How To Collaborate in Hospitals – A Use Case for Yammerby Lukas Zinnagl on Jul 12, 2011 • 8:40 am
Hospitals are like big corporations. We’ve written about this already in other posts and it’s more true than ever these days. Hospitals exhibit all the elements of the modern corporation (actually there is a neat writeup about how the corporation has evolved): intransparent, hierarchical, heavy.
Now, in contrast to hospitals, corporations know that collaborational tools are vital for any big, closed social network. They act as the communicational backbone and make sure that the people who are supposed to be on the same page are on the same page. Now there are certainly flaws to existing systems, otherwise the old fashioned e-mail wouldn’t exist as the primary form of communication. These software applications enhance internal corporate communication, facilitate workflows between different teams and create a sense of corporate identity. We are big fans of those fancy web applications with staggering valuations, big rounds of funding and superstar founders and thus we’ve looked into some web applications that could find their way into a modern hospital environment. This is the first in a series of posts on collaboration tools. Stay tuned for more good stuff to come.
Yammer was coined the “Twitter for Companies“. It was launched a couple of years ago by seriel entrpreneur and movie producer David O. Sacks in the Silicon Valley, with the aim to build a web-based tool for internal communication in startups, SMBs and cooperations. Yammer is really powerful. It comes with a variety of mobile applications and a sound web interface, that let’s you manage yourself and your co-workers in groups, send direct messages and follow each other – much like Twitter.
The basic structure – it’s logic – is very similar to Twitter. In comparison to Facebook, Twitter is open, it’s not a walled garden. The “following” concept is more vague than the “be-friending” concept. Twitter allows you to follow people whom you do not know. Twitter is also better suited for sharing work-realted and professional information than Facebook, which was originally conceived to exchange personal information between friends. Imagine following the top-notch breast surgeon in the hospital you work at. Chances are high you don’t know her personally and she has no clue who you are, but what if she’d share valuable information on the latest insights in breast cancer reserach. She would share information you would be usually looking up in some journal or to be honest you might not even look it up and it might just pass you by.
An application such as Yammer solves this by connecting the unconnected. By following peers and certain people you’ll obtain knowledge and insights that you probably didn’t even know existed. A medical, multi-disciplinary approach, as medicine is being taught in med school, yet as it fails to be practiced in daily routine. Where specialists of all walks contribute their experience to a singular activity feed that anybody in the hospital environment can follow, react to and share with others. That’s social networking at its best, yet hardly anybody is doing it.
As with every good story in life, a similar, yet mor action-esque story took place in a recent episode of Grey’s Anatomy. They were texting live status updates from the OR to another hospital and other medical professionals with the intention to document a live operation for othters to learn from. Eventually there were problems during the procedure and a life-saving-tweet from another professional saved the patient’s life. Well, this is Hollywood but not that unlikely after all – we think.
While Twitter has its limitations with respect to security, Yammer doesn’t. It’s secure, scalable and highly customizable. Yammer for your research group? Yammer for the OR? Yammer for your ward? No problem for Yammer. To clarify things here. We are not affiliated with Yammer or paid by them, it’s simple and we are not aware of a comparable, modern and efficient alternative to their service. Surely there are the SAPs, Siemens and others on the planet that offer such services for hundreds of thousands of dollars, but Yammer costs
1$ per user $5/user/month. That’s fair and an understandable pricing model.
We’d really like to see a hospital, or a ward, giving Yammer a try. Crossing the border of traditional communication and aiming for an alternate and potentially higher form of communication through the means of technology. What do you think about this matter? We would love to hear your ideas in the comments section.