I’m not sure when it happened, but it seems like algorithms and “pathways” have overtaken healthcare. I’m not complaining; I love it. I’m a visual person, so when people explain processes to me, I tend to draw them as I’m listening or reviewing my notes. I’ve found that algorithms turn gray processes and care to black and white. They clarify exactly what everyone can and should do rather than leave that information in one person’s head. I frequently make – and revise – algorithms. They’re easy, artful, practical, and just plain smart work.
I make algorithms one of two ways – in Microsoft Visio or in Microsoft PowerPoint. You could also use Microsoft Publisher, but I prefer not to use it for algorithm creation simply because I know PowerPoint shortcuts and tools much better. Visio is intended to develop algorithms and pathways. It’s incredibly easy to use (especially if you know how to use PowerPoint or Publisher) and takes all the guesswork out of making straight lines and centering text. If you don’t have Visio but make a lot of algorithms (or are planning to do so), purchasing Visio is well worth the investment. No, Microsoft Visio is not paying me for this article; I just love Visio that much. I know, it’s geekily comical. I am unashamed.
If you don’t have Visio, you can still develop your algorithms in PowerPoint. It may take a little longer than Visio, but hey – it works. Open a blank file. You’ll only need to use one PowerPoint slide for this. Start adding your quadrilateral shapes, overlaid text boxes, and add in arrows. Capture or highlight all the items on the slide, group them, and then right-click to save the file as a picture to then insert into other documents. It’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it.
Do you use or create algorithms in your healthcare setting?
An August 2013 Kaiser Health Tracking Poll revealed “more than four-in-ten Americans think the new health care law has been repealed, overturned in court or are just unsure whether it remains the law.” The same amount of people surveyed stated they trust “a lot” the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, information their doctors or nurses give them – the highest among even federal and state agencies and well above insurance companies. Oddly, though, most Americans are not receiving information about the ACA, including exchange marketplace information, from healthcare professionals but rather news media and family and friends, both of which rank lower on survey participants’ trust scales for the information. A full 65% admit they have not sought information on the ACA, and about half of those surveyed reported experience comparing health insurance plans in the past.
The Kaiser Family Foundation poll includes additional, enlightening information, including data pertinent to specific demographic groups. Healthcare professionals are trusted sources of ACA information, but clearly we are not having these discussions with patients or the public. Perhaps it’s because even the experts are still novices on the ACA and we lack the education and confidence to share this dialogue with others? If you find yourself in this predicament, here’s a synopsis of helpful, easy-to-understand resources:
Open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace begins October 1, 2013, which is right around the corner. It will last until March 31, 2014, and coverage begins January 1, 2014. Everyone can access the Marketplace at www.healthcare.gov or www.cuidadodesalud.gov, and you can prepare for the Marketplace before October 1st via numerous ways.
Have you sought information about the ACA and how it will impact you as well as your patients? Are you having these conversations with your patients to ensure they’re informed about the ACA and how it will (or already has) impact their care?
Kaiser Family Foundation. (August 28, 2013). Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: August 2013. Retrieved September 3, 2013, from http://kff.org/health-reform/poll-finding/kaiser-health-tracking-poll-august-2013/
I’m pretty keen on statistics. Writing, speaking, and leading – I can drop some numbers on you in no time. The statistics shared through the Thunder Road film, though, stopped me in my tracks.
My dad is a veteran. Several of my uncles are veterans. My brother is a veteran. I have family and friends serving at home and abroad right now. There are more than 22 in my quick calculations. I cannot imagine any of them taking their own lives. Perhaps they have thought of it, though, based on their experiences and enduring post-traumatic stress disorders, or PTSD.
I can’t share the Thunder Road information as good as the film writers, so please take a moment to view the video below, providing more information about PTSD in veterans as well as the film itself.
Consider supporting the Thunder Road film creation; there are some pretty cool incentives for contributing. Share this information with your colleagues. Change your practice to provide appropriate care for PTSD among veterans.
They’ve fought for us and others. It’s time we fight for them.
I’ve had my fair share of stale PowerPoint presentations. Trust me, I’ve given many of them, too. I find the presentations I enjoy the most have clean aesthetics, minimal text, and provide opportunities for storytelling. Considering I like those things in presentations, I choose to present this way, as well.
I had the lovely opportunity to speak on behalf of the Nurse Oncology Education Program to a group of nurses and nurse faculty at the beautiful Moncrief Cancer Institute in Fort Worth on Saturday. One presentation was directed for faculty on how to make oncology content “stick” in undergraduate curricula, something I’ve grown passionate about as a result of working with faculty over several years. The second presentation was about colorectal cancer screening.
Both topics can be rather dull, so I try to make the content come alive in any way possible – mostly with stories, vocal tone, and creative PowerPoint backgrounds. In preparation for the presentation, I couldn’t find any background I really liked, so I just made my own with simple shapes, lines, transparency settings, and colors. One of the nursing faculty members asked for the templates, so I thought I’d share, share, share in true Nursetopia fashion.
You can download the “Notepad & Tape” PowerPoint template here and the “Screen” PowerPoint template here. (Any large, unused space likely included a picture.) Enjoy!
“Simple” and “easy” are two very different concepts that people often mistakenly use interchangeably. Remaining poised in difficult times is a simple thought; it is by no means easy.
A recent Minute with Maxwell coaching video reminded me that poise is important. “Keep steady.” Oh, how I needed that one minute this week. Now for the “simple” application…oh my.
The countdown to the 38th ONS Congress is rapidly coming to an end. As Chair of the Congress Planning Team, I’ve been looking forward to this conference for over a year now, and it’s really nice to see the collective work of numerous people come to fruition.
For the first time, ONS is live-streaming three of the signature Congress sessions – the New Drug Update on Thursday, April 25, from 4:00 – 5:30 PM (Eastern Time); the Mara Mogensen Flaherty Lecture - The Patient’s Voice: Are We Hard of Hearing? - on Saturday, April 27, from 8:30 – 10:00 AM; and the ONS Clinical Lecture - Effective Symptom Management to Optimize Care with Oral Cancer - on Saturday, April 27, from 4:00 – 5:30 PM.
To view the cornerstone lectures, simply visit the live streaming area at the time of the lecture, and enjoy – free of charge! Seriously, these lectures will be well-worth your time. I look forward to each of these annual sessions, which are different each year, but hands down – my all-time top Congress moment each year is the “Mara Lecture.” It has literally changed my nursing practice annually in some shape or form. That’s saying something year after year! And, the New Drug Update session will help all nurses and healthcare professionals – not only oncology specialized ones – to remain current on recently approved medications as well as glean helpful tips to differentiate all of the targeted therapies.
Be sure to join in on the back-channel ONS Congress conversations on Twitter via #ONSCongress.
Do. Not. Miss. These. Sessions!
Researchers at Northwestern University would like to talk with adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer survivors about their experiences with thinking about whether or how to have a family.
Cancer survivors eligible include those:
- Diagnosed after age 16
- Who have ever been open to having or adopting children after diagnosis (regardless of whether or not they have children now)
- Who are male and of all sexual orientations including straight, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or other.
This is a one-time phone interview, and is expected to last about 45 minutes to an hour. After the interview, participants will receive a $20 gift card as a small token of appreciation. Please see the complete recruitment flyer for all details, including study contact information.
Please share this information to help researchers and the cancer community at-large understand the impact of treatment on family planning among young men surviving cancer!
Copyright HiMY SYeD/photopia, Flickr.com
Two of my three kiddos are battling influenza type A, one with a bonus of strep throat and the other with the added joy of pink eye. Needless to say, my home is one giant petri dish at the moment. Strict routine hand-washing and disinfectant wipes are the norm today. It’s made for lots of lying around and cuddling, which means mommy can still be productive while catching up on the ole RSS reader. It made me happy in the midst of body fluids, whines, and supportive medication administration. Here’s a sampling of what I’ve read lately:
When Color Could Kill: Stories from the History of Paint, from Houzz
Who is the Healthcare Consumer?, from HealthWorks Collective
Linda Scheu and Angela Baldasare on Using Good Presentation Principles to Increase Potential Impact, from AEA365
Ambiverts, Problem-Finders, and the Surprising Secrets of Selling Your Ideas, from Brain Pickings
Business Can’t Solve the World’s Problems – But Capitalism Can, from Dan Pallotta at the Harvard Business Review Blog
Medical Consent App is a Great Idea but Raises Controversial Security Implications, from iMedicalApps
Lessons from the Ordinary, from Intentional Leadership
Organizations that Can’t Fall…Die on Their Feet, from Not Running A Hospital
How Healthy is Your City, State, or Country? 40 Web Apps and Infographics to Find Out, from The Health Hut
Rio de Janeiro puts QR codes in its mosaic pavements, from So much SCIENCE!
Invasion, from A Molecular Matter
A Look Into the Archives: Giant Sequoia, from the American Museum of Natural History
How Our Brains Judge Risk and Effort, from Neurotic Thought
21 Emotions for Which there are No English Words, from PopSci via Radiolab
If you’re not following these blogs/sites, consider adding them to your RSS reader now. You just might need a plethora of reading material at the tips of your fingers.
What are you reading these days?
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) emailed a reminder to NCI Cancer Bulletin readers stating the longtime electronic periodical is ceasing publication due to budget changes. All previous Bulletins will remain archived for reference.
The NCI Cancer Bulletin has been a favorite of mine for several years, chock full of current research and hot topics within the oncology profession. It’s now moving to a more social-sharing information model, so be sure to connect with NCI on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
It was bound to happen. So long, NCI Cancer Bulletin; so long.
I subscribe to a lot of “daily” emails chock full of news, stories, and yes, even
cartoons art. There are two emails that I look forward to currently – one from StoryPeople that contains whimsical drawings accompanied with inspiring and thoughtful narrative, and the other “A Minute with Maxwell,” a one-minute leadership/coaching video focusing on a different topic each day. Yes, they are juxtaposed, but they definitely complement one another.
Daily emails can get annoying if you don’t utilize them and only end up deleting them each day; they can become like spam if you’re not attentive to them.
Do you subscribe to daily emails? What are the ones you look forward to each day? Which ones bring value to your life?