A description of how modern corporations came to be, shows how, unlike hospitals, corporations understand tools for collaboration are vital. They are the communication backbone and ensure people are on the same page. There are certainly flaws to existing systems, and e-mail still functions as the primary form of internal communication. Newer forms of communication software applications that enhance internal communication, facilitate workflow between different teams, and create a sense of corporate identity are being developed.
Yammer is called the “Twitter for Companies.“ It was launched in 2008 a couple of years ago by David Sacks of PayPal and Adam Pisoni with the goal of building a web-based tool for internal communication in startups, SMBs and cooperations. Yammer is powerful. It comes with a variety of mobile applications and a well-designed web interface. It let’s you manage yourself and your co-workers in groups, send direct messages and follow each other – much like Twitter.
Indeed, the basic structure of the tool is very similar to Twitter. Rather than choosing another social network like Facebook to model, the open structure of Twitter structure is appealing for businesses. It allows previously unknown people to connect and learn from each other. Further, new connections and information sharing happens immediately.
By enabling you to follow people in your corporate network, Yammer let’s you obtain knowledge and insights from different departments and perspectives. This is very similar to medical school’s multi-disciplinary learning approach. Yet once doctors are in practice, the cross-departmental information sharing fails to happen. With Yammer, medical specialists would be able to share their experiences, thoughts, and questions in real time with all their peers – both inside and outside the hospital walls. Interaction would be immediate. This is social networking at its best, yet tragically, not many are doing it.
Even television is catching on. In a recent episode of Grey’s Anatomy, doctors were giving live status updates from the OR to another medical professionals in another hospital. Their intent was to document a live operation so that others could learn from their experiences. They ran into problems during the procedure, and a life-saving-tweet from another professional saved the patient’s life. Fictional, but certainly not far from the truth, or the potential of the truth.
While Twitter has its limitations with respect to security, Yammer is secure, scalable and highly customizable. Yammer for your research group? Yammer for the OR? Yammer for your ward? No problem. To clarify: we are not affiliated with Yammer. Yet how can we not promote such great, simple services? There truly isn’t another comparable system out there for hospitals to use. Sure, there are the SAPs, Siemens and others offering such services. But while they charge hospitals hundreds of thousands of dollars, Yammer costs $5/user/month.
We would love to see a hospital give Yammer a try. It would allow us to cross the borders of traditional communication, and move to an alternate and potentially higher form of it. We would love to hear your ideas and thoughts in the comments section.
Disclosure: This post is part of a series or sponsored posts MedCrunch is bringing to its readers.