employment or professional development for staff.
Patients & the public are hugely ahead of the game when it comes to using social media as a way of life; I believe it is our responsibility to ensure we utilise these resources to connect in a way which is current & professional yet reminds everyone, we’re human too.
We have a theme of ending these blogs with the authors ‘#whywedoresearch’ reason, but today I’m going to end mine with a ‘#whywedoSoMe’…
#WhyWeDoSoMe – A revolution is happening: it’s creating wonderful links between patients, public and healthcare workers so why wouldn’t I?
Author@ @ClaireW_UK Founder of #WhyWeDoResearch
Lead Nurse for Research @JamesPagetNHS @JPUHResearch
I recently made a video for the Florence Nightingale Foundation about using social media ahead of their 2016 Conference - I share my experience of twitter and offer some tips for new users - please feel free to watch below.