- 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

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Musings... the elusive transdisciplinary particle(s!)

At any moment there are concepts and phrases that creep into the everyday and academic vernacular, even when their precise meaning is not clearly defined or understood. Such terms may be used interchangeably, as if one means the same as another. Two examples are multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary, followed by intradisciplinary (perhaps not as common) and transdisciplinary. We are already familiar with multidisciplinary; in the form of the team and the record, but what of these other terms?

These musings are not an attempt to define them (the above title would differ). Reading 'transdisciplinary' et al. it may seem like they should be restricted to the keyword list of an academic paper; or found in the very title of a journal as can be readily found. My fascination lies in them all, but for me it's Transdisciplinarity that invites the high-five.

I came across what sounds a marvellous course of study in Zurich - the Master of Arts in Transdisciplinary Studies. Zurich is not alone in offering such programmes. Reading their course introduction on the above link you will see the instant appeal as a champion for #h2cm.

These terms are of relevance here – due to another: complexity. In truth every age has its complexities. In this age and here on W2tQ the complexity stands out as we mix health, education and information technology. It is often suggested that the World's problems are such that they demand transdisciplinary solutions. Success in assuring a sustainable food supply, climate change, energy production, and our general well-being ... depends on the researchers in one field being aware of, testing and utilising ideas, materials, methods and methodologies from what are usually totally disparate disciplines – fields of enquiry. Making these connections calls for opportunities to take time out, network, engage in (variously mediated) dialogue, and funding to fuel insight, innovation and creativity. (Sometimes, disciplines need their heads banging together). Although seemingly denoting a broad scope, the term is often used in specific problematic areas of research including sustainability, transport, energy, waste management. ...

In health and social care Hodges' model figures here because in effect the model declares that it wants its cake and will eat it. By this I mean that to the model the disciplines are distinct and need to be treated as such; but also that the disciplines with their history, epistemological qualities, theories and practices, and respective research agendas need to step outside their box. They need to traverse the conceptual space represented within the model – and be prepared to travel back and forth outside the comfort zone.

In struggling to resolve the 'transdisciplinary' perhaps there are devices up to the task and fit for purpose; that is if we care to look, feel, smell, taste and listen hard enough?

Can we find evidence for this trend towards transdisciplinarity?

What about evidence in the movement and advocates for interprofessional education? Some disciplines are churlish, reluctant bed-fellows, eschewing the opportunities offered. Others embrace interprofessional learning. As per the Web they readily, even if unconsciously, adopt the mash-up mentality and attitude. They may preserve their status and integrity with a hybrid approach; keeping discipline centred training (essential for continuing professional development) but also taking advantage of what interprofessonal education and training might offer. As health services standardise on assessment and outcome measures then this approach, this trend toward the transdisciplinary seems common sense in terms of efficiency.

If in a health context you feel that transdisciplinary is a step too far, then please recall* those recurring health conundrums that constantly exercise theory, practice and management. You know the line-up:
  • multidisciplinary care
  • health care records
  • person-centered care
  • health care vs. education...
Solutions that are not derived on a transdisciplinary basis may well work; but not as well as they might. It may be that appeal to the transdisciplinary is merely blue sky thinking. It has its place on the leading edge of scientific and technical innovation but not here. Given the challenges outlined previously it appears health and the idealism of staff need an injection of idealism. Could it be that transdisciplinary approaches can form the basis for a new idealism? To complete this interprofessional educational point, perhaps this means of educational engagement can potentiate future transdisciplinary initiatives? Not directly on the level of ward, community team, clinic but tackling those so called bigger picture themes like health education, health promotion, service access.

A further give-away trail that might provide evidence of the elusive transdisciplinary particle is the curriculum? While some institutions may find their compromise (because this is a problem) informatics is struggling to retain or even find a place on the nursing curriculum. The curriculum is full. It is packed. If nothing else this highlights the complexity alluded to earlier. Like the increased embedded functionality our electronic devices provide both within the circuit boards and when in our hands, clinical informatics needs to be embedded in the respective curricula. What does this say of education, of the curriculum? Perhaps the reason why transdisciplinarity seems ephemeral and quixotic is that our transdisciplinary efforts are tantamount to a collective (group) mindfulness. First steps and collisions are never easy. ...

Additional links:

International Journal of Transdisciplinary Research
Transdiscipline - TheATLAS & Journal
Journal of Transdisciplinary Federation of Science and Technology

Image source - with thanks: Drakenstein Palliative Hospice

* The above musings and the others on #W2tQ are from a longer text in draft. PJ

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

RCN Dementia project: survey on the experience of care in general hospitals

Dear Sir/ Madam

The Royal College of Nursing is currently leading a project to help improve the care of people with dementia in general hospital settings. The project is being supported by the Department of Health and is being undertaken jointly with other professional bodies and voluntary sector organisations.

Are you someone living with dementia, or a family member/friend?

Do you have direct experience of care in a hospital setting?

If so, we would like to hear your views about what works, what makes it difficult and what really makes a difference. The responses you provide will help in developing practical resources & guidelines and help influence the way dementia care is delivered in these settings.

For your chance to win £100 of John Lewis vouchers and to help us learn more about your experience of care in hospital, please take a few moments to complete the survey which can be accessed online by clicking on the following link: http://www.employmentresearch.co.uk/dementia_carers.htm

If preferred you may complete the survey by hand by printing it off directly from our website: www.rcn.org.uk/dementia

- and returning it to Nikki Mills (Dementia Project Administrator),
20 Cavendish Square, London
nikki.mills at rcn.org.uk
Tel. 020 7647 3757.

Alternatively, we can send you a paper copy in the post along with a pre-paid envelope. Please contact Nikki Mills as above.

We are keen to get as many responses as possible so please do feel free to circulate this information as widely as possible. We are also attaching a flyer to promote the survey so if you are member of a group or organisation where you can display this,  we would be most grateful.

The closing date for the survey will be Thursday 16th June 2011

If you need any further information about the project then please contact Nikki Mills (as above) or Rachel Thompson (Dementia Project Lead) using the contact details below.

Thank you for your support.

Best wishes

Rachel Thompson
Dementia Project Lead
Royal College of Nursing
Nursing Department
Royal College of Nursing
20 Cavendish Square
London W1G 0RN
Tel: 020 7647 3727

Please note that I work 3 days per week with the RCN and am usually available Mon/Tues/Wed

Nursing Department – working to influence, develop and support nursing practice.

My source: RCN, Robert Clarkson LCNFT, Nursing Liaison PDG LCNFT.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Difference that Makes a Difference: an interdisciplinary workshop on information and technology

Location: The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK

Dates: 7-9 September 2011

Few people would argue that the development of information technologies has had a profound impact on modern society. Information is communicated, stored and manipulated using digital computers, the Internet, and fixed and mobile telephony, resulting in a deep and extensive impact upon all aspects of our lives. While talk of information is routine and unproblematic for engineers and technologists, it has been recognised since the early days of digital technologies that there is an uneasy relationship between the engineer’s concept of ‘information’ and wider uses of the word (cf. Roszak, 1986).

It is nevertheless appreciated that information, whatever is meant by this concept, is important – indeed it is foundational – to a quite remarkably diverse range of disciplines. Information is emerging not only as the new language of science - from quantum information to the genetic code - but as a key commodity of business, a major concern of the state, the front line for crime and crime prevention, the primary arena of technological development, an increasing concern of philosophy, and even a focus for conceptual art. Indeed, it is difficult to identify any field of life in the developed world that can not now be seen to some degree to have a significant information aspect, and to a greater or lesser extent this has all emerged because of developments in information technology.

The idea of information as a distinct concept, applicable across a wide range of disciplines, is growing in prominence. It has been especially emphasised within the natural sciences (von Baeyer, 2003; Vedral, 2010; Davies and Gregersen, 2010) and philosophy (Floridi, 2010). Much of this work takes information theory as developed by technologists, beginning with Shannon (1948), as its starting point, but draws little on contemporary work of technologists. At the same time, a different strand of work has arisen, drawing its inspiration from the growing influence of the Internet, and largely conducted by technologists (e.g. Weinberger, 2007; Brown and Duguid, 2000). This research in turn has little connection with the work in natural sciences and philosophy.

As we move further into the ‘information age’, we need to make the bridge between information of the information technologist and understanding of information in other disciplines. As researchers and practitioners in diverse fields grapple with an understanding of information – what it is, how it can be modelled and tools for coping with it – now more than ever is the time to share insights and bring some clarity and coherence to these differing perspectives.

We have begun some of that work, largely with colleagues around the Open University, resulting in a recent edited book (Ramage and Chapman, 2011). However, these discussions need to go much wider and deeper. We therefore propose to hold an international workshop to bring engineers and technologists together with scientists, philosophers, social scientists and artists – leading thinkers from all and any discipline that uses the language of information – to talk and listen, and to share their insights with us all.

There have been and continue to be many conferences, symposia and workshops addressing the technology, the applications and the consequences of information technology, but it is rare to find opportunities to address the understanding of the nature of information itself.

The need for work addressed more specifically at understanding the nature of information is exemplified by a problem expressed by Terrence Deacon (2010):
For more than half a century we have known how to measure the information-conveying capacity of any given communication medium, yet we cannot give an account of how this relates to the content that this signal may or may not represent. These are serious shortcomings that impede progress in a broad range of endeavors, from the study of basic biological processes to the analysis of global economics.

This workshop seeks to bring together those working with information in a wide range of disciplines - engineers and technologists together with scientists, philosophers, social scientists and artists - to discuss and expand our collective understanding of what we mean by information in our different disciplines. We are not seeking to combine these different understandings, but to share them and to explore commonalities.

The title of the workshop is based on a celebrated definition of information by Gregory Bateson (1972, pp.457-9), who wrote:
A difference is a very peculiar and obscure concept. It is certainly not a thing or an event. This piece of paper is different from the wood of this lectern. There are many differences between them – of color, texture, shape, etc. But if we start to ask about the localization of those differences, we get into trouble. Obviously the difference between the paper and the wood is not in the paper; it is obviously not in the wood; it is obviously not in the space between them, and it is obviously not in the time between them. (Difference which occurs across time is what we call “change”.) ...

Kant, in the Critique of Judgment – if I understand him correctly – asserts that the most elementary aesthetic act is the selection of a fact. He argues that in a piece of chalk there are an infinite number of potential facts. ... I suggest that Kant’s statement can be modified to say that there is an infinite number of differences around and within the piece of chalk. There are differences between the chalk and the rest of the universe, between the chalk and the sun or the moon. And within the piece of chalk, there is for every molecule an infinite number of differences between its location and the locations in which it might have been. Of this infinitude, we select a very limited number, which become information. In fact, what we mean by information – the elementary unit of information – is a difference which makes a difference.
The workshop will consist of four main sessions, each with keynote speakers and a number of presentations from others. Our goal is for maximum participation. If you are interested in the role and nature of information, we invite you to join us in Milton Keynes in September.

Magnus Ramage and David Chapman
Thanks to David for my being able to post these details here. I have registered and if time permits will submit an abstract. I'm really looking forward to this workshop. pj

Jones, P. (1996) Humans, Information, and Science, Journal of Advanced Nursing, 24(3),591-598.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Launch of new Skills-based Training On Risk Management: STORM website

Hi everyone,

The new website www.stormskillstraining.com is live. It is more dynamic offering features such as the opportunity to interact and communicate with fellow STORM Facilitators through the News and Forum sections. It will also continue to provide information on STORM packages, but essentially, this is a website for the whole of the STORM family. It has been designed with you in mind – and so, welcome to your new website!


Let the world know what you are achieving

Please tell us what you have achieved and we will feature it on the website. You can also keep us updated with your training plans.


This is open to all STORM Facilitators to chat about pretty much anything – as long as it relates to STORM and Self-harm that is! For example, you can chat about anything relating to the delivery of STORM training; sharing suicide and self harm information/knowledge with others; or to generate debate.

Keep it on your radar!!!

Take a regular look at the website, you never know, there might be some news, or a really interesting debate taking place in the forum.

It is you that will make this website interesting, so don’t forget to keep us informed about what you are achieving!

Best wishes

Dr. Gill Green
STORM Project Manager

My source: STORM facilitators list [edited for posting here]

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sparc / KT-EQUAL consortium of UK researchers extending quality of life for older and disabled people - upcoming events

Dear colleague,

We hope you are well.

KT-EQUAL has been working hard to launch some exciting developments and workshops more of which you can read about below.

Our new blog

This week we launched our new KT-EQUAL blog. We'll be updating it regularly with articles and resources about ageing research, knowledge transfer, photos, news and views -- in fact, anything that catches our eye. To get the ball rolling, we've launched with a series of articles on using social networking in ageing research, written by our Senior Media Fellow Professor Trevor Cox.

The new blog has a full commenting facility, so we'd love to hear what you think about our posts, or your suggestions for topics we can cover in the future. You can also subscribe to the blog using your favourite RSS reader or just check back to our homepage regularly (http://www.equal.ac.uk) for the latest updates.

Lost in Translation - 23rd June 2011

Struggling to write that lay summary for more funding? Confused by how social networking can help you connect with other researchers in your field of interest? Then book in for our FREE workshop run in partnership with CARDI on the 23rd June.  

Age Friendly Cities - 8th June 2011

Can a city-region create a competitive advantage for itself by embedding age-friendliness into its policies and strategies to encourage and support active ageing? Find out more by booking our exciting workshop with ActiveAge http://kt-equal.org.uk/calendar/58/30-The-Competitive-Advantage-of-Age-Friendly-Cities

Ageing research - creating impact locally - 7th July 2011

How can your research create an impact locally? Can you influence service delivery in your local government? Find out how at our workshop in July

Other ageing research news and events:

CARDI (Centre for Ageing Research & Development in Ireland) is hosting its first international Conference, on 2nd - 3rd November 2011, Croke Park, Dublin. Visit the website www.cardi.ie/conference2011 for more information.

An Active Ageing Seminar 2011, in partnership with the BHF National Centre, will take place on June 22nd in London. All the event details can be found here: http://www.vidawellness.co.uk/network/seminar/

The UK’s first Technology4Good Awards including the BT Contact Us Award is being organised by BT and AbilityNet to celebrate the hard work of many charities, businesses and individuals across the UK that use digital technologies to help change our communities for the better. BT has its own BT Contact Us Award to recognise organisations that have gone the extra mile to use IT to enable deaf, hearing impaired and other disabled consumers to interact with them more fully. For more information visit www.technology4goodawards.org.uk

Best Wishes

Helen Haigh
KT-EQUAL/SMART 2 Co-ordinator
University of Sheffield
Regent Court, 30 Regent Street, Sheffield, S1 4DA
h.haigh at sheffield.ac.uk

My source: Helen Haigh - KT-EQUAL mail list

Saturday, May 14, 2011

1st National Health Literacy Research Conference - NW England

As noted at the start of the month the health care domains model will be presented in the form of a poster at the following event on the 10th June. There are still a few places left!

1-day Conference at Chancellors Hotel and Conference Centre (Manchester)

Friday 10th June 2011

Join us for our first national Health Literacy Research Conference. Health literacy is:

the cognitive and social skills which determine the motivation and ability 
of individuals to gain access to, understand, and use information 
in ways which promote and maintain good health’.

The conference will include 2 plenary sessions with international health literacy keynote speakers and a panel discussion.

More details are available from the website www.healthliteracy.org.uk
or Lucy McDonald - Email: mcdonall at lsbu.ac.uk

C4 News researching anti-psychotic drugs in people with learning disabilities, inc. children and young people

Channel 4 News is researching the use of anti-psychotic drugs to control challenging or difficult behaviour in people with learning disabilities, including children and young people.

If this is an issue which affects you (or those you care for) or if you would like to share your views or experiences, in confidence, then please do get in touch with Philip Carter on -

07783-712-227 or by email at pc at pacarter.com

(Dementia is also an issue for people living with learning disabilities and their families. PJ)

My source: The Choice Forum - by the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities

Friday, May 13, 2011

Consultation opportunity - information needs - social care

Dear Colleague,

Do you need information about any aspect of social care for your work?

Would you be willing to be interviewed as part of our consultation?

The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) and NICE/NHS Evidence are conducting a joint consultation to understand the information needs of:

o      social care professionals, and
o      health care professionals with social care information needs.

TFPL Intelligent Resources has been appointed to carry out this work.

As part of the work we are asking people to undertake a 30-minute telephone interview. Some volunteers will also do a short online diary taking approximately 45 minutes total.

People in the following roles are particularly sought; the numbers at the ends of the line indicate the numbers sought:

Local Government:

  • Non-social work front line practitioners - 1
  • PCT commissioners – 1
  • GP pathfinder – 2
Joint NHS/LA:
  • Social worker (MH) – 1
  • MH nurse – 2
  • Non-MH nurse – 4
  • Senior care worker – 4
  • Registered nurse – 4
Voluntary (e.g. charity):
  • Nursing manager – 3
  • Senior support worker – 3
  • Registered nurse - 2
National statutory:
  • CQC inspector -1
Interviewees’ names will go into a draw administered by SCIE to win one of four £25 Amazon vouchers. All diarists who complete their entries will receive a £25 Amazon voucher from SCIE.

Interested? Please go to:
http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/496819/SCIE-NICE-info-needs to complete a 3-minute registration.

TFPL Intelligent Resources will then be in touch regarding your participation. The interviews and diaries will take place during April and May.
Thank you.

Mark Fenton
NHS Evidence
mark.fenton at nice.org.uk

My source:
List archives:

Monday, May 09, 2011

'Gaps' a poem by Philip Holmes - Journal of Humanistic Mathematics


Philip Holmes
pholmes at math.princeton.edu 

Take a line and take away
the middle third, and then
the middle thirds of two thirds
left behind, and middle thirds
of those four ninths remaining.
Go on and on: what’s left at last
is utterly disjoint – beginnings,
ends – each point divided from
the next, but oh! so close,
infinitely numerous
as what you started with
and carefully have pried apart.
Will there be time to measure up
this dust of unremembering?

* *

Take a line and take away the middle third,
and then the middle thirds of two thirds
left behind, and middle thirds of those four
ninths that still remain. Reiterate:
what’s left at last is utterly disjoint –
beginnings, ends and more – each point
divided from the next and yet uncountable
and numerous as what you had before.
Take a life and take the most part out,
for so it happens; only the best-rehearsed
of memories remain: a voice transformed
among the absences, a face, a hand.
You brought me here, but there was more:
dust that blows away, gaps that captivate.

Journal of Humanistic Mathematics Vol 1, No 1, January 2011.
Editors: Mark Huber, Claremont McKenna College; Gizem Karaali, Pomona College

Used with permission of Philip Holmes and JoHM with thanks.

Friday, May 06, 2011

h2cm: where does 'programming' begin and end?

On first impressions Hodges' model is a table. Its structure shouts "table!"
It is a table around which we can gather. It is political: a tabular rasa.

Since 1987 I've been fascinated by the potential that this basic construct, call it the 2 x 2 starter kit for holistic care has to conceptualise (as someone at the HEA Critical Reflection SIG meeting noted), represent, and explain nursing, health, social care and umpteen other situations.

It has great potential because of what we might do with the contents of the table.

This two x two table instructs.
It makes demands: "Initialise Me" with at least four care concepts.
It has critical reflective potential.
Nursing care problems, relapse prevention plans, strengths and steps to recovery can suddenly take on another dynamic form. The extent to which this transforms is still in human* hands (and minds!) but I am sure this informational potential and purpose is there; especially reading Fowler (2010):
This use of tables as source code is unusual, but it's an application that could be used more often. People like specifying things in tabular form, whether it's examples for test data or more general processing rules such as a Decision Table (495). Many domain experts are very comfortable with editing tables in spreadsheets, which can then be processed into source code. p.156. Fowler (2010) Chapter 10 A Zoo of DSLs.
You can see why nursing - health and social care are so complex:

- staff are busily 'programming' in at least two or three domains and constantly pressured to theorise and practise safely and effectively in four (*five when we include the spiritual).

Fowler, M. (2010) Domain Specific Languages: Addison-Wesley Signature Series, Addison-Wesley Professional.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

E-Health Awards 2011

And the winner is … you?

The only UK-wide awards highlighting excellence in healthcare IT are now open for entries. The EHI Awards 2011 in association with BT reward the brightest and best in the UK healthcare IT sector. If you have used IT to improve healthcare services - whether it be using social media, mobile devices or implementing a major health IT project - we want to hear from you.

To enter, simply select your category and complete the online entry form at www.ehealthawards.com. Entering an award is FREE and the deadline is 16.00 Friday 3 June 2011.

The categories for 2011 are:

Most promising IT for GP-led commissioning

Best use of social media in healthcare

Outstanding work in IT-enabled change in healthcare

Best use of telehealth and telecare

Innovation in healthcare interoperability

Best use of IT to promote patient safety

Best use of mobile technology in healthcare

Excellence in major healthcare IT development

Healthcare IT product innovation

If you’re not in a position to enter yourself, but know a team or organisation doing excellent work, forward this email on.

Don’t forget - you can also nominate an inspirational colleague for the Healthcare IT champion of the year award.

Email emma AT e-health-media.com with a supporting statement and nominee contact details.

My source: Jill Riley, Primary Health Care Specialist Group.

Monday, May 02, 2011

W2tQ: Languages, comments and global health

I've been looking at the template for this blog and trying to figure out why the prompt / invite for comments does not show. Early in the life of W2tQ 2006 - 2007 the Blogger platform was still under development and plagued with spam. Back then I also added some tools that support comments, but in the process the template developed indigestion. I've asked a support question or two and looking on the forums many users share my problem. I'm not wasting time on this though: W2tQ is an experiment.

With each month I can see the value of 'independent' blogging (well short of hosting) using Drupal or Ruby - Rails. In addition to the major disconnect that is comments, it would be great to have the facility of multiple languages, especially when looking at the Clustermap record.

The trip to South America in February made me aware not only of my limited language skills but the scale and opportunities that internationalisation and languages present. I heard from HIFA2015 that there is a Portuguese version, but as yet no Spanish or French. This point makes me feel a little better only in the sense that this really is a major problem both for providers of information services and consumers. I hope that Spanish, French and other versions of HIFA2015 follow; the gathering momentum of global health must assist.

Although here the comments are still a problem there's the contact invite and my e-mail plus - I've just added a Google translate widget that seems to work OK.


Sunday, May 01, 2011

Papers - writing at W2tQ: update May 2011

The substance misuse paper is with someone for possible re-working.  As previously mentioned the text needs the attention of a practitioner to stamp some practical authority on this complex field.

(I've not heard anything since October so if anyone working in substance misuse is interested in this please get in touch.)

As to the forensic nursing/h2cm paper my co-author and I are preparing a re-submission. The text on the model has been reduced placing emphasis on the forensic content.

Later this month I'm meeting a fellow NW member of the RCN who also has an interest in health informatics. Looking f/w to this.

The review of From A to <A> Keywords of Markup with Bradley Dilger and Jeff Rice, editors University of Minnesota Press is complete (1,004 words) and forwarded to The Journal of Community Informatics [JoCI].

I'm also writing a brief paper for JoCI on the concept of glocal associated with h2cm.

For next month there is a poster to prepare:

1-day Conference at Chancellors Hotel and Conference Centre (Manchester)
Friday 10 June 2011

I will update with some Drupal musings soon ...