In our hospital we have an internet ICU community. Members read the blogs etc, but hardly react or interact. Any advice to improve this ?

Our community started march '12, for ICU patiënts, their loved ones and ICU professionals. Now, more than 8 months later, we seem to become a source of information, but not a platform for exchange of experiences or inter-patiënt-support. Though the latter ones are the real goals of this community.

Does this just need patience or more ?? What can we do ?

4 Replies

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  • We started a support group here in Hastings in early 2012 that is ex-patient and ICU nurses lead, we have regular drop-in support meetings at a local pub as we found people prefered to meet away from the hospital.

    We have great support from the ICU followup clinic telling people about our support group and by working with ICUsteps as a satellite group it gives us the support of a national group and Peter is most helpful if you need advice.

    We also found patients and relative found it easier to talk about their experiences after they have left hospital and start to come to terms with the trauma they have all been through.

    Good luck with your group and if we can offer any help or advice we are always happy to help. :-)

  • It may be in part linked to your patient demographic? May not be an age group that is happy using the Internet in this way??

  • I would agree that it needs to be away from the hospitol. But from getting to an active group it is important that as many people in the hospitol are aware of it and where to find it. Make sure that the URL is given / shown. Maybe get a print shop to sponsor/print cards to hand out. to relatives Etc.

  • There are many factors that can affect this, but it's certainly not due to a lack of need. If your hospital has an ICU follow up clinic, that's a big help because the link between ICU and patients beyond the ICU stay itself is already established. The other main thing is letting patient and relatives know about the group at or before discharge from ICU and if it's possible to write to them a few weeks after, even better.

    There are of course many other aspects to consider such as time of day, day of the week, location and others but letting people know about the groups is certainly the biggest thing to address. As our network of ICUsteps support groups become more established, we'll be able to share best practice, what works and what doesn't with other local groups and of course with so many patients and relatives being familiar with ICUsteps through our patient information booklet, they should be reassured about coming to a drop in that's linked to our brand.

    Do keep in touch and let us know how you get on either through the community or directly via the ICUsteps website icusteps.org

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