Eat more veggies, exercise 3-5 times per week, take your pills and sign up for Twitter.
Is that where we’re going in healthcare?
If so – we are only continuing to mask the issues and do business as usual.
I don’t deny that online presence will become more prevalent as the young get older, but without addressing the fundamental & dysfunctional care issues – the “in-real-life” issues at the bedside for the patients, for the nurses, for the physicians, for the country – then all of these tools are really only a complementary modality.
I’m not knocking this “online modality” – modalities are what makes holistic nursing what it is – an above and beyond specialty. Holistic care should be the standard – it’s not and can’t be until we face the issues together, yet we know the practice of holistic care provides more personalized care to individuals. “If you want online resources – I’m/we’re (HCPs & orgs) online too, so I/we can offer you online resources along with other modalities to personalize your care: meditation, narrative writing, hand massage for comfort, health coaching, mHealth, games for health, art therapy, music therapy, humor, and so on.” Options are endless.
Still – all of these online tools have not yet become mainstream in care – if so they would be integrated in the hospital setting from the get go with patients & families from admission to discharge and in the home. We’re still trudging through the electronic health records challenge in this country (and making progress). There are so many wounds to fix in our health system: wounds, ulcers, punctures – we don’t have a wound vac large enough if we’re plugged in elsewhere.
There are some wonderful examples of healthcare organizations or individual clinicians integrating online/SoMe tools into daily practice and that’s admirable – for they might be considered holistic in their approach. Applause! I urge them to go further – be even more holistic – take a risk and do something completely different. Offer more modalities: in the hospital, in the ambulatory waiting rooms, for your staff. Because the point of being online isn’t to lessen the touch in care – it’s to make it stronger. Web presence should be a continuation of the conversation. It should be an extension of care.
Don’t let your web presence replace you – you (the HCP) are the source – your eye contact, your ears, your touch, your face exuding compassion, your caring smile, your handshake, your soothing voice that comforts and educates, your laughter or tears shared with a patient or family member can never be replaced by a screen or a link. And don’t let it!