Social media offers incredible opportunities to connect, learn and share - I am tirelessly evangelical about it, Twitter in particular.
I use Twitter to connect with people through my personal account, and as part of my role I'm also responsible for two corporate accounts (@HorizonsNHS) and (@Sch4Change). The ethos of these accounts is authenticity, being personable and approachable, and I am proud of the engagement that these accounts attract.
A key part of my role includes providing training for healthcare professionals on effective use of Twitter for influence and impact. I also facilitate many tweet chats, such as the recent #Improve4Patients tweet chat led by Hugh McCaughey, the National Improvement Director for England, and the Improvement Directorate tweet chat. Hugh recently wrote a blog about the power of Twitter and tweet chats to connect people who might not get the opportunity to meet in real life, build networks, and to learn and share with and from one another.
You may also be interested in this blog by Tanmay Vora that references a blog by Celine Schillinger (Tanmay also created the beautiful sketchnote below). As these blogs describe, Twitter can help us understand more about issues and our organisations. Twitter helps break down boundaries and hierarchies, as well as geographical barriers, so enables more open conversations than might be possible using more traditional channels.
I echo Hugh's thoughts around the joy of witnessing new connections being made, new relationships forged, and the many lightbulb moments being shared in these tweet chats. They're a real privilege to be a part of.
I too encourage anyone who hasn't yet signed up for a Twitter account to do so - and to join in with a tweet chat if you haven't yet.
Twitter can help to democratise engagement across health and care. We can collaborate and share ideas with people we might not get to meet in person. It is easier for people to participate and offer views and opinions from others. Twitter helps bridge boundaries and mobilise people towards a common aim – it’s about working together and, in our case, how we can spread and embed improvement ideas and approaches more widely. Hugh McCaughey