Aug 252015
 
Tim Heywood

Tim Heywood

A few months on, here’s some reflections from Tim Heywood on the impact Twitter can and has had on an event like the 1000 Lives Improvement National Learning Event.

At the most recent 1000 Lives Improvement National Learning Event, Paul Harris from Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board explained how his team had been working to improve the experience of oral surgery for people with learning difficulties.

His team created have created the idea of  a ‘SPA’ Day (Soothing Patient’s Anxiety). They focus on the person’s fears and anxiety, and to try find out enough about their individual interests to find unique ways to bring an element of fun into the process.

For those of us who were at the event, it was great to hear the passionate way Paul spoke about his work, but there were only about 300 people in the room. It was the way in which people in the room responded on Twitter that made a massive difference to the wider impact and created new opportunities to connect health professionals.

Massive response

We always encourage people who attend the National Learning Events to join in on Twitter, but it is rare to receive such a strong response to one talk. Paul spoke for about five minutes and generated an incredible number of mentions from people who were inspired and enthused by his work.

Paul wasn’t on Twitter at the start of the day, but the 1000 Lives Communications Team quickly helped him to set up with an account so he could start responding to what people were saying.

As the Twitter response spread, the Chief Executive of his organisation (who had not been at the event) was brought into the conversation and the profile of his work was raised within his own organisation as well as to the wider network of health professionals across Wales and beyond viewing it on Twitter.

The response to Paul and his team on Twitter is a great example of how social media can help support, promote and spread simple innovation and excellent practice across the healthcare community.

We interviewed Paul at the learning event – you can hear him in his own words here:

Tim Heywood is acting Director of 1000 Lives Improvement. Follow him on Twitter @timjhey and join the conversation with us @1000LivesPlus.

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