Saturday, October 29, 2011

Using GoAnimate to create Case Scenarios

Case scenarios are critical in medical education.  They make the content more real and applicable to work and thus add value.  This point was borne out during a recent course I co-directed on the use of technology in medical education.  As a part of the course, physicians worked in teams to create eLearning modules.

4 out of the 5 teams chose to use an animated video to introduce their module.  One of these team chose Xtranormal for their video but the 3 other teams chose GoAnimate.  Physicians found it relatively easy to use these tools.  

One of the most striking examples of these videos was one to help introduce the importance of describing a skin lesion.  

Besides priming the learner for clinical content, these videos can be used as lead ins for training on communication skills or focused history taking.  
Here is a link to an animated video to lead in to a discussion on communicating with an Angry Patient.

Education technology folks working with faculty in medical schools or with residency programs should consider introducing these educators to use of animated videos in their teaching.

Summary of advantages of animated videos for medical education:

  1. Relatively easy to create
  2. Can be embedded or linked from any eLearning content or Learning Management System
  3. Makes the course content more real and thus adds value
  4. Makes eLearning more fun
  5. Can you used as basis for a face to face discussion with learners
  6. No HIPAA issues
  7. Easy to share/disseminate

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Can physician adopt technology in Medical Education?

I was invited to help organize a 5 day course on use of technology in medical education for about 40 physicians.  Part of the course consists of the physicians working in small groups over the 5 days to create eLearning module that they would present to the rest of the class on the last day.

Over the first few days of the course we covered principles of instructional design, various tools for creating interactivity, various web 2.0 tools, theories of learning and knowledge and the community of inquiry model.

Today is the evening of the third day of the course and here are some very gratifying signs.

One of the physicians created this amazing first blog post.

Participants created incredible flowcharts and storyboards

And they worked together in very active groups

To cap if off one physician made our day by using some of the tools we demonstrated to create this animated video
GoAnimate.comThank You Liz, Tom and Neil!

by Aaron Ang

Have 2 more days to go but it already has been an incredibly positive, humbling and gratifying experience. Can't wait to see the final product demonstrations!  But I can already say the answer to the question in the title of this post is an emphatic YES!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs - What if he had taken on the HIT challenge?

Yesterday, I saw something that made me think of the difference between a "techy" and a "regular" doctor's approach to technology.
We were installing an upgrade to a popular medical dictation software.  The upgrade was over the network and was to occur seamlessly overnight.
Unfortunately, in the morning when providers logged in, they saw a big message in the middle of their screens saying the software would now be installed and during this process, they would not be able to use various software including MS Outlook.
To make matters worse, this was a long install process and the message would stay on top of all other windows.

When the IT person was told about the problem the response was,
"What's the big deal?  Just drag the message window down so it does not interfere with other windows, and use web Outlook.  What if you can't dictate you notes for a while?  Just use the keyboard!"
I am sure a number of docs had figured that out and went about their work.  But many were complaining...

The world is made up of 2 kinds of people (simplistic view with lots of assumptions):

  1. Those who love Linux because it is open and they can tinker with it and troubleshoot it and they get a thrill out of making a difficult thing work.  Some of these same people would prefer a PC over a Mac because of similar reasons.  They love messing with the hardware and drivers and they know how not to get viruses.  They would hate a device where they cannot modify the OS or hardware!
    I would venture to suggest that these same people may also get a kick out of fixing their furnace and replacing a faucet.
    These might also be the folks in the IT industry.
  2. Those who want to take a device out of the box and just have it work.  They want to use the device to do what it is bought for without worrying about trouble shooting the device.

Fixing things and finding workarounds is fun and gives the person satisfaction from having solved a tough problem.  But when time is short, when there is important work to be done, when the interface creates inefficiencies, it causes a lot of frustration.  Having worked on both sides of the fence (Clinical and IT) it is quite obvious that the 2 sides don't speak the same language, are clearly not on the same page.  Our current EHR systems are a classic example.

Physicians probably don't know what exactly they want but they know what they have is not ideal.  They want someone to figure out what their needs are and create something simple that works that actually helps them take better care of their patients in less time.

I really wonder if Steve Jobs ever got to see one of these EHR interfaces and work-flows, saw the chaos of a clinician's day, the frustrations, the inefficiencies, ....
An iPad is arguably the best media consumption device ever made.  EHRs have a ton of data, and docs need a device with the right form factor and data visualization to consume information about their patients as they walk from room to room.

Would he have taken on the challenge to fix it?  Would he have made a difference in people's lives by improving care via better HIT products?  Did we lose a huge opportunity in his untimely death?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Blogger Dynamic Views

Recently Blogger announced the Dynamic View Templates which can make your blog look very stylish and also increase the speed with which it will load.  So now you can allow a large number of your posts to show up on one page and let the user choose which one to read instead of scrolling through "older and newer" or other navigation methods.
There are seven templates to choose from.  I like the magazine view (shown here) but you don't have to decide on one. All the templates offer a drop down to choose a preferred view to the reader.

I did not convert my template to one of the dynamic view templates.  Instead I added a HTML/javascript gadget to the top right side that lets readers choose to see the blog in a dynamic view.  There are still browsers out there that will not support a dynamic view template.  At some point I will probably convert to a dynamic template.