Professional Communication and Its Importance in the Doctor’s Office

It isn’t what you say, it’s how you say it.

This is one of the cardinal rules of professional communication, and it’s important to remember. Think of the message you’re trying to convey as a passenger in a car. Pulling out your everyday language would be like showing up to a company event in a beat-up clunker with mismatched paint. It will get your point to the destination, but it won’t be well-received showing up in that ride. If you use professional language free of jargon, slang, and other colorful expressions though then it’s like you’re delivering your point in a sleek, shiny sedan. It’s obvious in your expression that you know what you’re talking about, and you’re here to work.

Professional Communication in the Doctor’s Office

professional communication in a doctor's officeNowhere is proper communication more important than it is in the doctor’s office. Not only do you need to put on a professional face for patients and co-workers, but what you say could quite literally alter someone’s life. So rather than using jargon to explain a medical decision to a patient, or a slang term to relate a patient’s problem to a doctor, it’s best to use the correct terminology.

It’s also important to dot your I’s and cross your T’s.

It isn’t just your spoken words either. With so much of the medical field depending on patient files it’s important for you to beable to express yourself in text as well. Every report, every chart, could be the key to the next doctor providing the right care. That’s why it’s so important for you to make sure your writing is legible and sensical, otherwise it could lead to serious problems down the line when someone whom you don’t know tries to interpret the guide you left behind.

For more information on the importance of professional communication in the doctor’s office simply contact us today!

Ebola 101: What Challenges Do Physicians Face Treating This Disease?

Ebola has been a biological bogeyman for decades, but it’s only recently that the disease has made its way into the United States. With fewer than 10 cases and only a single fatality it could be argued that the response to the disease was proper. However, could that fatality have been avoided? And what problems are physicians facing trying to treat this disease in what is supposedly one of the best health care systems in the world?

Ebola 101: What Challenges Do Physicians Face?

Ebola is a deadly condition whose symptoms bear a resemblance to influenza (fever, coughing, weakness, vomiting, etc.) until bruising and bleeding starts. Fortunately Ebola is transmitted by close, personal contact (including contact with a patient’s bodily fluids) which means that it’s much more difficult to spread than an airborne virus. When examined from the outside Ebola should be a fairly simple disease to contain and control, and once it’s contained the treatment should be routine.

Should be is the key phrase here.

Ebola 101: What Challenges Do Physicians Face?The primary challenge that physicians face treating Ebola is actually containing it. The disease first has to be identified, and patient placed in isolation, and then physicians need to ascertain that no one else caught the disease from the patient. Given the fear associated with Ebola people may be unlikely to come forward if they were exposed, and this can lead to problems with the disease’s spread.

Another issue that physicians often face is the lack of training and proper protocol regarding Ebola. Whether it’s due to a lack of proper equipment (full body suits that will protect the doctor from a patient’s fluids are a primary concern, and they’re also something of a rarity), or simply not having a plan that’s been communicated to everyone on staff there are often breaches that result in the disease spreading to others when it shouldn’t. Part of the issue is funding, and part of it is experience since those who aren’t familiar with the CDC’s protocols for personal protection may find they make mistakes when they try to follow the guidelines.

Overcoming These Challenges

These challenges are not going to vanish overnight, which is why physicians must take necessary steps to overcome them. Making sure proper equipment is in place is a necessity, and making sure that staff can use that equipment through classes and drilling is also a necessity.

Another necessity is making sure that the protocols put in place are easy to follow, and that they work. That’s where Avidity Medical Design comes into the picture. With years of experience in the healthcare industry, and a thorough knowledge of anatomy and physiology, Avidity Medical Design can develop curriculum to train your staff on guidelines and strategies for treating patients with the Ebola virus. This comprehensive training is ideal for physicians, as well as nurses and other healthcare practitioners, who must address the demands of treating patients with the Ebola virus.

For more information on how Avidity Medical Design can help you simply contact us today!

Brain-Computer Interfaces: What They Mean for the Future Students of Healthcare Education

Do you remember the old sci-fi movies and TV shows that we grew up with? Do you remember how you felt when you saw Luke Skywalker, William Shatner and Arnold Schwarzenegger using out of this world technology that you thought was the creation of movie magic. What if I told you that the future is already here?

Technology has grown and matured over the last 25 years to a point where man and machine are slowly becoming one. A new and exciting area of tech that is receiving a lot of buzz right now is brain-computer interface technology.

brain computer interfacesWhat is Brain-Computer Technology?

A brain-computer interface is a direct communication pathway between the brain and an electrical device. The neurons of the brain are measured with electrodes, which then sends an electronic signal to a device such as a prosthetic leg or arm to simulate human movements.

There are currently two approaches that are yielding results in field studies. The non-invasive brain-computer interface measure activity from large groups of neurons with electrodes placed on the surface of the scalp (EEG). Invasive brain-computer interface measure activity from single neurons with miniature wires placed inside the brain.

Who Is Using Brain-Computer Interface Today?

The United States military has always been on the cutting edge of developing and using new emerging technology in all branches of the services.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency awarded Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of California, San Francisco, contracts worth $56 million to create electrical brain implants capable of treating seven psychiatric conditions, including addiction, depression, and borderline personality disorder.

The military is trying to overcome an epidemic of mental illness among veterans, including suicide rates three or four times that of the general public due to long combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. This is why the military is turning to neurological devices.

The Brain Chip

Doctors in Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and researchers from Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio have helped a quadriplegic man move his hand for the first time with a brain chip.

Ian Burkhart, the man who was injured in a driving accident was the first patient to use Neurobridge. The Neuobridge system is made of a computer chip implanted in the brain, a brain-computer interface and a sleeve able to send electric signals to the forearm and hand of the patient.

This groundbreaking technology proves the brain-computer interface is more than just a fantasy it is a reality.

What Does This Mean For The Future Of Healthcare Education?

What this means for the future of healthcare education is that learning is going to have to be more cross categorical than ever before.

It won’t be enough for a student to know about basic brain functions and muscle interaction. They will need to understand mechanics, engineering, and software development just to name a few categories.

The healthcare system and healthcare technology are rapidly evolving. Healthcare education must evolve with it to meet the demands of today. I can help you develop a curriculum that can meet this demand. The future is here. Contact me with any questions you may have today

Ten Effective Ways to Use LinkedIn for Healthcare Education Networking

ten ways to use LinkedIn for healthcare education networkingLinkedIn has over 300 million users and 2 new users join every second. These statistics put LinkedIn well on its way to achieving its stated goal of 3 billion total users. This immense and fast-growing network of professionals is a gold mine to numerous professions, and healthcare education is one of them. Here are ten ways to use LinkedIn for healthcare education networking:

  1. Start big – A simple initial search for “healthcare educator” returns over 74,000 results. Large numbers are encouraging when starting out because it means you have lots of room to narrow your focus and find the contacts you want to make.
  2. Narrow the field – Increase the fidelity of your results by adding on additional keywords to your initial search. Using the example search above, the next step would be to add a location, institution or specialty. For example, “healthcare educator Iowa” returns a more manageable 900+ results. Keep narrowing until you have between 10 and 25 results to work with.
  3. Reach out – Once you have sufficiently narrowed your results to a pool of professionals that best suit your interests, take the time to read through their profiles. Hit the connect button and add to your network.
  4. Make sure your profile is complete – Listing degrees and certifications, like M.S. in Instructional and Performance Technology or certified in Dreamweaver will allow your profile to show up in searches done by other healthcare educators.
  5. Join relevant groups – There are at least 5 groups for healthcare educators. Groups allow you to interact with large groups of people that may not have appeared in your previous searches.
  6. Leave your comfort zone – Search for certifications that you might aspire to but don’t yet hold. Networking with other professionals who have already achieved your goals can be a valuable source of lessons learned.
  7. Remember your past – Think back to individuals you may have worked with or gone to school with who had interesting ideas for healthcare education. Chances are they have had a chance to implement those ideas or formulate new ones. They can be a valuable source of inspiration.
  8. Read the articles – In addition to individuals and positions, you can search LinkedIn for articles on healthcare education, tools and technology. Connect with authors of articles that you find interesting or informative.
  9. Follow up on views – As you spend more time on LinkedIn and make more connections, you will receive more views – other people looking at your profile. Be sure to view their profiles after receiving notification, and make connections.
  10. Go beyond the first level – Chances are that the individuals you connect with have other worthy connections. Don’t be afraid to look through their profiles and connect with healthcare educators once or twice removed.

If you have questions about any aspect of healthcare education, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

The Latest Trends in Cancer Treatment for 2014: Targeted Cancer Drugs

the latest trends in cancer treatment 2014One of the latest trends in cancer treatment for 2014 is the use of targeted drugs that attack the genetic “on switch” for cancer. According to recent story on CBS News, one of these new approaches to fighting cancer is a type of targeted cancer therapy that could one day eliminate conventional chemotherapy as we know it.

Chemotherapy, as it is currently practiced, involves delivering powerful cancer-fighting drugs intravenously to the site of a tumor. While this type of treatment can reduce or even eliminate a tumor, it also wreaks havoc on surrounding healthy tissue. This makes cancer patients ill and weak. Conventional chemotherapy is like World War II era carpet bombing: a powerful attack but with a lot of collateral damage remaining.

Targeted drugs are more like smart bombs. A recent research project describes a new treatment that uses the tumors own genetic sequence to attack it. Researchers sequenced 10 genes in lung cancer patients and in two thirds of them found the “on switch” that causes cancers to manifest and grow. The new drug, an oral medication that is selected according to the results of the genetic sequencing of the tumors, turns that switch to “off,” keeping the cancer under control for a significant period of time.

Targeted drugs that attack the genetic “on switch” for cancer do not currently represent a cure for cancer. What they may do, however, is to turn cancer into a chronic disease, rather than a fatal disease. Although there may still be some adverse health effects, these drugs may keep the cancer from metastasizing, or spreading to other areas of the body, thereby allowing patients to live longer and healthier lives. Targeted drugs may hopefully work for many different types of cancer, and may buy patients enough time to allow real cures to come through the pipeline.

For more information contact us.

Positive Prognosis for Mobile Learning for Healthcare Professionals

Mobile learning for healthcare professionals is alive and well. Many healthcare facilities are cashing in on the ease and convenience of mobile devices for learning and continuing education credits. The methods of mobile learning are also changing as technology advances and becomes accessible to a wide array of professionals in more areas around the world.

1. Mobile Phones

As mobile phones get smarter, their ability to teach increases. Even the poorest countries, such as Nepal, have found they can use smartphones to learn more about proper medical care and research. Professionals are able to read, take pictures, share videos and discuss issues with others in remote corners of the world. Questions are answered faster and answers are accessible in the office right away.

2. Tablets

mobile learning for healthcareTablets are becoming more versatile and much easier to use in healthcare learning. They can stand alone and present information in a larger format, allowing students to see details from further away. Students can work through lessons on the tablet and gain hands-on experience in medical case management. Larger screens lead to easier online test taking, clearer demonstrations, and opportunities to review medical details that may otherwise be missed on a smaller screen.

3. Laptops and Desktops

Many healthcare professionals around the world use the standard computer simply because it saves time. There is no commute time to a classroom for continuing education courses, test taking is instantaneous, and classes can be completed in real time. The overhead cost in time saved equals a more successful practice. A higher number of healthcare facilities are using mobile learning to keep employees on site and to save valuable time.

Mobile learning has opened so many doors for the healthcare field that it is nearly replacing brick-and-mortar learning. It makes sense to keep doctors and nurses on site while they learn, and it costs less to bring an educator into the building. Learning from a mobile device is the education of the future, and it can be expected to continue in the healthcare field.

To talk more about this, or anything else, please Contact Us. Thanks!

Welcome to The Avidity Medical Design Blog

Avidity Medical Design specializes in all areas of healthcare instructional design. We develop eLearning courses for students interested in transitioning to healthcare careers, continuing education and medical certification courses for current healthcare professionals. We also provide instructional design consulting services for K-12 and postsecondary institutions. Future blogs will address best practices in mobile technology, cloud computing in healthcare education, theories of healthcare instructional design, developments in healthcare education, and trends in allied health and medical technology.