University of Oxford Green Templeton College HEXI Home Page Department of Primary Care Health Sciences

February 2016

In our last blog post we talked about hosting a Tweetchat to look at how health services were being used to improve care quality for others. This took place on the 13 January 2016 and I wanted to share reflections on our learning and the power of Tweetchats to engage audiences.

The rise of a genuinely interactive internet has transformed how people communicate. From an engagement viewpoint, it has created opportunities for sharing information and enabling conversations between people previously separated by any number of barriers.

This was noticeable in our Tweetchat. There was a real variety in people’s backgrounds and experiences, and it is unlikely a similar group would have been brought together using more traditional methods. I firmly believe that this diffuseness of people’s experience means online forums add a real richness and texture to the debate captured.

Another benefit of Tweetchat is that whereas we often talk about user-led events, Twitter actively places power in the hands of the participants. No-one owns a hashtag or can control retweets. Those hosting a Tweetchat can guide the discussion but they can’t dictate it. There is a genuine sense of democratisation as ultimately the Twitter audience decides which conversation threads to engage with.

Of course it is still important to offer a structure that generates valuable content, and we found three key themes emerged from our conversation:

  1. Gathering and analysing data
  2. It is vital that use of the data should determine the kind of data required, and vice-versa. For instance, is the data being used for improvement or for performance monitoring? Equally, people must recognise the strengths and limitations of different methods of obtaining feedback, and put in place a suitable suite of tools and media to meet a range of needs.

  3. Acting on information
  4. A disconnect between frontline staff and senior leadership on engagement with patient experience feedback, and the importance of organisational culture and greater clinical leadership in building greater staff engagement was discussed by participants. This may help tackle what was reported as a perceived lack of data ownership, motivation and empowerment to act on patient experience issues in some cases.

  5. People not data
  6. Those participating stressed the importance of remembering the people behind the data. Each number represents an individual person’s experience, whether it was good or bad. Don’t let how language can be used to obscure rather than add clarity mask the importance of the issues raised.

If you would like to dig further into the detail then you can follow the full discussion on Storify.


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