Hodges' Model: Welcome to the QUAD: December 2008

- learn about the conceptual framework Hodges' model. A tool that can help integrate HEALTH and SOCIAL CARE, INFORMATICS and EDUCATION. The model is situated, facilitates person-centredness, integrated - holistic care and reflective practice. A new site using Drupal is an ongoing aim - the creation of a reflective workbench. Email: h2cmng @ yahoo.co.uk Welcome

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Two workshops on Infrastructures in Health Care

'Infrastructure' is a word of our time with both reductionist and wholist connotations. The 4P's of PROCESS, POLICY, PURPOSE and PRACTICE can be found here together with at least several C's: COMMUNICATION, CO-ORDINATION, COLLABORATION and COMPLEXITY. So, here for 2009 is an infusion of the socio-technical at two health infrastructure events:

Call for Papers: 2nd International Workshop

Infrastructures for Health Care: Connecting practices across institutional and professional boundaries

June 18-19, 2009, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

The 1st international workshop: Infrastructures for Health Care was held at the Technical University of Denmark in June 2006. It attracted researchers, health care professionals, IT professionals, administrators, and others engaged in the development of infrastructures and new, integrated applications and services for improving the quality of health care services. The purpose of this 2nd international workshop is to continue this forum for discussing current issues and trends related to the integration and coordination of health care practices across institutional, organizational, and professional boundaries.

The health care sector is characterized by a worsening shortage of personnel and endlessly growing costs caused by the development of new treatments in combination with rising demands for treatment, which are associated with an aging population and an increase in chronic diseases. Against this backdrop, policy makers, health care professionals and researchers show an increased interest in innovative systems of care, which improve communication, coordination and collaboration among patients/citizens, care providers in primary care and specialty services (clinics, hospitals, emergency departments, old people's homes etc.). Concepts like shared care, integrated care and continuity of care are indicative of ambitions of creating coherent and effective health care services for patients that require complex - and often long-term - care. Although these concepts are often used in relation to projects that seek to enhance communication, coordination, and collaboration around particular patient groups, they also have bearing on more general visions of reorganizing health care.

Infrastructural arrangements - such as electronic patient records, classification schemes, accounting systems, communication standards, and quality systems - play a crucial role in these new models of care, and it is increasingly hard to imagine integrative initiatives that do not have a strong IT component. This raises a multitude of questions about the - actual and imagined - role and impact of IT and other infrastructure components in the development of patient-oriented, integrated healthcare services.

We wish to highlight how new infrastructures - socio-technical assemblages - simultaneously connect existing practices, influence and change these practices, and create entirely new practices in health care work (e.g. related to the maintenance of the infrastructure itself). What characterizes infrastructures in health care? What role do they play in transforming and reorganizing health care and in creating new actors in health care? How are infrastructures established and maintained? What is the impact on work practices, organizational structures, cost effectiveness, quality of care, etc.?

Topics of Interest
Our aim is to bring together researchers, health care professionals, IT professionals, administrators and others involved in establishing infrastructures and/or developing new, integrated models of healthcare. We seek practical case studies as well as empirical and theoretical research contributions. Topics of particular interest include, but are not limited to the following:

* Infrastructures as socio-technical achievement in health care
* Health care organizations and infrastructures
* Infrastructures and new patient practices
* Designing infrastructures for health care
* Economic aspects of infrastructures for health care
* Myths of infrastructures
* Infrastructures and politics
* Managing infrastructures

We encourage potential participants to submit an abstract (3-500 words) describing the contribution before March 1, 2009. Abstracts must be submitted by email to
infrastructures2009 AT sundhedsITnet.dk

After the conference, a selection of the contributors will be invited to submit a full paper to an edited - and fully reviewed - book or special issue (to be decided).

List of important date
Submission of abstracts 2nd of March 2009
Notification of acceptance 1st of April 2009
Deadline for registration 15th of May 2009
Conference 18th - 19th of June 2009

Workshop Co-Chairs
Finn Kensing, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Jørgen P. Bansler, Technical University of Denmark
For abstract submission and further information, contact
infrastructures2009 AT sundhedsITnet.dk
We are looking forward to an exciting workshop!

The other event is in April (and has already closed in terms of submissions):

Health and Care Infrastructure Research and Innovation Centre

HaCIRIC International Conference 2009 -
Improving healthcare infrastructures through innovation

2-3 April 2009, Hilton Metropole, Brighton

The conference will bring together researchers and practitioners from across disciplines and countries with different healthcare systems to focus on how to use innovation to improve the delivery and operation of healthcare infrastructure. Areas of particular interest include:

Integrating infrastructure and service planning
Can we translate service planning into infrastructure asset planning more effectively? Are moves towards greater contestability and a local devolution of responsibilities making this harder? What lessons are there from different national health systems? What tools, models and performance metrics are appropriate?

Stimulating innovation in infrastructure provision
How can procurement and incentivisation models be designed to deliver innovation? Can policy targets be used more effectively? How do we ensure that innovation is embedded on a sustainable basis? How can the design process be more effectively used to generate innovation? How do we capture and diffuse knowledge of innovative solutions?

Examples of infrastructure innovation targeted at key problems
Healthcare acquired infection is an example of an area where a multi-disciplinary approach embracing service delivery, behavioural and infrastructure change is needed. We are interested in case studies and research reporting on how this has been tackled, as well as the methodological challenges in conducting such research.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Drupal, Hodges model, content types and metadata

I'd like to think I am rather more than a cell, which has me wondering why I seem to be relying on osmosis as a way to learn how to put a new site together. In searching for the starting line - never mind starting - regulars here know it appears I'm waiting expectantly for a micro-macro biological miracle to happen.

Halfway through Hall's Digitize This Book! I came across another quote and ah! ah! moment...

For in even requesting contributors to identify themselves and their research by title, author, publication, date, subject area, abstract, keywords, and so forth we are not being open to the other but asking them, demanding of them, that they conform to certain preestablished rules, laws, and criteria. p. 101.
The data Hall refers to is of course bread and butter to papercentric publishing. Essential to finding information on paper and in electronic databases. The significance of the quote above? Well Hall goes on to highlight the stated items as (common) metadata (data about data) that his own e-archive CSeARCH (formerly demanded) of its users.

So what should I provide and ask of users on the next website?

There are some default content types in Drupal that could quickly be implemented in a new site. There are modules that allow you to create new content types and there's the rub.... Ideally it would be great to have at least one dedicated content type structured according to Hodges model. Think of it as a h2cm case study on wheels - ready to roll. The problem is having a stab at this. I don't want to constrain users and yet order and structure are essential.

So, in the same way that any site would be in 'beta', that is the way with the content types. Quite straightforward really! Then the users and possibly a community of users (should that come about) will be able to use the first content type and the metadata and data will emerge and evolve from the initial effort - whatever form that takes... .

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Weber: Universities, disciplinarity - academic publishing

As I read through the latest book I have received for review, I came across this interesting quote from Samuel Weber:

The university, itself divided into more or less isolated, self-contained departments, was that embodiment of that kind of limited universality that characterised the cognitive model of professionalism. It instituted areas of training and research which, once established, could increasingly ignore the founding limits and limitations of individual disciplines. Indeed, the very notion of academic "seriousness" came increasingly to exclude reflection upon the relation of one "field" to another, and concomitantly, reflection upon the historical process by which individual disciplines established their boundaries. Or the historical dimension was regarded as extrinsic to the actual practice of research and scholarship: history itself became one discipline among others. (1987, 32)
Weber, Samuel. 1987. Institution and Interpretation. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Revised and reprinted as Samuel Weber, 2001. Institution and Interpretation (Expanded Edition). Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press.
Cited in Hall, Gary 2008. Digitize This Book!: The Politics of New Media, or Why We Need Open Access Now. University of Minnesota Press. Chapter 2, Judgement and Responsibility in the Wikipedia Era, p. 74.
(My review of Hall's book to follow).

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Book Review: Ric Shreves's "Drupal 6 Themes"

Review of Shreves's Drupal 6 Themes

If you are familiar with Packt titles then the layout, style and presentation of this one will come as no surprise. The book begins with an outline of what is to follow, the conventions used to print code, what is needed to follow the book (Drupal 6!), an invite to provide feedback, errata reports, download code examples piracy concerns and questions.
I am reviewing this as a slow learning learner of Drupal. Still a 'Drupal site virgin' (let's be clear about that) I attend the NW England Drupal group in Manchester and greatly enjoyed Drupalcon 2008 in Szeged, Hungary. Like my previous review of Mercer's Drupal 6 book in April this is a (laborious) chapter by chapter review, but hopefully helpful for all that (maybe I can get a job as a proof reader?).
So my upfront conclusion is that this is a good buy. It's not a very technical book, but it is definitely heading in that direction with the content of one or two chapters reminding me of the Pro Drupal volume. This no doubt reflects Shreves’ title with the book being well focused as you would expect.
Chapter 1 introduces the elements of a Drupal theme, with much needed instant foot and hand-holds by listing three key concepts (ways to theme) employed through the book:
  1. Theming in whole or part
  2. Building with blocks
  3. Intercept and overrides
These are covered in turn additionally pointing out aspects of Drupal that can confuse beginners, the admin theme and this being the same as the default theme. There's help with explanations of blocks, regions and how these relate to modules.
There's some text on page 11: it does hit the mark, but I think it might be improved with some illustration. That said, buyers of this book are likely to make ready sense of - "The recognized best practice approach to customising themes emphasizes making changes at higher levels, primarily to the theme files themselves." I raise this point as Ric draws attention to (what I understand is) a critical development approach within Drupal that something here deserves promotion as one of book’s 'important notes'. A figure of what constitutes Drupal's highest processes and what needs to be left in its original state might make the text clearer. This is difficult for authors, because if readers don't know this then perhaps they need to grasp some fundamentals first? As to which Ric Shreves explains what a theme is; a theme engine; and how all this makes Drupal flexible - with regions being placeholders.
Contrary to the point above overall the book is well illustrated. The way Drupal displays a page is illustrated in five steps. The default themes are listed and shown as screen dumps as with the themes config pages. This for me is not a waste of page real estate. With intercept and overrides briefly mentioned chapter 1 closes by introducing the main theme file types, the notion of sub-themes, PHPTemplate Themes and Pure PHP Themes are also differentiated.
Chapter 2 furthers the push up the learning curve, by reviewing 1.) how to install and configure pre-existing themes; 2.) convert designs and 3.) build a theme from scratch. All are discussed by Ric in this book. Beginning with a default theme, this is customized as far as the basic configuration allows. As a longer-term Drupal learner the pace of change in Drupal means that some themes and modules have to catch up with the latest releases (my student career started with version 4.7). Shreves highlights this point, before seeking other compatible themes he runs through status reports and backup should a theme cause problems. Some of the mundane, but essential considerations of themes are discussed here 'terms of use', plus headache saving tips on the use of folders. Theme specific configuration options are differentiated from global configuration settings that primarily involve modules, blocks and visibility. This helped further my understanding, and reveals Drupal's flexibility applying to users, roles, page specific settings and the use of PHP applied to blocks p.54 with four code examples. The Drupal community - a great resource - is also raised. Chapter 2 closes by dressing up a default theme (Garland) to meet a client's requirements. Before and after screen images and instruction on how to uninstall a theme leads to chapter 3.
The main theme engines are covered in chapter 3. If you are going to roll your own it is essential you understand the main files, the code and format and how they interact - that is - how they relate to the administration functions. This is detailed, but very accessible contrasting a simple (basic) PHPTemplate theme with a more complex example. A crucial kernel of knowledge for the Drupal themer is the naming conventions used in Drupal. That is, how files names affect the precedence as Drupal searches for the elements that make up a page - the content and styling. Other theme engines are also discussed with links - as per other Packt titles - to additional resources.
Chapter 4 brings us to templates, stylesheets and themable functions and shows how they interoperate. Discussion of the default templates, variables and stylesheets includes advice on disabling CSS compression. There then follows a meaty treatment – a guide no less – of theming elements, such as, theme_box and theme_breadcrumbs p.90. I wish I had come across “Theming the Book Functionality” pp. 95-97 a while back, better late then never. Part of my problem is settling on the content I need for my site. The default book content type is useful. The guide here is very comprehensive running over pp. 90-126.
Chapter 5 tackles intercepts and overrides and begins with overriding the default CSS in the Garland theme, moving swiftly to overriding templates and the themeable functions covered previously. Page 132 has an important note on theme registry and the difference between substituting template and overriding templates p.133. One aspects of many Drupal books is that they can appear repetitious, but for me this actually helps as in Drupal it seems there is frequently more than one way to skin the proverbial cat. An illustration of file naming conventions and precedence helps reinforce previous chapters and the reader’s grasp of Drupal. Chapter 5 ends with more on placing function overrides in the template.php file, the use of dedicated template files (with a step by step example); where to place themable functions overrides; how to name them and Overrides in Action. The code examples reveal the difference between default template-block.tpl.php and Garlands equivalent p.140.
Chapter 6 sets out to create a theme by modifying an existing one. As I've been finding, this isn't just a case of your knowledge of Drupal but also having a work environment that suits you. I've an old copy of Dreamweaver (from Studio MX days) and have been looking at Eclipse, PSPad, NetBeans, TextMate, Komodo Edit and other editors and tools. Ric describes Dreamweaver here, so that it can handle theme files, using a server and the use of the popular (Drupal) Devel module. (In true newbie Drupaller style I've tended to install and enable quite a few modules, which can create complexities of their own. Enable them when you need them.)
The Zen theme is then used to create a new sub-theme. The non-trivial matter of planning is stressed. Theme creation by modification is then considered step-by-step: from copying the necessary folder, renaming files, configuring the new theme, to enabling default modules that may be needed to meet a client's brief. Menus leads to links and paths a great source of confusion to new Drupal initiates. Menus need a home so blocks are further discussed with reference to CSS. A very informative twelve pages. A themeable function is overridden, a technical sounding task, but easy to follow in the form of a breadcrumb trail. The final pages of chapter 6 address formatting the blog node. A list of variables is provided comprising 18 items from $context - $zebra and de-mystifies a great deal. Another before and after screen shot completes a really useful chapter.
Chapter 7 explains building a new theme. This is an equally systematic account with illustrations, code and treatment of the essential .info, tpl.php files. There is a top-down perspective too, with page structure explained through page divisions, the placement of links, and key page elements. A final three page code listing and a eight page CSS listing is a pause for breathe. Thischapter ends with a brief review of creating a pure php theme.
I've started to create a couple of themes in Drupal, but chapter 8 is rather advanced for me - I can't (yet) claim to be a Dynamic Themer. If you are intent on fully leveraging the power of Drupal this chapter is essential reading for you. Here Ric shows how to create a unique homepage template, a different template for a group of pages, assign a specific template to a specific page, and designate a specific template for a specific user (power indeed). It's clear how the earlier chapters come in here when dynamically styling blocks. Ric highlights the utility of the Theme Developer feature of the Devel module. I've used this feature, but have yet to question the provenance of a block or other page element. I can see how helpful it will be. Other site components are dynamically styled - comment module, forum, poll and nodes. Throughout the book Shreves acknowledges the '6' in the title: dynamic styling is covered with two pages on $body_classes and a two page listing of the conditions that can be applied, for example; no sidebars. This neatly introduces collapsible sidebars (columns). Template variables crop up again, which may be a bit technical for some beginners but then beginners have to learn...
On page 225 there's another mention of the (theme) registry. There's a crucial tip on clearing the registry. p.234. I'm surprised ‘registry’ and the modules mentioned in the book don't deserve an entry in the index. Unless I missed it Jquery also is not listed, which I suppose is excusable. In theming I would have thought that awareness of the potential of Javascript and javascript libraries in particular would be useful knowledge up front. Especially so with jQuery being a part of Drupal.
I have experimented with forms and CCK in Drupal and this is fun because very quickly you appear 'productive'. Chapter 9 explains forms, how they work and the existence of the form API and reference sources. Forms are a more accessible aspect of Drupal to appreciate as you can 'see' the form in the PHP code. As there’s no such thing as a free lunch, Ric then reveals five ways to modify Drupal forms. This is done by breaking down the complexity and explaining the dependencies.
Appendix A (described at one point as a chapter) is an informative guide to Drupal stylesheets, in addition to listing the css files, the stylesheets for the default themes are also provided.
Appendix B runs through the desirable contents of a themers’ toolkit.
Shreves is aiming for a specific audience with this book - a great help for any publisher. The book may not have much to offer the Pro Drupal expert, but for beginners in theming and intermediate Druapallers there is loads of goodness here. There's also an indication of what's to follow as readers ascend the stairway to Drupal heaven, which is a tantalizing prospect.
My thanks to the team at Packt Publishing for the review copy.
I'll be reviewing Bill Fitzgerald's "Drupal for Education and E-Learning"
in due course (once the review of Hall's "Digitize this Book" is complete)
so please stay tuned!
If the NW of England is within your reach and you are in the market for
Drupal 6 training in 2009 try menu&blocks.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Book chapter in Nursing and Clinical Informatics: Socio-Technical Approaches

igi book cover Nursing and Clinical Informatics:
Socio-Technical Approaches

Edited By:
Bettina Staudinger, University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology, Austria;
Victoria Höß, University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology, Austria;
Herwig Ostermann, University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology, Austria

The field of nursing informatics is one of the fastest growing areas of medical informatics. As the industry grows, so does the need for obtaining the most recent, up-to-date research in this significant field of study.

Nursing and Clinical Informatics: Socio-Technical Approaches gives a general overview of the current state of nursing informatics paying particular attention to its social, socio-technical, and political aspects to further research and development projects. A unique international comparative work, this book covers the core areas of nursing informatics with a technical and functional respect and portrays them in their proper context.

Jones, P. (2009) Socio-Technical Structures, the Scope of Informatics and Hodges’ model, IN, Staudinger, R., Ostermann, H., Bettina Staudinger, B. (Eds.), Handbook of Research in Nursing Informatics and Socio-Technical Structures, Idea Group Publishing, Inc. Chap. 11, pp. 160-174.

Monday, December 08, 2008

The Times: Virus clue to cause of Alzheimer’s

December 6, 2008

Virus clue to cause of Alzheimer’s

Cheap cold sore drugs could offer best treatment yet

Mark Henderson, Science Editor

The virus that causes cold sores may be one of the main causes of Alzheimer’s disease, according to research that suggests that existing drugs could be used to treat the most common form of dementia.

Compelling new evidence found by British scientists has implicated the cold sore virus, known as herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1), in up to 60 per cent of Alzheimer’s cases.

Though the findings from the University of Manchester remain preliminary, they could transform scientific understanding of a brain disorder that affects more than 400,000 people in Britain, and open an entirely new approach to treating it.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Holistic Skills Assessment and Assurance

Just lately - by virtue of mailing list subscriptions - I've received several calls for research proposals and notice of workshops providing advice on how to proceed. In response let me just say this is 'frustrating' - as I'm not in a position to:

  • (OK, on your marks! Get set! GO!) - formulate the real question;
  • seek partners;
  • put in a bid;
  • and put conceptual frameworks for (global) health and social care on the map.
They deserve to be there. For me the really interesting note to take home here is that these potential research projects could be grounded in several disciplines:
  • nursing;
  • health economics;
  • informatics;
  • public health;
  • public and civic engagement. ...
While universal in scope they (e.g. Hodges' model) are not the universal solution.

They can and must complement other tools and resources as the care agenda shifts to quality and the measure of quality.

More than ever the holistic reach of not only 1st-line but 2nd-line ... staff is going to be crucial to how well policy-bearing organisations carry their load.

As the (quickly formulated, rapidly fixed) physical and emotional bandages are renewed and re-assurances given, we realise that (ill-) health is not just a condition specific conundrum. Health is a melange of choices, multiple diagnoses, beliefs, attitudes, educational opportunities, concentrated resources and much more that are difficult to focus. Strange thing this notion of inclusion. At the end of the day it comes down to:

The art of focusing without focusing ... ?

Holistic bandwidth means that that the holistic skills demonstrated at any time will be dynamic and vary according to the viewer, the context (and there will be several), the care domain and of course the measure(s). ...

Additional links:Measuring of health and health-related quality of life with the EuroQol-5D

Image c/o - Wordle - and based on this blog.