- 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

Friday, February 27, 2009

A techno-spiritual world with agnostic needs

Whatever our own personal beliefs
we live in spiritual times.

is a frequent and ongoing subject of debate in
the philosophy of religion, science and ideas.

It also features - duly tempered for purpose -
in other fields notably technology.

In the early days of IT and ICT those buying information systems grew tired and wary of being locked-in to particular platforms, with consequent dependency upon vendors. This also put the technology to the fore, with the risk of relegating business requirements to 'out of hours'. While many business relationships did undoubtedly prosper, the market soon recognized the need for standards and the need for technology to be agnostic, increasing freedom and choice in the marketplace.

Among the retinue of central tenets in medicine, health, social care and nursing is the need for unconditional positive regard and a non-judgemental approach. So caring is most definitely not without beliefs and values. In the same way that vendors to companies and academia want to be free and determine their requirements around their business and needs, so too there is a perceived need for the health care 'industry' to be agnostic. Re-framing a bullet list in a 'lost' post elsewhere: ''Increase knowledge innovation and manage technology change' agnostic in a health context becomes:
  1. As per the need for evidence-based x, y, z... fully research your status, direction and tools not only before you adopt them, but also while you’re using them*;
  2. Don’t get emotionally attached to a particular assessment, planning, intervention (therapy) or evaluation toolset;
  3. Continuously research (horizon scan* - look over the fence) at other research possibilities and alternatives;
  4. And as Lucas McDonnell make clear: Don’t build yourself into a corner*.
*Of course, that last point is hypercritical - since there are at least four corners!

This is where Hodges' model comes into play, (not quite with underpants on the outside, but certainly with utility belt firmly in-situ).

Hodges' model - as a model to support and integrate care - is agnostic in the following ways:

DISCIPLINE: unless its origins prejudices its case, Hodges' model can be applied by any and all disciplines. This is crucial in times when multidisciplinary and even transdisciplinary team work is needed.
THERAPEUTICS: whether physical, social or biopsychosocial - Hodges' model is agnostic regards particular therapy interventions. It is not married to gene therapy, cognitive therapy, primary nursing, family therapy, gestalt therapy.
PHILOSOPHY: 'care- nursing- ward- philosophy' is probably a much misused term, but once again Hodges model is philosophically neutral - unless it is deemed that its generality - pantological aspirations - is itself a philosophical stance?
SUBJECT: in being person-centered the model is agnostic in respect of the individual using the model or who happens to be the focus of the model. This is quite critical at present with the engagement of patients in education, self-care and individual budgets in cases of long-term medical conditions.
AUTHORITY: Although disciplines with their professional legacies and politics can and do (justifiably) lay claim to authority and legitimacy Hodges' model can negotiate this divide.
SOCIO-TECHNICAL: this form of agnosticism for Hodges' model is not given the credence it should be afforded. Being context sensitive and situated the model can perform a definitional volte face appealing to a socially or technically oriented user-base, or both.
CULTURAL: Finally, it is essential that our tools are not 'tainted' from the perspective of a particular community or ethnic group. Apart from the structure of the model with its historical (mythic) iconographic associations, the model is open and not directly allied to any specific ethnic group, set of cultural or religious beliefs. Ideologically AND practically then the model provides a neutral ground upon which values and beliefs can be shared.

Additional links:

Becoming a Technology Agnostic, by davidleeking (My primary source through twitter)

Technology-agnostic approach to Service Oriented Architecture: back to the essence of SOA?