Web 2.0 - Do people in health get it?
I've posted a few times now about a project I am working on to convert a static health Government run website using DRUPAL to incorporate some of the more popular web 2.0 technologies.
Things are progressing but I must admit that some frustration is creeping in with regards to support. I was one of the first people employed in Australia with the word e-health in their title and I think it might have created a problem for me. People in health just don't understand what I do so I have to spend some time explaining it. You would think that after almost 6 years in my current position that I would have a descent description of what I do all sorted out.
The problem is that people, both in Health and outside have varying levels of understanding. Offering one description of my role just doesn't cut it. Many factors come into play here. Whether it is age, experience, understanding of technologies, professional bias or health knowledge, it is just too difficult to accurately convey what I do.
This brings me to my current frustations. I've recently held presentations among senior health professionals which I had hoped and continue to hope will be bring ideas and hopefully partnerships. This is critical to success, especially in Government.
Many continue to look blankly as I try to explain all the wonderful things I believe we can deliver to the population.
I have demonstrations, facts and figures to back up my ideas so it's not a weird science project I am trying to undertake. So why aren't they more excited? Why aren't they seeing the potential?
A couple of days ago, an email was CC'd to me from a co-worker. Someone in health who happened upon a report from a well known health professional (health promotion) from the USA sent it to everyone in management. He has written a report on the benefits of using Web 2.0 technologies specifically, healthy virtual communities. He announced that after careful consideration and research that it is indeed, a good idea to pursue online services.
All of a sudden I am getting requests for presentations. People have ideas and concepts.
Of course, I've been trying to get these very same people excited now for over 6 years. Not all have been based around web 2.0 but I have pushed the need for better online services.
I am very happy to see that some people in health are now actively promoting this trend and I am glad that it's finally getting through. But sometimes I wish that those same people could be a little more open to ideas from people in other professional fields rather than waiting for someone in health to tell them that it's okay to go ahead.
Reflecting on the past 6 years of trying to promote online services, I am not sure what I could have done differently other than source a well respected health professional to endorse it before spending countless hours looking at blank stares!