Google does know everything. And google keeps aggregating information on a constant and continous basis. Thank heavens for Google.

So why do we have to know and remember anything? Why stuff our brains full of detail when the details can be retrieved with a simple Google search. Ask Google. Get the answer instantly at zero cost.

What can we conclude about how our minds should work with the information that Google presents to us?

The skill sets that information workers including doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners and researchers should develop are different and distinctive today because of the availability of the information.

Information workers should know or learn how to formulate good and focused questions for Google so that Google is able to deliver appropriate and valuable information.

Once the answer arrives from Google, it is important to be able to interrogate the data. What does it mean? How is it relevant? How does it relate to the context of a specific client’s case?

Another skill set for information workers is the ability to combine disparate pieces of data into unique combinations. This is the creative act. Creativity is becoming more important everyday because of the focus on innovation within organizations. Innovators are prized within organizations today. And COVID 19 is an accelerant of innovation so the creative act is even more relevant during the Pandemic.

Once the new idea is created and stated. Then it is important to be able to seek feedback from a diverse group of thinkers. Diversity of perspective leads to better feedback. With the feedback, the idea can be refined and improved. Ideas at the point of gestation are like babies that need to grow up. Feedback helps to mature the ideas.

The next skill that is required is the ability to engage in reasoned and collaborative dialogue. Explaining the idea to others forces the creator of the idea to be able to defend the idea and thereby develop a deeper understanding of the idea and how it fits.

So with Google ready to respond to our questions, we as patient advocates and healthcare consultants have to be ready to employ new skills with the information that Google presents to us so that we can help our clients with their big and complex problems.

Raymond Rupert patient advocate and healthcare consultant.