Monday, May 13, 2013

Janus General Hospital identity design

From my interest in emergency response I came across Scott Weingart's EMCrit podcast a year ago. The EMCrit cast is one of a growing number of Free Open Access Medical Education (#FOAMed) sources. These folks are redefining medical education, both initial medical training and continuing education.
"EMCrit is devoted to bring the best evidence-based care from the fields of critical care, resuscitation, and trauma and translate it for bedside use in the Emergency Department (ED). Every two weeks we post a full ~20-minute podcast. In between, the site gets filled with blogposts, links, and EMCrit Wees (minature podcasts)." 
FOAM participants is the need to protect patient privacy -- both as a matter of medical ethics and of law [Medical Information Privacy and Security Act (MIPSA) & Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)]. While abstracting cases is effective there are concerns that by simply identifying the hospital or hospitals where cases are conducted put the provider and patient privacy at risk.

In response Scott created a virtual hospital "In order to protect our patients, but at the same time allow a discussion of cases for the benefits of medical education." This hospital is Janus General Hospital. It is modeled on the UK's St. Emlyn's.

While all of the content on EMCrit is well beyond my basic first aid experience, I find the discussion of challenging convention, process and process design provides valuable insight into my own work.  With the launch of Janus I saw the opportunity to contribute to FOAMed. I asked Scott if it would be helpful to have a logo for Janus General and he took me up on the offer.

Design: Janus was the ancient Roman god of beginnings and transitions. He is typically depicted with a face to the future and a face to the past. We used this theme as the core of the logo and it also appears in the logotype with the doubled "J". The twin circles represent two sides of a coin, another common theme with Janus.

Alternative Design: We also considered a simpler alternative that uses the doubled "J" type.

Monday, May 6, 2013

My personal outro

I always think about how I'm going to end a presentation before I start. I consider this my "outro". An outro serves a number of purposes:
  1. The outro helps you link your message of the day back to a higher message, hopefully your ethos and values.
  2. The outro, when repeated with an audience over multiple engagements, elevates this higher message in their minds.
  3. The outro gives you a closing point and helps avoid running on to a weak finish, it is an offramp.

In my Coast Guard leadership duties my outro emerged easily. "Be safe out there and look to the safety of your shipmates". What we do as Coast Guardsmen on the water, in the air and ashore is inherently risky.
My first concern is the safety of my crew. My "crew" can be a few when I'm leading a mission on the water as coxswain or hundreds in my senior leadership roles. We direct a great deal of institutional attention to identifying and managing risk. We manage risks with training and structured conversations about the dangers of what we do -- but we also want the perception of the risks and the understanding of our duty to each other as a top of mind outside of those structured conversations and training. There is also a few subtle calls to our Coast Guard core values in my outro. First, I'm addressing my audience as shipmates which has powerful resonance in our service. Second, I'm focusing my audience on others in our organization.

This outro works great with my internal audience but, surprisingly, it also works very well when I'm speaking to external audiences. Our primary mission as Coast Guard Auxiliarists is boating safety. With a new external audience I talk about our approach to risk when on duty and talk to them about the similar risks they face when working or playing on the water. By using my internal outro of "Be safe and look to the safety of your shipmates," I invite them into our community... a community of safe boaters.


Be safe out there and look to the safety of your shipmates.

Related link: In November 2012 I did a blog post and video as part of my Project Presence that talked about the importance of a strong outro when making leadership videos.