We’re not always great at sharing stuff in the NHS. And if we do want to share stuff there can be lots of barriers that get in the way. Of course there are all sorts of circumstances in which it’s right to not share (personal confidentiality being an obvious one) but what about when sharing is a way to improve what you do and how you do it?
The idea of shareability is something we’re thinking about a lot in the mHealthHabitat programme. Starting with a blank canvas has been an opportunity to try out new ways of doing stuff and make use of digital tools which can help us work smarter and more openly. Sharing with each other as a team (we have no office base) is critical to getting things done; sharing our learning beyond the team is an important part of enabling us achieve our purpose of creating a habitat in Leeds where mHealth can flourish.
We haven’t got it quite right yet but we are busy building up the shareability factor as we go, and having a proper team now in place means we have a few more hands and heads to make this happen. Here are seven ways in which we are experimenting with being more sharey:
- Blogging it – we set up a blog as quickly as possible after we got off the blocks in January so that we had a web-based home for the habitat. We are not only capturing learning in bite-size blog post chunks for ourselves, but also making it available for anyone else who might be interested in what we’re up to or can make use of our experiences.
- Capturing and sharing it once – as we find new resources, great websites and interesting stuff we capture it straight on to various coggles which we’ve embedded on our website. That means that information we think is useful is shared by default rather than locked away in a word document. For example, you can find our ever-evolving mHealth landscape coggle here. We’re also in the process of setting up a Mendeley account so we can publically reference all the academic papers and other evidence we come across.
- Growing our networks – Twitter is my favourite networking tool and we set up our @mHealthHabitat Twitter account the minute we got started. We still need to do more work to get the relationships/broadcast balance right but we’re beginning to get there. We often live tweet from events and recently we helped run an #nhssm chat along with Project Ginsberg.
- The in person stuff – even though we’re just a little bit keen on all things digital, we know that sometimes nothing beats an in-person conversation, and that’s why we run our Heart of the Habitat workshops and Show and Tell evenings; but of course they each have their own hashtag and we live-tweet them as well so we can spread the conversation more widely. We curate them on Storify so we that we have a permanent record. Having a person dedicated to tweeting and responding is critical to successful event live-tweeting.
- Multi-media content – we know that the best sort of content for the web is a mix of different sorts of media, so a big priority for us is to start putting together short films and animations that help us reach people in accessible and friendly ways. Our new Pinterest account is a place to share pictures and photos from events. Lots more content to follow!
- Keeping in touch – some of our work overlaps with teams from other parts of the NHS and we’ve realised that the usual approach of getting lots of us to quarterly catch ups just isn’t going to cut it. So we’re experimenting with a WhatsApp group for messaging updates with one other team. It might work or it might not but where we can keep things simple and agile we’re up for giving it a go.
- Last but not least… in the NHS we are used to keeping our day-to-day work behind a firewall, and often for legitimate reasons. But for our programme we believe that sharing is useful – by making our projects visible we hope we can generate more connections and richer outputs. So we’ve started using Asana as a team communication and project management tool. Not only has it cut down on our emails but it’s meant we can see each project at a glance. We’ll be sharing a project dashboard on our website very soon.
The final point I’d like to make is that many of these tools work together and can be linked or embedded to increase shareability across the platforms.
I’m going to be talking about our mHealthHabitat programme and shareability in the Social Media Village at EHI Live on 4 November 2014. What could we be doing better or differently? Have you used different digital tools that have had a positive impact? I hope this post is useful to anyone thinking about increasing shareability of their projects or services 🙂