Giuseppe Cicero, Vincenzo Serretta, Vittorio Gebbia, Gaetana Rinaldi, Cristina Scalici Gesolfo, Gianluca Mortellaro, Ivan Fazio, Leonarda La Paglia

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOtherpeer-review


Introduction: Communication between doctors is traditionally conducted by written clinical charts. Mobile health is becoming an integral part of modern medical systems, improving accessibility and quality of medical care. Recent papers suggest that an increasing number of doctors are using in their clinical practice mobile tools to communicate clinical informations (1, 2). The aim of our study was to verify the adoption of WhatsApp Messenger in everyday clinical practice to obtain a real-time multidisciplinary collaboration among medical centers located in different areas of the city.Materials and Methods: In January 2016 a WhatsApp Messenger group was created among 25 specialists: 9 urologists, 9 oncologists, 3 urology residents, 3 radiotherapists and 1 general practitioner. A general coordinator and a group coordinator for each specialty was monthly appointed. The participants were invited to interact within the group clinical cases of genitourinary tumors of particular complexity requiring a multidisciplinary approach. All the chats were registered. A preliminary analysis of the activity of the group was planned after the first 10 enteredpatients. An evaluation questionnaire was sent after 6 months to evaluate the level of appreciation. The questionnaire was composed of a first section investigating the appreciation among the members of the group and a second section analyzing the impact in their everyday clinical practice of whatsapp multidisciplinary consultation.Results: In 10 (91%) out of 11 patients the WhatsApp consultation was completed, one case was not of oncological interest. An average of 8 (range=2-13) specialists joined the chat for each patient. An average of 17.6 (range: 4-43) interventions for each clinical case was recorded. On the average, 27%, 54% and 19% of the interventions for each clinical case were provided by oncologists, urologists and radiotherapists respectively. In 9 (81.8%) cases a final agreement on the patient's management was reached. At the evaluation questionnaire in a scale 1-10, the average rating score of appreciation was 7.8 (range=4-10). Relevant suggestions to improve the Whatsapp Messenger consultation were obtained and will be considered for future application the ameliorate the tool.Discussion: WhatsApp is a useful alternative and powerful complementary communication tool because of its capability to rapidly transfer large amount of clinical and radiological data. In our experience this new approach for multidisciplinary consultations improved collaboration among different specialist in different areas of the city through an easier and more informal change of opinions. In difficult and complex cases a rapid multidisciplinary approach allowed to offer the patient a personalized and tailored therapy management.GSTU Foundation.1Sidhoum N, Dast S, Abdulshakoor A, Assaf N, Herlin C and Sinna R: WhatsApp: Improvement tool for surgical team communication. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg 69: 1562-1563, 2016.2 Gould G and Nilforooshan R: WhatsApp Doc? BMJ Innov 2(3): 109-110, 2016
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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