New microsite offers concussion education for parents, students and athletic trainers
- January 23, 2018
Dayna Tierney needs her eyes on the field at all times.
Eyes on her student athletes, to be exact, watching their twists and turns during play to make sure all goes well and they meet their goals and avoid injuries.
She’s an athletic trainer at Phoenix Christian Preparatory School working with young athletes ages 12 to 17.
And, when an injury does happen, she needs access to information quickly. She’s particularly interested in easy-to-access education on concussions as it is a risk reality for students at play in many sports.
“For post injury testing, I want to make sure my students and their parents have all the information they need about the test that’s administered after a concussion – to the treatment protocol for students to physician resources,” Tierney said. “Sadly, not far from us in Central Phoenix this year, we had a student athlete fatality after a traumatic brain injury on the football field, so if we can get all information in the hands of parents now to help them avoid injuries or worse, then consolidating it into one place is 100% worth it.”
A recent national news report cited that nearly 90 percent of parents in the United States surveyed worry about concussions if their children play contact sports. The story also reported a lack of concussion education as a tool to prevent more concussions.
Enter Dr. Javier Cárdenas who bridges that education gap.
He’s a neurologist with Barrow Neurological Institute and the Project Director of the Dignity Health Concussion Network championed by Dignity Health Foundation. Dr. Cárdenas was moved to start Barrow Brainbook – a concussion awareness and education program – after seeing his young patient’s life forever changed due to a traumatic brain injury.
He and his team have just created a microsite with help from NTT DATA Services to educate student athletes, athletic trainers, healthcare professionals, coaches and parents. There, they house multimedia content to share testing, treatment and awareness content on various forms of concussions: Combat (e.g. martial arts), Collision (e.g. football, ice hockey etc.) and Contact (e.g. soccer, baseball, wrestling).
Dr. Cárdenas’ Brainbook microsite debuted in its second iteration – now with a new format that makes it quick and easy to get information – including an animated sportscaster-style video presentation with ESPN injury analyst Stephanie Bell as anchor. He and his team have also enlisted “physician champions” for their Dignity Health Concussion Network – physicians who want to provide free concussion services to the community (currently they are in Arizona and California with plans to expand nationwide) as well as telemedicine tools so athletic trainers in other geographic areas can request help through sideline or locker room evaluations, for example, if their student athlete needs help.
As one of the best online concussion awareness tools available today, Barrow Brainbook is setting the standard for concussion education. And the technologists assisting say they’re happy to play a small part.
“As a leader in the Healthcare IT services space, NTT Data is privileged to play a critical role in creating a new digital platform for Brainbook,” said Atul Kichambare, Global Solution Leader - Patient Engagement at NTT DATA Services.
“The new microsite is a foundational layer for enabling digital interactions and enhancing engagement in a more effective and meaningful manner,” Kichambare said. “We are looking forward to continuing working with the passionate staff at Brainbook to not only add new features and functionality to the platform, but also to educate even more athletes about concussions.”
“What your team did is they allowed us to tie things together,” Dr. Cárdenas said. “One of the biggest things is the creation of a landing page so that the Dignity Health Concussion Network now lives in one place. Before it used to be one link for concussion testing, another link for telemedicine and yet another link for education … Now, an athlete can log on for education for return to play, his or her parent gets the education but also gets clinician info and the athletic trainer can go on there for the testing and consultation piece.
“No question about it that it has given our users a better user experience and improved significantly what we’ve been able to do and we are incredibly grateful for it,” Cárdenas said.
And, any little bit to keep the athletic trainer with steely focus on her student athlete helps.
“I love it I’m a huge fan,” trainer Tierney said. “It’s nice to have concussion testing, education, resources all in one place so I don’t have to have the kids go to separate places to do all the things they need and I love how parents can see what they need, athletes, healthcare providers and for coaches and non-athletes as well … it’s super convenient.”