Celebrating our Nurses: Representing the Front Lines of Patient Care

“When you’re a nurse, you know that every day you will touch a life or a life will touch yours.” —Anonymous

This week is National Nurses Week. SurroundHealth would like to give a big shout out to all the nurses in our community for all the hard work they do in caring for and educating individuals in a variety of healthcare settings. The work you do is so important and we appreciate every single one of you!

Celebrating in typical SH fashion, we are sharing some resources for any nurse (or future nurse):

  • Nursing School Hub- Know someone who is interested in a career in nursing? Here you will find quality information and advice about the best traditional schools, the top online nursing schools, careers in nursing, and more.
  • Article: Why Nurses Need to Share their Knowledge- Nurses are the largest group of healthcare professionals and the largest group of health educators. Because of their prominent role, they’re often needed to interpret and share their vast knowledge. Find out what nurses can do to help share more effectively.
  • 3 Emphatic Listening Tips for Better Nursing Communication- How can you achieve better nursing communication by listening? Here are some tips from NurseTogether.com to help you listen to understand.
  • 8 important tips for nurses who are ready to make a career change- The following articles can help lessen the stress of finding your new niche and help ease the transition by providing you the tools needed to determine where you want to go in nursing.

Need ideas on celebrating National Nurses Week? Take a look at these helpful suggestions from the American Nurses Association (ANA). There are ideas for advocacy, events, media outreach, and promotion.

nurses week 2014

Posted in Current Events, Health Careers | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Patient Engagement Panel at DTC National

Last week our parent company, HealthEd, convened a panel at the DTC National conference on patient engagement.  We invited three leaders to the conversation – Sam Stolpe, a pharmacist from the Pharmacy Quality Alliance, Kate Berry, former CEO of the National eHealth Collaborative and Hope Warshaw, a nationally known diabetes educator. The conversation was wide-ranging, starting with the basics (what patient is engagement really?) and moving on to the practical (how can marketers and healthcare communicators create solutions to engage patients?)

Here's the DTC panel in action last week!

Here’s the DTC panel in action last week!

A number of themes came through during the panel. First was the role of health IT in facilitating engagement through access to that most basic of health information – the medical record.  Kate Berry asked by a show of hands how many people had access to their own patient record.  Only a scattering of hands went up – a clear indication of how far we still need to go to achieve the intent of Meaningful Use. There are lots of reasons to believe that when interoperability between EMRs occurs and patients finally have access to their electronic health record, it will be the single most powerful moment in the movement towards the empowered patient.

A second theme voiced by Sam Stolpe is the importance of building patient education events into the healthcare system. Sam spoke about an innovative approach at pharmacy where medication refill schedules are coordinated so that customers who are on multiple meds receive all their refills at once.  The pharmacist then can have an effective conversation with the patient about their medications and changes that might have occurred in the past 30 days.  The program is a true win-win for the pharmacy (creating loyalty) and the patient. Moreover, it turns the transactional event of picking up medicine into an educational moment.

The third theme that was passionately supported by Hope Warshaw is the critical role of the patient educator – the human being who is at the end of a phone, across the counter in the pharmacy, or in the exam room. Patient Engagement doesn’t happen in a vacuum.  First, there needs to be clear, well-designed health information (something we know a lot about at HealthEd).  And there needs to be an educator who bridges understanding, expands on what patients know, and helps patients and caregivers to ask questions and take action that they wouldn’t make on their own.

So, what is Patient Engagement? Ask a room full of marketers or health care practitioners and you’d probably get a different answer from everyone. But with validated measures such as the Patient Activation Measure (from Insignia Health) the buzzword is being translated into a measurable construct. The PAM measure has been shown to be highly predictive of self-care and adherence behaviors. So, whether you call it Patient Engagement, Patient Activation or Patient Empowerment – it’s a process that takes supportive technology, plans and systems that embrace and support education and the utilization of educated and empathic agents who can engage patients in committing to taking positive healthy actions.

This blog wTodd_Greenwoodas authored by
Todd Greenwood, PhD, MPH,
VP, Innovation & Strategy, HealthEd

Posted in Miscellaneous, Patient / Health Education | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

SurroundHealth Spring Updates & Milestones

3 years and nearly 6,000 members.  It’s hard to believe how much we’ve grown over the past few years and how many talented and unique people we have met and collaborated with along the way. As we approach this member milestone, we’d like to give a big “Thanks!” to all of you for your continued support and contributions to the SurroundHealth community. A special shout out to all of our community contributors who have shared articles and resources with us.

Take a look at our top articles, to date:

Have you visited our SH webinar archive?

Here’s your chance to watch (or re-watch) all past SurroundHealth webinars and also access tools and resources share by some of the speakers.

Topics include health literacy, mhealth, numeracy, behavior change strategies, professional development- and more!

Also stay tuned for upcoming webinars in the future.

Share with us: What is your favorite part of SurroundHealth?

Join us in celebrating our birthday by sharing on Twitter your favorite things about SurroundHealth! Just tweet @SurroundHealth using #SHbday :)

If you’re not on Twitter, leave us a message on SurroundHealth—we love hearing from you!

Posted in Healthcare Webinars, Miscellaneous | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“Corporate Universities” and the Challenge of Retention

This blog is derived from a SurroundHealth article written by Christopher Kelly, Med, entitled, “Re-evaluating Our Approach to ‘Corporate Universities’, in which the approach to “corporate universities” or “academies” is re-evaluated.  These 2-3 week intensive trainings are meant to provide new associates with all the necessary content, tools and operating systems to drive successful business outcomes.

Kelly focused on the challenge of retention, questioning both the amount of information that an adult learner can retain and the rate at which the information is provided in these “training” programs. In speaking about evaluating current instructional design approaches, Kelly references Edgar Dale’s “Cone of Experience” that argues that adult learners remember:

  • 10% of what we read
  • 20% of what we hear
  • 30% of what we see
  • 50% of what we see and hear
  • 70% of what we say and write
  • 90% of what we do as a task – Simulate the real experience

Designing your corporate training program

How you are incorporating adult learning theories and more modern instructional design models in your corporate training program design? Leave us a comment or visit us on SurroundHealth. We would love to hear from you!

Read the full article here: http://surroundhealth.net/Topics/Education-and-Learning-approaches/Behavior-change-strategies/Articles/Re-evaluating-Our-Approach-to-Corporate-Universiti.aspx

Posted in Patient / Health Education | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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:

Posted in Healthcare Webinars, Patient / Health Education | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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)

Posted in Healthcare Webinars, Patient / Health Education | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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!

Posted in Miscellaneous | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment