Introduction & ObjectivesCommunication between doctors is traditionally conducted by written clinical charts. Mobile health is becoming an integral part of modern healthcare system, improving accessibility and quality of medical care. Recent papers suggest that an increasing number of doctors are using in their 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.Material & MethodsIn 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 speciality was monthly appointed. The participants were invited to condivide within the group clinical cases of genitourinary tumours 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 entered patients. 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 analysing the impact in their everyday clinical practice of Whatsapp multidisciplinary consultation.ResultsIn 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% (range: 0-45), 54% (range: 33-67) and 19% (range: 0-33) of the interventions for each clinical case were provided by oncologists, urologists and radiotherapists respectively. In 9 (81.8%) cases a final agreement on 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 to ameliorate the tool.ConclusionsWhatsApp is a useful alternative and a powerful complementary communication tool because of its capability to rapidly transfer large amounts of clinical and radiological data. In our experience this approach improved multidisciplinary collaboration among different specialists in different areas of the city through an easier and more informal change of opinions. In complex cases a rapid multidisciplinary approach permitted a personalized management and a tailored therapy for the patient.Acknowledgments: GSTU FoundationReferences: 1. Sidhoum N. et al. WhatsApp: Improvement tool for surgical team communication. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg, 2016. [Epub ahead of print]. 2. Gould G. et al. WhatsApp Doc? BMJ Innov. 2016 Jul; 2(3): 109–110.
|Number of pages||2|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|