Bloggers Corner #7 – Lisa Drake

Lisa Drake, tells us the story behind her blog What Lisa did next…, and shares some useful advice for anyone new to blogging.

Why did you start blogging?

I took part in the Innovation Agency/Academic Health Science Network’s Coaching Academy for Spread and Adoption programme last year. Primarily this was to help look at how we could use the power of our networks to encourage others to share, learn, support, understand and spread good practice. I was challenged very gently, by my Coach @haighclaireto ‘collaborate out loud’. I’d often joked that like many practice managers, we could write up many the surreal events that take place in general practice, but usually don’t for fear of breaching confidentiality. The blogging was a way of trying this out.

How long have you been blogging for?

My first Blog in July 18 was to respond to Claire’s suggestion and was written to share details of the programme with others. It helped me get started, I had to find out how to use WordPress and be reflective in how I write and work.

What do you hope to achieve through your blog?

Some of my blogs are chatty, others more serious. They are usually a personal experience or that of my work in general practice. Access to Records is an area of interest for me and I wanted to respond to the simplistic notion that everyone should have access, with a bit of balance about the complexity. I do agree this is important and I’m an advocate of access to records, but also understand the difficulties for practices. My last blog, Is he dying…, is very long but too important to shorten. It needs updating now but it was written out of frustration with the system and in response to the ‘rhetoric of integration’ at a time where people need services to be coordinated. It’s intended to be shared with other health care professionals involved in end of life care and to be used as reflection or a case study for improvement.

Has anything surprised you since you started?

Yes, Digital Health, missed opportunities received a lot of sharing and comments, helped no doubt by Roy Lilley sharing through his regular Constant Contact newsletter. The blogs have been picked up and shared via channels I wouldn’t usually get access to or have the audacity to expect, which is quite humbling.

How do you publicise your blog? Which channels are the most helpful?

I use Twitter a lot and I’m a member of a number of closed Facebook member only groups. When I publish, I share automatically through my twitter account @annalise2406 and my LinkedIn page.

What keeps you going with it?

I’m a sharer by nature and truly don’t understand why people wouldn’t pass on knowledge or experiences that could help others, especially when it comes to reinventing the wheel in the NHS, which we seem to do time and again.

What are your plans for the future?

I’m working on a number of projects at the moment, supporting practices to incorporate Digital tools, solutions, ways of working etc to streamline in house and offer patients access to online services. One project involves use of Virtual Reality for a range of health programmes and that’s very exciting. Another is supporting the deployment of online consultations across Cumbria and Lancashire.

Any tips for colleagues who may be thinking about blogging?

Give it a go, what’s the worst that can happen?

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