Wednesday, 6 October 2010

What you can learn from watching and listening

I'm in hospital, taking an enforced rest from work and normal life.with much too much time to think. Luckily I have relatively slow 'Net access.

I've just spent about three weeks in a specialist orthopaedic hospital which is also a centre of excellence, a research and teaching hospital. Some lessons for FLOSS:

Research methods matter: open communication matters more

The hospital was apparently doing various research projects, some minor, some major: whether cooling a knee joint in surgery improved recovery and aftercare, whether complete pain relief and comprehensive analgesia stimulated recovery, trying to standardise on a pain score to measure subjective pain - " On a scale of 1-10 how does it feel?"

The knee joint research was being written up and would be shared worldwide - if it proved worthwhile, hundreds of patients could benefit. If it wasn't worthwhile, it would still be written up just as comprehensively with testing methodology, evidence from double-blind trials or whatever as appropriate to save someone else from having to re-invent the wheel.

The analgesia study sounded just like the application of a doctor or nurse's intuitive commn sense and experience - but it was being carried out scientifically and measured. also answering supplementary questions like "If pain is sometimes a helpful indicator of problems, how should you guage reactions when all pain is dulled?" Additionally, the ward had dispensations to use different and more flexible drug regimes to include the use of oral morphine derivatives. Again, everything was being noted, measured and shared.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Temporary files hurt :(

Just had to spend some time with my 11 year old daughter to explain why her homework had disappeared - MS Office had saved her word document to a temporary file - which had,, of course, vanished.

A little lesson in how to save (and a lecture from others in how I should take more interest in what she's doing).

Watching the snow - which is also temporary - and enjoying catching up with the rest of my emails and reading.