Tomorrow I will be moderating the #medlibs chat and we will discuss the use of social media for patient education and consumer health. 72% of adults seek medical information online, and between 26-34% (depending on various reports) of people use social media to find health information. The thought is the trend will continue to grow.
I will be asking these questions (I’m giving them to you ahead of time so you can think about them):
How are librarians using social media to provide consumer health information or patient education?
How do you measure the effectiveness of a social media health information campaign?
What are some barriers to providing patient education/consumer health information via social media?
#medlibs is a active group with lots of ideas and opinions so I am sure we will have more questions as we discuss things, but this is these are the main ones to get us started.
See you all online Thursday July 11, 2013 at 6pm PST and 9pm EST.
I am writing a book chapter on this topic and this #medlibs discussion will help me with it. I may use some tweets or reference parts of the #medlibs chat in the chapter. I don’t want to squelch the overall fun chattiness of the group. If I use anything I will only refer to tweets that are specifically related to the discussion topic and I will make every effort to let you know I am using your tweet.
I am in the process of writing a book chapter on the librarian’s use of social media for consumer/patient education and information. The use of social media to communicate has exploded. It is being used to share information on natural disasters by alerting people to safety information, on the ground reports, and connecting families with each other and their possessions. Millions of people have become citizen journalists reporting on events from the Hudson River plane (and now helicopter) landing. It is used for communication and information during protests such as the Middle East uprisings and G20 Protests. Advertisers use it to reach current and potential customers.
Two really interesting infographics illustrate how social media has become a source for people seeking information.
This one illustrates the use of social media during a disaster. According to the graphic 76% use social media to contact friend to make sure they are safe. During the disaster social media often replaces 911 for help. One of every five survivors contact emergency responders via social media, websites, email and 44% ask their online friends to contact responders.
This graphic illustrates how social media is replacing traditional journalism as a news source. According to the graphic 50% of people have learned about breaking news via social media rather than official news sources. Traffic to news sites from social media platforms has increased by 57% since 2009.
So it makes sense that consumers and patients are using social media to find health information. The Fox Business article, More Consumer Turn to Social Media for Health Care Information, says National Research surveyed over 22,000 Americans and found “96% of respondents said they used Facebook to gather information about health care while 28% used YouTube and 22% used Twitter.” The LA Times article, Consumers Using Social Media for Medical Information,” reports results from PwC’s Health Research Institute which “underscores the need for healthcare providers and insurance companies to engage more with consumers online since they are increasingly making medical decisions based on the information they find there.”
With all of the activity on social media and the government healthcare organizations participation you would think that medical librarians would be using social media to reach their consumers and patients. You would think. But, I found very few articles in the library literature of using social media to connect consumers to medical/health information. There was a lot more written on using social media to reach library users, BUT these papers defined their users as medical or health care students or professionals. I even used social media to ask what librarians are doing with social media and consumer outreach. It yielded only a few examples (most people pointed to the NIH and NLM).
When I lurk on the MEDLIB-L list and attend programs at various conferences, patient education and outreach seems to be a big topic. However, it seems we are using more traditional means of providing health information to consumers and are not using social media to reach them. We are either waiting for them to come to us, we are attending health fairs, or we are rounding with health care members and providing information on the spot. These are all perfectly good methods of providing information. Yet I wonder why more medical librarians are not embracing the social media to provide consumer health information.
So far, I think I found 2 primary reasons. The first is that some hospitals have a very tight control over their social media presence and are understandably reluctant to let anything go through the web world without having the official hospital stamp from marketing. This can make it extremely difficult for a librarian to get involved. The second reason is a trickier concept, but worth chewing on. How does a librarian define their patrons on the social media? A librarian in Florida might provide information on Twitter to somebody in California. Is that their patron? How do they justify that to their administration who wants patients in their region who will spend money with them? How does a librarian do consumer outreach to their hospital’s potential patient base via social media? Additionally, how can a librarian measure their results? I could send out a ton of tweets on flu shots but is that effective and how do I measure that? At least the NIH knows its user base, the entire U. S. population.
My confusion about medical librarians providing consumer/patient health information outreach was further muddied when I saw the recent news about public librarians helping Americans sign up for health care insurance under the Affordable Care Act. ALA just had program “Libraries & Health Insurance: Preparing for October 1” with Ruth Holst, associate director at NNLM/GMR as one of the speakers. Since Ruth is one of the speakers, I have got to think somebody at some hospital or academic medical library is doing this. I have seen her post about HealthCare.gov website on GMR email list. I also saw Shannon & Jana’s posts on MEDLIB-L about the ACA and libraries. However I haven’t seen anybody post about what their hospital or academic medical library is doing. Is it too soon for that kind of a post?
Has the role of the hospital librarian changed? Are we leaning away from consumer health information outreach? Are we only interested in consumers that we can quantify…i.e. those who cross the hospital’s threshold? While I am a medical librarian, I don’t do consumer outreach. So perhaps my sights aren’t focused in the right areas. Thoughts?
People who have been using Google Reader have been scrambling to find an adequate solution to replace their beloved feed reader. Back in March, I wrote post on reader options for those looking to migrate before the end of Google Reader. I never really got into the Google Reader. I was a Bloglines girl who threw all of her feeds to Google Reader in a panic just before Bloglines disappeared. In months following the Bloglines blow up, I settled on Netvibes. At the time, I liked Netvibes integration with my social media and feeds. As I mentioned in my post in March, I haven’t been reading my Netvibes as much as I used to. While I liked Netvibes, something was missing. I suspected it was because it didn’t have an app, but now I think it was a combination of things.
When Google decided to pull the plug on its reader I decided to investigate different feed readers again to determine if I found one better than Netvibes or if I really even needed a reader now. These days I get a lot of my information from Twitter and to a lesser extent Facebook. People are tweeting their blog posts, or interesting questions, topics, issues, etc. and I wondered whether my social media feeds caused me to move beyond a feed reader. This is kind of the same thing Marcela De Vivo at Search Engine Journal wondered with her post, “Google Reader Is Almost Gone, But Do You Really NEED An RSS Reader Replacement?”
Could it be that Google is transitioning away from the RSS Reader format entirely? They’re switching over to Google Plus, and they want you to come with them.
Consuming social media as part of an RSS feed is not exactly new—that’s exactly what Digg is doing when it launches its own reader, the same day Reader shuts down. But to do away with readers entirely, relying solely on a social platform? When we’re looking at large-scale data consumption, is it a viable transition?
The answer is yes—if Google can pull it off. With the latest Google Plus redesign, this social platform is now much more social, making it easier to stream and share information. It could be possible to amass “feeds” of information… if you’re following the right people. And in order to make sure the right people are on Plus, Google got rid of it’s eminently popular Reader.
It could also be said that Google is simply following on the heels of a major trend in how we access information. RSS readers were designed for people to sit down and browse their collected feeds. But with the increasing number of those who use smartphones and tablets as their primary internet checkpoint, it’s more common to see people who are accessing information all day long, checking the latest news on a constant basis—which makes an integrated social media/reader platform much more probable option.
It is an interesting concept. Right now I only use Google Plus for work at my institution. (The Department of Education is exploring its use for connecting and sharing within the department and increasing synergy.) I play on it a bit for personal and library stuff, but I just haven’t gotten into it yet. Maybe Google knows me better than I do, and Google Plus will be attached to my hip in a year’s time. I remember saying years ago that Twitter was fun but I couldn’t think of using it professionally. Doh!
In the meantime I have not yet given up my feeds. I decided to explore Feedly. I don’t like the fact that Feedly doesn’t work with IE. I know everybody talks about IE’s decline in the browser wars but the problem is that many major hospitals and larger companies use only IE. Academia and the open natured technology industry have the flexibility to shun IE in favor of other browsers, but there is a large group of the working population that can’t. I am not the only one who reads feeds at work, Feedly’s suggestions page has many comments on the IE issue. Apparently the new Feedly Cloud feature might help IE users, but there are those on the suggestions page that seem to have problems with Cloud.
Now I am lucky in that I am able to use Firefox and Chrome on my work computer. However, because there are a lot of hospital resources and other web resources that were created specifically for IE, it tends to be my browser of habit at work. I noticed I am breaking that habit slowly. I have Chrome up almost all the time for two reasons. 1. Our the Department of Education is exploring the use of Google Plus. 2. My life is on Google Calendar and I need to consult it often.
One of the nice things about Feedly is that it integrates very well with Chrome. As soon as I launch Chrome the Feedly tab launches with my feeds. This is actually is quite helpful to me and works perfectly with my morning current awareness reading habit. When I login to my computer each morning the first thing I do is bring up Chrome for my calendar, so the Feedly tab with my feeds is right there too. This has gotten me back into the habit of reading my feeds.
Feedly has an app and it is on my iPhone, but like Marcela mentioned, it is a bit clunky. I don’t use Feedly on my phone as much as I thought. I still use it more than I used Netvibes, mainly because it is an app on my phone. I have found that on my phone Feedly has to compete for my attention among my other apps. I tend to use apps that have the alert icons on more than the ones that don’t. Because Feedly doesn’t have alerts showing up on the icon, it often gets ignored for other apps like Facebook, Hootsuite, mail, Words with Friends, news apps, etc. that all have alerts. I see a little red number next to those apps and my brain says, “Ooh what’s new that I need to know about?” I know I am easily distracted.
I have pretty much left Netvibes, it just didn’t fit into my work flow anymore. I have moved to Feedly and while I am using it more than I used Netvibes, the jury is still out as to whether I keep it or move to only get information through Twitter. Intellectually I am not ready for that kind of switch, but we’ll see if my daily life’s actions tell me otherwise.
For those that don’t like any of the options I mentioned in March, Digg is creating a reader that might interest you. They are certainly cutting it close, as they mentioned on their blog, their public release of version 1 will come just before Google shuts Reader down. Currently they sent out their first batch of invites to the survey participants who helped with their development process. “Over the next few hours”, they’ll open Digg Reader to the rest of the users signed up for early access. If you want to try Digg you can sign up here: digg.com/reader. As they scale up over the next day or so, they’ll be adding users in increasingly larger batches. According to Digg, “this beta version is aimed first and foremost at Google Reader users looking for a new home in advance of its imminent shutdown.” They have instructions on how to migrate from Google to Digg.
As they mentioned the beta version is very basic but they have plans to really improve it in updates.
Things Digg will be rolling out in the next few months include:
Android app (before end of July)
Additional options like “View Only Unread” and “Mark As Unread”
Useful ways to rank and sort your posts and stories, such as (1) by popularity within your social networks, (2) by interestingness to you, and (3) by article length
Better tools for organizing feeds and folders, as well as support for tagging
More options for sharing and sending (e.g., to LinkedIn, Google+, WordPress, Tumblr, Squarespace, Evernote, Dropbox, Buffer), and integration of IFTTT functions
After reading more about Digg, it looks like I am going to have to check it out. However, I am going to wait a bit. I don’t need to jump Feedly’s ship just yet and the things I am interested in are not in the product yet. Still it is interesting.
When Fergie sang, “I’m so 3008. Your so 2000 and late” I am 100% sure she was not singing about medical libraries and ebooks, but whenever I think of ebooks, libraries and publishers Fergie’s lyrics repeatedly ring through my head.
Public libraries and Amazon are ahead of medical libraries regarding ebooks. Providers of medical library ebooks such as McGraw Hill Access databases, Ovid, Elsevier’s ClinicalKey, and others methods of providing ebooks are from the digital dinosaur age when a portable device was considered a laptop.
Not much has changed on how we provide our ebooks with these vendors. Our users go to their website and view the book online like they are viewing a web page. They do it the same way they did before the Kindle or iPad. Not only is some of the content STILL in Flash (AccessSurgery) making those videos completely useless, but they treat viewing the ebooks on the iPad and Kindle as mini laptops which is limiting. Kindles have been around since 2007 and the iPad has been around since 2010. People have had between 3-6 years worth of downloading expectations that have been fostered by Amazon, Apple, and public libraries.
People’s concepts of an ebook have drastically changed. The term ebook no longer refers to a book that is available online in HTML or PDF. Users now define an ebook as something DOWNLOADABLE to their device. They are disappointed when they aren’t. When I am asked if we have any ebooks and I say yes, the next question I am asked is how do they download them to their device. When I tell them they can’t, they are immediately turned off. They aren’t interested.
I understand that these providers don’t want people downloading their books for free and keeping them forever. However, public libraries have already done a pretty good job at training our users for us and they have figured out methods to curb copyright and theft. While users expect to download the book to their device, they also expect that the book will be returned or disappear from their device after a set period of time. This is the way public libraries have done things. This is the way iTunes and Amazon “rent” movies. Amazon has been renting etextbooks and renting to ebooks to Prime members for a while. It is cheaper to rent the Amazon book than to buy it, and Amazon customers can set their own expiration date (more expensive for longer terms). Overdrive was founded in 1986 and has been working to provide public libraries with ebooks and materials since 2002 with their Digital Library Reserve, a digital download platform. People are well versed in the concep downloading an ebook to their device for a limited time.
Yet many medical ebook vendors are still plodding away with their ebooks that can only be viewed online, the same way they always had when all we had were laptops. They have not evolved. We are still looking at HTML or PDF versions of the print. Yeah some ebooks have video content or interactive tests, but that isn’t any different than what was available in 2000. As a result, when it comes to non-downloadable ebooks, we are losing our users.
Have big publishers become too big to be agile to adapt to current technology? Are their online publishing platforms too entrenched to be able to provide downloadable ebooks that can disappear (be “returned”) on a device? Other companies do it. Why don’t they? Are they over invested in the way they used to do things that it is inhibiting the way things have evolved? Or are they operating as usual and don’t really realize the demand to download the books? Only they know. But one thing is for sure, their online ebook platforms days are limited. I can’t say whether it is today or tomorrow but it is coming. The consumer demand for downloadable content is not waning, and the use of iPads within hospitals is growing. According to EHR Intelligence a study conducted at Columbia University Medical Center in New York determined that “iPads were used frequently by residents attending rounds: 90% of residents reported referring to their iPads, since they are unable to leave their attending physician to use a PC elsewhere.”
If they can’t use a PC to find information and are using their iPad instead, then the old way of offering ebooks via a web page or PDF is like the Dodo bird. It is stuck on an electronic island with no means of leaving or evolving and being preyed upon by users expectations.
Michael Kerr assumed the iPhone would win this comparison hands down when it came to medical software availability. However it wasn’t as quite of a landslide victory as originally expected. Kerr compiled a list of daily “must have” apps and compared platform compatibility on a chart. His chart demonstrated that many of his favorite medical apps were also available on Android and for approximately the same price. Now, his favorite medical apps may not be your favorite medical apps, but I think it definitely shows that developers are not ignoring the Android.
Android fall short when it comes to very new apps and to what Kerr refers to as the ecosystem. When Kerr compared platform compatibility with iMedicalApps.com’s 2012 most innovative medical apps list, he found that most of those apps were only available on the iPhone. It would seem that developers are first creating for the iPhone then developing for the Android. Regarding the ecosystem, Kerr noted, “people have already invested money in Apple and iOS. Some medical apps are bloody expensive. As well as this, many of these apps are able to be installed onto iPads for the same purchase fee. Android doesn’t currently offer a tablet experience that can match an iPad as yet.” So people who have had choosing an Android might have to buy all new apps if they had an iPhone or currently have/want an iPad.
Kerr’s post is very informative for doctors who have a choice as to what phone & tablet they can carry. Doctors in BYOD hospitals can easily weigh the pros and cons of Android and iOS. Doctors working at institutions which have established a specific operating system like iOS will not have much of an option when it comes to work devices, but may find this useful for their own personal devices if they want to carry two phones.
A colleague tweeted this article, “Are Physicians Truly Engaging with their Patients? by Nancy Finn” about physicians, EMRs and meaningful use. According to the article, “as of March, 2013, 160,890 eligible professionals had received Medicare incentive payments and 83,765 professionals had received Medicaid incentive payments” for achieving stage 1 one meaningful use. While they were able to achieve stage 1, are they ready for stage 2? How are they changing their practice patterns to achieve stage 2?
The article states stage 2 requirements are:
Provide patients with their health information (via a web portal) on 50% of occasions and have at least 5% of these patients actually download, view or transmit that data to a third party.
Provide a summary of the care record for 50% of transitions of care during referral or transfer of patient care settings.
Provide patient-specific education resources identified by Certified EHR technology to more than 10% of patients with an office visit.
Engage in secure messaging to communicate with patients on relevant health information.
Make available all imaging results through certified EHR technology.
Provide clinical summaries to more than 50% of patients within one business day.
Finn wonders if “a majority of physicians remain steadfast in dominating the physician/patient relationship, convinced that engaging patients in their care is a burden? Or are many of them beginning to realize that engaging the patient in their health care decisions will make health care more efficient and cost effective, and improve patient outcomes?”
The librarian in me wonders if there are ways we can help physicians meet stage 2 requirements. I know with EPIC a physician can send a request for a librarian to provide patient education information to the patient through their portal. I know specifically of one librarian who got a message in Epic to do that. She logged in, provide links and contact information to appropriate free patient ed resources to the patient. The patient got the information through My Chart and was so happy that she emailed the librarian thanking her for the information. Another nice thing about this patient ed transaction, EPIC noted that patient education information was sent to the patient and included that in her chart for the doctor to see.
I’m not trying to say that doctors shouldn’t help provide patient education information, but I also know that in a hospital environment things can be hectic, confusing, scary, etc. for the patient. They may have gotten information from the doctor but not understood it or wanted more detailed information. Using the librarian to provide patient education material through EPIC (and EPIC notes that it was provided) has got to help both doctors and patients.
Are there other ways that librarians can help doctors and their institutions meet stage 2 requirements? Please comment with your ideas.
The Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) is pleased to announce the 2013-2014 year of the leadership program jointly sponsored by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and AAHSL. The NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program is focused on preparing emerging leaders for the position of library director in academic health sciences libraries.
Fellows will have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills in a variety of learning settings, including exposure to leadership in another environment. They will be paired with mentors who are academic health sciences library directors. In addition to the individual relationship with their mentors, fellows benefit from working collaboratively with other fellows and mentors. Experienced program faculty and mentors will provide content and facilitation for the cohort. The program takes advantage of flexible scheduling and an online learning community to minimize disruption to professional and personal schedules. The sponsors will provide financial support for a small cohort of fellows and will underwrite travel and meeting expenses.
Fifty-five fellows have participated in the program in the first eleven classes. To date, twenty-two fellows have been appointed to director positions.
The one-year program design is multi-faceted: three in-person leadership institutes; attendance at an Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) annual meeting; a yearlong fellow/mentor relationship; webinars and discussions on issues related to library leadership; and two weeks of site visit to the mentor’s home library.
The program is designed to:
Introduce fellows to leadership theory and practical tools for implementing change at organizational and professional levels;
Introduce fellows to critical issues facing academic health sciences libraries;
Develop meaningful professional relationships between fellows and mentors that give fellows access to career guidance and support;
Expose fellows to another academic health sciences library and its institutional leadership under the guidance of their mentors;
Examine career development and provide models of directors to fellows;
Create a cohort of leaders who will draw upon each other for support throughout their careers;
Promote diversity in the leadership of the profession; and
Offer recognition to emerging leaders and enhance the competitive standing of fellows as they pursue director positions.
The NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program is currently accepting applications and nominations for the August 1, 2013, deadline for potential fellows for the 2013-2014 experience. Candidates for fellow should have a strong interest in pursuing a directorship in academic health sciences libraries, as well as significant management experience. Applications are welcomed from professionals working in academic health sciences libraries, hospital libraries, or other library-related settings. Applications from qualified minority candidates are encouraged.
Directors with at least five years’ experience as director of an academic health sciences library should indicate preliminary interest in being matched as a mentor by contacting the AAHSL Future Leadership Committee by August 1.
In my previous Behind the MLA Scenes post, Mark Funk commented that he would like to see a post about the Nominating Committee. He says, “Something that I am always explaining to people is the process to get on the Nominating Committee. Once I explain, they understand, but there is a lot of confusion on this.” I understand where Mark is coming from because I know a few people who were once on the Nominating Committee who confided in me that they weren’t even sure how they got nominated.
So this post is going to try and clear up the confusion behind the Nominating Committee.
What is the Nominating Committee?
MLA has a page on MLANet devoted to the Nominating Committee (available to members). Basically the Nominating Committee is a group of 9 elected people and the MLA Past President who select the names that will be on the ballot for the Board of Directors and the President elect. The Nominating Committee is elected in November and the following May at MLA they meet in a room and hash out who they would like to see run for Board of Directors and President elect. (Often there is a lot of pre-MLA work coming up with names and resumes prior to their meeting so that they don’t spend as much time brainstorming names as they do debating and selecting people.)
One thing I think that can be confusing….
The elected Nominating Committee is tasked with selecting the next Board of Directors and President elect. So for example, the people who were elected in November 2012 (just this past MLA election) met in May 2013 (at MLA) to select the people they would like to put on the ballot for Board of Directors and President elect to be voted on in Novermber 2013 and start serving in 2014.
How does one get on the slate to be elected on to the Nominating Committee?
Three groups select the nominees for the Nominating Committee. They are Section Council, Chapter Council, and the Board of Directors. Each group submits 6 names to be candidates for the Nominating Committee.
Section Council Candidates
Section Council has the rules for selecting candidates available on the Section Council website. Basically each Section (MIS, EMTS, HLS, LMS, Cancer, Dental, etc.) submits a name of a person they would like to see as a candidate. There are 23 Sections and each submit a name. Section Council collects the names, biographical statement, and a willingness to serve statement of the 23 people then post the list to a website for the voting member of the Section to select a candidate. In most cases the voting member of the Section is the past Chair of that Section. The 6 people receiving the most votes become Section Councils nominees for the Nominating Committee.
Chapter Council Candidates
Chapter Council has their rules for selecting candidates on the Chapter Council website. They operate much like Section Council. Each Chapter submits the name of a person as potential candidate for Nominating Committee. There are 13 Chapters and each submit a name. Chapter Council collects the names, biographical statement, and a willingness to serve statement of the 13 people. ”The Council will vote, by secret ballot, on the names submitted by the chapters electronically or at the Annual Meeting.” The 6 people receiving the most votes will become Chapter Council nominees for the Nominating Committee.
Board of Directors Candidates
The Board of Directors Manual (available to members) explains the selection of the Nominating Committee. It briefly states the Section Council submits 6 candidates, Chapter Council submits 6 candidates and the Board submits 6 candidates. In a meeting at MLA, the Board submits the names of many potential candidates for the Nominating Comittee. Once the list of submitted names are established the Board of Directors then votes and the 6 people with the most votes become the Board of Directors nominees for the Nominating Committee.
Who does the MLA membership vote for Nominating Committee?
Come November, the MLA membership is asked to vote for the Board of Directors, President elect and the Nominating Committee. The 18 people listed on the slate are the 6 candidates from each group. The MLA voting members will select the Board of Directors, President elect and the Nominating Committee. The 9 people who recieve the most votes from the list of 18 will be the Nominating Committee. They will be tasked with selecting the future slate for Board of Directors and President elect.
So in 2011 the MLA voting members selected Max Anderson, Ana D. Cleveland, Keith W. Cogdill, Jo Dorsch, Sherrilynne S. Fuller, Heidi Heilemann, Melissa L. Just, Neville D. Prendergast, and Lisa K. Traditi to be the Nominating Committee. These people met at MLA 2012 selected the names of candidates for the Board of Directors and President elect for 2012 and presented it to the membership to be voted on in November 2012. The membership voted and elected Linda Walton as President elect and Sandra Franklin and Kristine Alpi for the Board of Directors to serve in 2013.
Other Rules of Being on the Nominating Committee
Candidates must be a member of MLA, they may not have been on the Nominating Committee within the last 5 yrs. They also may not be a candidate for an elected office and vice versa.
I hope I was able to clear up any confusion with the Nominating Committee. Since multiple groups are submitting names and because discussions of potential candidates should be kept confidential the process can seem a little mysterious. I think the Nominating Commitee is one of the most important choices MLA membership make when voting, because the Nominating Committee people are the ones who will be selecting the next set of MLA leaders the membership will be voting for.
I just got 5 iPads back from my IT department so we will be circulating them fairly shortly. This has been an interesting process. I know there are many academic medical libraries that are circulating iPads, but to my knowledge there are very few hospital libraries that are circulating iPads that CAN ACCESS the hospital’s secure WiFi network.
My project is to allow all* caregivers to check out an iPad so that they can use one device to do there job (EMR, labs, etc.) and library research at the point of need whether it is at the bedside or cafeteria, it doesn’t matter.
(*We will loan iPads to any main campus employee who is in good standing with the library and is not a temporary, visitor, volunteer or rotating student.)
While I have been working on this project, I have solicited information from many people and I want to thank everyone for their thoughts and advice. Here is a post listing many places I consulted and the information I found. I used a lot of that information so that I wouldn’t have to recreate the wheel. However, all institutions have require their own little tweaks to the system, ours is no different. I have decided to list the things I have personally learned that might be slightly different than what others have done, so that others might be able to learn from my experiences.
GET IT INVOLVED! -OK that is a bit of cheat because a lot of librarians mentioned this, but I can’t stress this enough in the hospital environment. Most of what I learned is because of IT.
Zenprise - It is a mobile device management system that makes them “business-ready” (or in my case hospital ready), keeps content secure while balancing enterprise needs and user experience. It can work with BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) institutions or institutions that provide the device. Our IT department configured all of the devices using Zenprise and is able to automatically push out institution apps. I have experimented with the iPads and it appears that users can still load their personal apps on to the devices. However, I was warned this might make some institutional apps act wonky. Since I can’t get into every institutional app (EMR as an example), we will learn whether people can load their personal apps on the devices.
Extra Costs- The iPads aren’t cheap, but we also had to factor in the costs of our share of the Zenprise license and the software CALs (Client Access License). Without the CALs then the iPads would not have the necessary apps and software that caregivers use to treat patients or conduct buisness online. For example: If you want access to your institution’s Outlook you might need a Microsoft CAL.
It all depends on how your institution handles these type of institution wide programs and licenses. It is another reason to make sure you are working with IT. Because those extras can add significantly to the cost of the iPad
Buying Apps – Our iPads iTunes accounts are not associated with a specific a credit card. Individuals and institutions can do this by following Apple’s directions. I am not sure how ours were set up since IT set them up. I “think” IT did something very similar to Apple method and used Zenprise to manage it all.
I have usernames and passwords for the devices so I can ”buy” more free apps as needed and install on them them on each device. If I want them added globally, I can email my IT rep so that they can be added to their profile.
If I want to buy fee apps then IT recommended that we buy iTunes gift cards and redeem them to buy apps. I am not sure if this their work around until they are able to figure out a method for institutional department purchasing through iTunes. I am sure there are lots of hoops to jump through from both Apple and the institution to purchase apps through iTunes.
Circulation – There as many iPad circulation policies as there are libraries. We decided to have them circulate for 1 week (no renewals initially) with $10/day late fees. Since our users are employees of the institution we theoretically have a little more power to get the iPads returned, fees collected, (and hopefully never) replacement costs collected. I am told that IT can track the devices and lock them using Zenprise. I hope we never have to use that option but it is nice to know if somebody has an iPad overdue for weeks and weeks.
We are trying to walk a fine line regarding circulation. We understandably want them to have some restrictions but we don’t want the restrictions to be so tight that they inhibit usage. So we might be changing some policies as needed.
WiFi vs Cellular- The circulating iPads are WiFi only. We bought 2 iPads with cellular iPads for librarians to use if they are somewhere where they cannot get a WiFi signal. The cellular data is off. It will only be turned on using the library credit card as needed. Both AT&T and Verizon allow you to buy a specific amount of data for a month (shortest amount of time period) without a contract or the need to continually buy data each month. Since our iPads are new, we have no idea if we will need the cellular feature or not.
Advertising – We created a image to go on our new library page (which will launch later in June) that has a series of 4-5 rotating images at the top of the home page. It will be linked to the libguide about the iPads. We have several table top signs that will be displayed through out the library. We also have a brief story published in our Education newsletter. Our institution does not allow mass emailing to employees and they have taken steps to make it very difficult to it.
Survey – I will create a one page after use survey for people to fill out when they are using the device or when they return it. It will be basic and is intended to see how people are using the device and asking if they will be willing to participate in a longer library iPad future survey. I will have one in paper but I am toying with the idea of creating an online one using Survey Monkey and having the survey saved as an app on the device. I am not sure if people would think to “use” the app to take a survey.
This is what I know so far. We haven’t started circulating them, but when we do I will post more about what I have learned.