Sarah Stewart, a prolific blogging colleague at Otago, takes on the health sector educators and their almost neurotic hesitance to take on an open web presence and open education. Getting our knickers in a twist?

I am still thinking about the whole issue of confidentiality and blogging, especially in the context of health practice. And I am wondering if some people are getting their knickers in too much of a twist?…

…To be honest, I do not know if there has been an analysis of the content of blogs belonging to health professionals. So I do not know how much the concerns about blogging and confidentially are based in fact or general impressions.

Sarah and her colleagues have devised a simple test to assess the content of email by Health practitioners.

Liam and I developed an assessment tool by which we were able to anilyse the risk to security and confidentiality ranging from 1 — breach of patient confidentiality — indicating a high need for security and privacy of the email’s content, to a score of 8 which had no need for either security or privacy.

The results? Well, I don’t want to steel Sarah’s lime light here. I really think Sarah and her colleagues are on to something and I hope they take it further and chip away at the common (mis)conception that is quite frankly holding Otago Polytechnic health educators back in my opinion. The almost reflex reaction up until now has been a persistant blockage for health teachers even considering open education, but I’m sure there will be a debate even before the research…