Skip to main content

Christian Sinclair on Why We Should Get on Twitter

Are you still not convinced that you should sign-up for twitter?  Will take more than a "genius" for you to understand the value of a 140 character haiku?  Well, maybe Christian Sinclair can convince you as part of our second installment in our series to encourage uptake of twitter in both geriatrics and hospice & palliative medicine (especially at this years Reynolds meeting via the hashtag #dwrf12).

Dr. Sinclair (@CTSinclair) is the National Hospice Medical Director at Gentiva Health Services and is one of AAHPM's Board of Directors.  He is the co-editor for the blog Pallimed and has convinced many people in our field to take the plunge into social media.




Widera: Why should we get on twitter?

Sinclair: Communicating good information about health care to the general public is challenging and tools which are free and quick to learn should encourage us to at least become familiar with the potential benefits. And because communication is a two-way street, we could always learn what is important to the patient communities we serve since they are openly broadcasting about their illness in online groups.

Widera: Can you give a real life example of an interesting way twitter can be used in geriatrics or palliative care?

Sinclair: Advocacy is probably the safest and quickest way for anyone to start to see the power of Twitter. When you read an interesting journal article go ahead and share the link and maybe a short comment about your thoughts on Twitter. When you use the hashtag #hpm or #geriatrics then all other people interested in that subject have the potential to see it, learn from it and pass it on. Physicians Scott Lake (@doclake) Diane Meier (@DianeEMeier) are probably the most consistent and high quality users I see using this approach.



Widera: Do you use twitter during national meetings? If so, how and why?

Sinclair: I use Twitter at National Meetings in many ways. First it is a simple way for me to take notes. I bring my laptop or iPad with keyboard and tweet interesting facts and links related to the presentation and the hashtag for the conference. When I get back from the conference I simply look through my last hundred tweets and find all the things I found very interesting and share that with my teams.

Widera: How do you find the time to read and respond to all those tweets?

Sinclair: I don't. I think of it like a news ticker at the bottom of your TV screen. If you miss some information on there while you fix your lunch, you don't find yourself worried about being left out. And if it important enough to be read, the echo chamber of online communications will make sure it finds a way to your eyes.

Widera: Do you use twitter to talk about something other than geriatrics or palliative medicine?

Sinclair: I do have friends that I talk about books we are reading, and occasionally soccer as well. I do follow other health care groups on twitter such as #BCSM (Breast Cancer Social Media) and #HCSM (Health Care Social Media).

Widera: Any tips for someone new to twitter?

Sinclair: Listen first. Follow key professionals who are using Twitter effectively for professional to professional communication. See how they are sharing information about your field and how it interests you. Then re-tweet and start to compose some of your own original tweets.

Widera: Funniest thing you saw on twitter lately?

Sinclair: Since I'm traveling more in my current job, I love to ask the Twittersphere about good or bad things at different airports. I'm love the humor and quips people share about O'Hare, Atlanta, and Dallas!


by: Eric Widera (@ewidera)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Lost in Translation: Google’s Translation of Palliative Care to ‘Do-Nothing Care’

by: Cynthia X. Pan, MD, FACP, AGSF (@Cxpan5X)

My colleagues often ask me: “Why are Chinese patients so resistant to hospice and palliative care?” “Why are they so unrealistic?” “Don’t they understand that death is part of life?” “Is it true that with Chinese patients you cannot discuss advance directives?”

As a Chinese speaking geriatrician and palliative care physician practicing in Flushing, NY, I have cared for countless Chinese patients with serious illnesses or at end of life.  Invariably, when Chinese patients or families see me, they ask me if I speak Chinese. When I reply “I do” in Mandarin, the relief and instant trust I see on their faces make my day meaningful and worthwhile.

At my hospital, the patient population is about 30% Asian, with the majority of these being Chinese. Most of these patients require language interpretation.  It becomes an interesting challenge and opportunity, as we often need to discuss advance directives, goals of care, and end of life care options…

Delirium: A podcast with Sharon Inouye

In this week's GeriPal podcast we discuss delirium, with a focus on prevention. We are joined by internationally acclaimed delirium researcher Sharon Inouye, MD, MPH. Dr Inouye is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Aging Brain Center in the Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew SeniorLife.

Dr. Inouye's research focuses on delirium and functional decline in hospitalized older patients, resulting in more than 200 peer-reviewed original articles to date. She has developed and validated a widely used tool to identify delirium called the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM), and she founded the Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) to prevent delirium in hospitalized patients.

We are also joined by guest host Lindsey Haddock, MD, a geriatrics fellow at UCSF who asks a great question about how to implement a HELP program, or aspects of the program, in a hospital with limited resources.  


You can also find us on Youtube!


Listen to GeriPal Podcasts on:
iTunes…

Are Palliative Care Providers Better Prognosticators? A Podcast with Bob Gramling

Estimating prognosis is hard and clinicians get very little training on how to do it.  Maybe that is one of the reasons that clinicians are more likely to be optimistic and tend to overestimate patient survival by a factor of between 3 and 5.  The question is, aren't we better as palliative care clinicians than others in estimating prognosis?  This is part of our training and we do it daily.   We got to be better, right? 

Well, on todays podcast we have Bob Gramling from the Holly and Bob Miller Chair of Palliative Medicine at the University of Vermont to talk about his paper in Journal of Pain and Symptom Management (JPSM) titled “Palliative Care Clinician Overestimation of Survival in Advanced Cancer: Disparities and Association with End of Life Care”.

Big findings from this JPSM paper include that we, like all other clinicians, are an optimistic bunch and that it actually does impact outcomes.   In particular, the people whose survival was overestimated by a palliative care c…