How Healthcare Extenders Can Stay Current in the Era of e-Patients

Healthcare providers are no longer the sole gatekeepers of health information. The e-patient has emerged —individuals empowered by technology to collaborate and be actively involved in their health. Through the lens of diabetes, our recent webinar discussed this paradigm shift, as well as provided resources and tools for engaging with e-patients.

Panelists Hope Warshaw, MMSc, RD, CDE,BC-ADM; Deborah Greenwood, PhD-C, Med, RN, BC-ADM, CDE, FAADE; and Cherise Shockley shared many useful tips and tools for engaging with e-patients.

Here are 3 takeaways:

  • There are several trends driving the e-patient paradigm shift. Technology advancements are enabling people to access more information and make global connections. There are also dramatic changes being made in healthcare delivery, access, and wants/needs of consumers (Hope Warshaw)
  • HCPs should develop collaborative wisdom and learn from each other. E-Patients share data that educators and providers might not have. By working together, clinicians and e-patients can collaborate to decipher meaning of information. (Deborah Greenwood)
  • Online Communities empower, connect, and support patients. [Diabetes] online communities create a 24/7 ‘place’ for patients to share different perspectives, peer-to-peer support, storytelling, and resources and tools. Check out several DOCs shared by our panelists here.


Visit SurroundHealth to access more resources for YOU:

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Establishing a Social Media Strategy Plan for Health Communicators—10 Step Game Plan from the CDC

Despite being released a couple of years ago, the CDC resource “The Communicator’s Social Media Toolkit,” offers a great place for healthcare professionals to get started with having a social media presence. SurroundHealth member and health educator, Robin Vlamis, MPH, CHES, provided a condensed version of the toolkit in our latest article, “Social Media for the Health Communicator – a Toolkit Worth Your Time.” One of the important takeaways from the toolkit was to develop a strategy for your organization’s social media communications.

The CDC toolkit suggests the following 10 steps for developing this game plan:

  1. Identify and describe your target audience
  2. Determine your objective using SMART terms
  3. Define your audience’s communication needs
  4. Describe how social media integrates into your overall goals
  5. Develop key messages
  6. Determine who is responsible for implementation, and how much time they have
  7. Choose which social media tools to use
  8. List specific activities to carry out
  9. Determine who your key partners are and what they will do
  10. Explain how you will measure success

What’s your next step? Learn more in upcoming free webinar!

We know people nowadays are on-line and on social media. To learn how patients and health care professionals can best work together to utilize these tools, join us for a complimentary webinar next week! Details below:

The intersection of e-patients and providers— Where’s the sweet spot?

Wednesday, March 19 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. ET


  • Hope Warshaw, MMSC, RD, CDE, BC-ADM, owner, Hope Warshaw Associates, LLC
  • Deborah Greenwood, PhD-C, Med, RN, BC-ADM, CDE, FAADE, diabetes clinical nurse specialist and 2014 president-elect of the American Association of Diabetes Educators
  • Cherise Shockley, founder and CEO, Diabetes Community Advocacy Foundation

Plus: Get a certificate of completion and earn free CEUs (for RD and CHES)

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Tools for Using Technology for Health Counseling and Health Education

As healthcare extenders and providers, it is important to stay updated on the best ways to communicate with and reach our patients and clients. Today we are sharing some information gathered by our member and community contributor, Feon Cheng, in our latest SurroundHealth article, “Telehealth/Telemedicine: Using Technology as a Platform for Health Counseling and Education”.

With technology advancements opening doors for more efficient and innovating health communication methods, we thought it would be helpful to put together some tips & tools that healthcare providers can use in their daily work with clients.

Health Counseling

  • Google Helpout- Achieve both video and chat functionality, while remaining HIPPA compliant
  • Skype- At no cost, you can safely engage in video interactions as well as transfer files
  • Text Message- Provide reminders and reinforcement for your clients in between counseling sessions

Health Education

  • Web-Based Education Program- This is a great way to communicate health information to those who are too busy to attend an in-person class
  • Mobile Applications- There are several mobile apps that can serve as a great complement to the health counseling and education services that you provide for your clients. Learn more about mHealth in this free webinar archive.
  • Web-Based Support Program- Peer support is often a key for maintaining health and an online forum makes it easier for peers to interact with each other

To read the full article, visit us on SurroundHealth and also leave some comments!

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Key Barriers to eHealth Equity

In looking at the current and future eHealth landscape, it is important as healthcare professionals and educators to look at both the promise and barriers of technology. SurroundHealth member and community contributor, Christopher Kelly, MEd, discussed key barriers in our latest SurroundHealth article, which touches upon a publication from last spring entitled “White House Summit on Achieving eHealth Equity” as well as outcomes from a summit by the National Coordinator for Health IT, the Office for Minority Health and Zero Divide.

The barriers identified in the Summit encompass a variety of themes including: Educational, Attitudinal, Behavioral, Structural, Access, and Motivational. They are as follows:

  • Limited access to culturally appropriate, universally designed tools
  • Limited awareness or understanding of eHealth
  • Limited access to health technology
  • Limited digital literacy
  • Financial barriers (for both the patient and the organizations that support them)
  • Limited health literacy
  • Limited access to the internet
  • Privacy and security concerns

To learn more about best practices to overcoming these barriers, read the full article on SurroundHealth:

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Supporting women’s heart health by going RED

Are you wearing red today? SurroundHealth, along with our parent company, HealthEd, is participating in National Wear Red Day to show our support and advocacy for women’s heart health. Rooted in education, we feel that the best way to be heart healthy is to educate yourself and your loved ones. So today we are sharing some of our favorite resources on heart health for women:

  • The Heart Truth®- The Heart Truth is a national awareness and prevention campaign about heart disease in women sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Heart Truth campaign includes the following three components: professional education, patient education, and public awareness.
In support of National Go Red Day, HealthEd/SurroundHealth employees wore their best reds!

In support of National Go Red Day, HealthEd/SurroundHealth employees wore their best reds!

Share your thoughts. Let us know if you are celebrating National Go Red Day and what your best practices are for staying heart healthy and educating your patients and clients.

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How technology will help fuel healthcare in 2014

It’s no secret that technology has been making a huge impact on healthcare and will continue to do so more prominently in years to come. But, with so much information being thrown around everywhere we turn, it’s useful to look at the big picture simplified into different buckets to get an idea of what to look out for this year. A recent guest post on SurroundHealth by internet tech writer, Rose Haywood, shares an overview of 4 tech trends in healthcare for 2014.

These are the four trends Haywood mentions in her article and our thoughts on why they are important.

Wearable technology- The growing availability and use of wearable devices is making it much easier for one to keep track of their daily activity and health. Even better, many of these devices can easily sync up with phones and tablets for more convenient use and tracking.

Even smarter devices- Devices now in development are said to be equipped with advanced technology that will be very useful for those with dietary restrictions. For example, upcoming technology is set to scan food for allergens, chemicals and nutrients, as well as monitor and test cholesterol levels.

Virtual doctor visits- Imagine not leaving your house or sitting in a waiting room to see the doctor. This may be your future, as technology advancements are making it easier to patients to access their doctors from a remote location. This could be especially useful for patients who are homebound.

3D printing- 3D printers have the ability to create essential medical resources, including hearing aids and prosthetic limbs. As this technology advances, these printers may be creating blood vessels and skin.


To read the full article, “4 Tech Trends in Healthcare for 2014,” visit us on SurroundHealth.

How will these trends be impacting the healthcare workforce? Stay tuned for a follow-up article, coming soon!

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3 Public Health Hot Topics for 2014

At the beginning of every New Year, experts and professionals take a look at the past year’s hot topics, advancements, and opportunities for growth. With this, predictions are made for what hot topics will arise as the year progresses and what others in the industry may expect.

SurroundHealth member, Tammy Pilisuk, MPH, gave us her insights for the realm of public health in our latest SurroundHealth article, “Public Health Top 10 List for 2014”. Here are the three off of her list:

1. ACA: exchanges/Medicaid expansion. Despite ACA critics, web portal issues will have been a small blip and the real challenges will begin—helping newly insured consumers navigate and use the health care system. Meanwhile, Medicaid expansion will also be successfully transitioning 8.9 million formerly uninsured low-income Americans in 24 states on to Medicaid.  Navigators would certainly help. And let’s put this tool to good use: Helping Consumers Understand and Use Health Insurance in 2014.  Now get out there and give ‘em health care.

2. HPV vaccine uptake. A lot of attention was brought to bear on 2 facts: this past year’s HPV vaccine uptake numbers lost momentum, with a slight decline in the percentage of girls vaccinated between 2011 (34.8%) and 2012 (33.4%).  Despite the poor overall vaccination rates, research shows an impressive 56% decline in HPV infections  since the vaccine was introduced. Pilisuk predicts a redoubling of efforts to promote a strong provider recommendation for preteens—both boys and girls. Expect creative new approaches and best practices.

3. Health literacy and public health.   In November 2013, the IOM convened its Health Literacy Roundtable to specifically reframe  health literacy as a public health issue. This is a terrific opportunity for us to look at how we incorporate HL into our public health infrastructure. A survey of state health departments, presented at the meeting, found that many health departments either did not participate in HL activities or did not have a way to recognize that they did. Let’s see where it leads.

To read the full Top 10 list, visit us on SurroundHealth.

What are your predictions for the year?

Feel free to share your ideas for the upcoming year in any healthcare topic area—we’d be happy to hear from you, either on SurroundHealth or in the comment section below!

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