Digital technologies have the power to rewrite every aspect of health care. In anticipation of this seismic shift, Colleen Young founded one of Canada’s most vibrant online communities, #hcsmca, five years ago to help reimagine health care and make it more open and connected.
Over those five years the Health Care Social Media Canada (#hcsmca) community has brought together health communicators, researchers, practitioners and patients from across Canada through a collective vision to drive social collaboration for better health and health care.
Weekly #hcsmca Twitter discussions have tackled everything from putting health care onto election agendas, to exploring the influence of the social web in health promotion and broadening accessibility, to exploring the shifting paradigm of health care privacy. Virtual chats have been punctuated by face-to-face meetings (called tweetups) in cities across the country.
This national group met for a full day workshop to solve a big e-health problem for the first time at the 2016 Quality Forum.
This event brought together national thought leaders to explore how digital communications impact quality of care, support patient-provider co-design, contribute to research and knowledge translation, and lead to interdisciplinary decision-making. They tackled specific issues as determined by the #hcsmca community — and worked together to put forward solutions.
Materials are being created as a result of the workshop to document how organizations across Canada can use digital communication to improve the care that they provide for patients.