The following is a guest blog post by Sean Erreger.
The last two weeks have presented an interesting convergence of events. As a social worker attempting to keep up with the latest technology, I use several means. One of them is to follow two hashtags on twitter. #SWtech is a smallish group of social workers interested in the latest technology and its impact on our profession. The other is #HITsm. Readers of this blog are probably a more aware of this larger community. Networking with those on the #HITsm hashtag has helped shed light on the barriers and also innovations that drive health information technology. This knowledge is something I have tried to bring back to the #SWtech group and my social media audience. The social work community has been little skittish about health information technology. That privacy and cost often limit our ability to implement technology.
As a result, Social Work was falling behind in these conversations. The #SWtech community has created a dull roar of social workers on social media to keep up. That momentum has shifted a bit in the last several weeks. The National Association Of Social Workers (in partnership with Association of Social Work Boards, Council on Social Work Education, and Clinical Social Work Association) released the new Technology Standards In Social Work Practice. This was a big deal because the standards have not been updated since 2005. Things have changed a bit since 2005 and social work had serious catching up to do.
This document took a lot of work with feedback from lots of stakeholders in the social work community. Not surprisingly the #SWtech community had a lot to say about the draft opened for comment last summer. Most of us knowledgeable about technology felt the draft document was fear-based and not solutions driven. Both individual and group comments on the draft were heard. More importantly, last summer’s draft became a rallying cry for this small group to continue work together. We began to stay in touch with each other and build upon our Google Plus Group and the hashtag. There was no twitter chat but we stayed connected a lot like #HITsm.
For the last several years I have poked into #HITsm tweet chat and networked with many of you. I found the openness of this community a valuable resource. Hashtags are a great way to share knowledge and the Health IT community on twitter is no exception. #HITsm has a strong sense of community and the #HIT100 nomination process is a great reminder of this. Taking the first 2 weeks (or so) in July to praise and acknowledge the work of your Health IT peers. The focus on community seems to have further activated and expanded the #HITsm community. This seemed like a similar rallying cry of the #SWtech community.
So I wanted to take the opportunity to take the energy of both communities to introduce each other. That the momentum of the NASW Tech Standard being released and the community building of the #HIT100 can create a bridge between social work and Health IT. These collaborations probably take place in real life but I would like to create more opportunities for Social Work and Health IT to share information on social media and perhaps build each other up even more. So #SWtech meet #HITsm… #HITsm meet #SWtech.
About Sean Erreger
Sean Erreger is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in New York State. He is interested how technology is changing social work practice, healthcare, and suicide prevention. He provides training in clinical aspects of social work and best practices for social media usage. You can find him on his blog at www.stuckonsocialwork.wordpress.com