- 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

Monday, August 17, 2009

Combining h2cm, Informing Science and informatics on the Rainbow Bridge

As a boy one of my favourite superheroes and subjects of myth was Thor and his retinue - Loki, Odin, The Rainbow Bridge. These remain tantalizing escapes for young minds should a corner shop sell comics.

As I mentioned previously in posting about the informing science journal, a paper currently in preparation makes use of holistic bridges and I have had in mind Thor and his ilk and Rainbow Bridge between worlds. In Hodges' conceptual framework the domains of knowledge that make up the model could almost be disparate worlds. This disciplinary repulsion presents several challenges at a time when disciplinary in-fusion is needed (demanded by our problems):

Integration of health and social care in the form of:
  • physical - emotional health;
  • applied socio-technical informatics
  • personalised and service centred care
Academic cross-disciplinary working, e.g. informatics -
  • clinical
  • urban
  • e-governance
Last summer I posted a suitably colourful mix of holistic bridges that included the image below. These hyphenated cross-disciplines conjoin the four care or knowledge domains of Hodges' model.

My interest in ICT began with the ZX81 in 1981 and ever since I've been intrigued as to how we can integrate the above. Why does this matter? It matters not just because of the complexity of the problems we face in in our work and home lives. The real challenge lies in communication.

To take one problem the application of ICT in health care. Here the technical world, the mechanistic butts up against - clashes with - the humanistic. The paper published in spring focused upon socio-technical structure in nursing informatics.
Structure whether virtual, conceptual framework, mythical rainbow is one thing; but what purposes can arise from structure?

In highlighting communication (critical in health care) our purpose is -

using information technology to help convey
the meaning of information in order to inform.

The two axes (or hammers?) in Hodges' model are:


These axes provide the bridge to link informing science and Hodges' model. In the act of communicating, imparting information we may be concerned with the concept of information from its mathematical formulation, the channel, noise through to the semantics and meaning from a sociocultural perspective. This seems to match with the (horizontal) axis [H-M], while the task of informing is concerned with the agents that is the (vertical) axis [i-g].

So what is the relevance of Thor? Well that role of engaging clients (patients, carers, managers, service users....) in communication sees a group communicate with an individual and vice-versa. The processes involved are not necessarily discrete as might be captured 'on paper'. The axes of Hodges' model labelled 'information' and 'informing' become blurred.

We are constantly reminded of the multi-contextual nature of healthcare. Now, I don't know if care is suddenly more complex on a Thursday, I just figure that when Thor starts to swing his hammer there is suddenly not one axis, but a great many. We are not just aware of multiple contexts we are forced to consider the multi-dimensional too.

Additional links:

Informing Science Journal

Thor image and interesting discussion:

Thor - movie 2011?