Nike is one company that has been quick to the punch. The NikePlus Running Monitor is an application that meshes telehealth devices with social media, monitoring and posting running information on Facebook. All of this tracking and communication serves as a great promoter of the manufacturer, as it’s advertised every time the user posts a status update.
Despite all the progress, challenges remain for medical companies when diving into social media. It remains a very new horizon for an industry that faces hurdles posed by the traditions of the medical and insurance industries. Companies who are agile and able to pivot likely will be the winners. It’s easy to imagine Google as the CDC’s biggest information source in the future, aggregating and reporting clusters of users searching for key disease symptoms through an app portal or tweeting about illnesses. Used as tools for triggers, social media can take the temperature of societal health, allowing the medical community to watch population density or pollution patterns unfold.
If device manufacturers and the medical community figure out how to harness and leverage the power of people’s desire to connect and share, they could achieve groundbreaking contributions to healthcare and the connected world as a whole in the coming years.
Product Development Technologies,
Lake Zurich, Ill.
Journal Venues for Safety and Quality-Improvement Publications
The message is clear: Conducting business as usual is no longer tenable, nor the “right thing to do” for our patients. In a recent survey of departments of medicine chairs, Staiger et al summarize: “Top-performing academic institutions have recognized that quality improvement/patient safety (QI/PS) activities, leading to improved and measurable patient outcomes, are imperative for strategic survival.”1
Long before this report, the Society of General Internal Medicine’s Academic Hospitalist Task Force provided a framework to document the scholarship for promotion in academic medical centers and to document improvement activities.2 Since then, major academic institutions have incorporated such principles to support academic promotion.
Table 1 (see p. 6) provides venues for publication to advance the science of safety and QI; each is Medline-indexed. The list is not exhaustive and is meant to serve as a starting point of reference. We have not included many other excellent clinical journals that publish QI and patient safety work. When conducting improvement studies, we encourage hospitalists to use the Standards for Quality Improvement Reporting Excellence (SQUIRE) guidelines for publication of quality-improvement articles.3,4,5
Enjoy a new era in academic medical centers.
Adolfo Peña, MD,
Saint Joseph Hospital,
Benjamin Taylor, MD, MPH,
chief quality officer,
The University of Alabama at Birmingham,
SGIM Academic Hospitalist Task Force member;
Pat Patrician, RN, PhD,
Birmingham VA Quality Scholars Program;
Carlos A. Estrada, MD, MS,
Birmingham VA Quality Scholars Program
- Staiger TO, Wong EY, Schleyer AM, Martin DP, Levinson W, Bremner WJ. The role of quality improvement and patient safety in academic promotion: results of a survey of chairs of departments of internal medicine in North America. Am J Med. 2011;124:277-280.
- Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) Academic Hospitalist Task Force. Quality Portfolio. SGIM website. Available at: www.sgim.org/index.cfm?pageId=844. Accessed May 3, 2011.
- Davidoff D, Batalden P, Stevens D, Ogrinc D, Mooney S. Publication guidelines for quality improvement in health care: evolution of the SQUIRE project. Qual Saf Health Care. 2008;17 Suppl 1:i3-i9.
- Ogrinc G, Mooney S, Estrada C, et al. The SQUIRE (Standards for QUality Improvement Reporting Excellence) guidelines for quality improvement reporting: explanation and elaboration. Qual Saf Health Care. 2008;17 Suppl 1:i13-i32.
- Standards for Quality Improvement Reporting Excellence (SQUIRE) guidelines for publication of quality improvement articles. SQUIRE website. Available at: http://squire-statement.org. Accessed May 3, 2011.