If you are looking for ways to increase visibility and be viewed as a technology leader in your hospital, you can write regular articles about medical devices for your hospital’s newsletter. Since most employees including the C-Suite read the newsletter, it gives you a great opportunity to demonstrate your technology knowledge.
Although we expect nurses, physicians and other persons involved in direct patient care to have an understanding of medical devices, there are many hospital employees who know very little about them and would enjoy learning more. Housekeepers, food service employees, security personnel, and many others see these devices daily and have no understanding of their purpose and how they help improve patient outcomes. Members of the C-Suite and the hospital’s board of directors generally know about MRI and equipment used for robotic surgery, but they do not always fully understand the purpose of the less glamorous devices and would appreciate the opportunity to learn more.
It usually is easy to get published because most hospital newsletter editors are always looking for fresh copy and they welcome any articles that employees are willing to submit. They also appreciate articles that present a broader perspective of what is happening in the hospital. If you lack confidence in your writing skills, you will find that most editors will be happy to work with you to improve your copy.
Your topics can range from discussions about new devices that have been recently introduced into the marketplace, or they may cover products that departments have purchased to improve the quality and delivery of healthcare services. Some discussions could cover new scientific discoveries, or inventions that can affect the way we diagnose illness or care for patients in the future. Other topics might describe how some products work. If you decide to do this, always keep in mind that you are writing for non-technical people. Be sure to keep your descriptions simple and avoid technical language. Also, try to find ways to stimulate their interest.
Here is an example of an article we wrote in 1994:
A recent addition to our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is an innovative cradle that uses the latest in microcomputer technology to simulate an old fashioned nurturing environment for newborn babies. The product, called “Natures Cradle”, is a computer chip driven rocker that was developed in a Silicon Valley garage. It relies heavily on computer programming to recreate the gentle rocking motions and sounds that simulate an expectant mother’s womblike conditions. This simulated environment provides infants with a more comfortable and far less stressful atmosphere than the harsh conditions of a busy intensive care unit.
The wooden exterior of the cradle gives it the comforting appearance of solid and handsomely designed piece of baby furniture. This design style was carefully chosen to put anxious parents at ease. It is only when operating that it becomes more than a piece of furniture. When the cradle is turned on, the rhythmic movement of a walking mother is simulated by a gentle rocking motion that moves forward, backward, and side to side. This motion is accompanied by low level sounds that mimic a mother’s heartbeat. These sounds are transmitted from the base of the cradle through the mattress where they are simultaneously heard and felt by the infant. Developers of the product claim that the combined motion and sounds provide a transition between the warm and comforting environment that the baby enjoyed for months in its mother’s womb and the harsher environment of the real world.
Studies show that in this comfortable, nurturing environment, infants are healthier, happier, more alert and better adjusted. They cry less and develop better sleeping patterns. All of this contributes to increased growth and weight gain which means that infants can go home earlier and the costs of their care are reduced.
Obviously news articles alone are not going to change people’s perception of you, but they can be part of an overall program to present your department as a technology leader.
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