The role of social networking applications in the medical academic environment

Department of Anesthesia, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305-5640, USA.
International anesthesiology clinics 01/2010; 48(3):61-82. DOI: 10.1097/AIA.0b013e3181e6e7d8
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Despite the use of web-based information resources by both anesthesia departments and applicants, little research has been done to assess these resources and determine whether they are meeting applicant needs. Evidence is needed to guide anesthesia informatics research in developing high-quality anesthesia residency program Web sites (ARPWs). We used an anonymous web-based program (SurveyMonkey, Portland, OR) to distribute a survey investigating the information needs and perceived usefulness of ARPWs to all 572 Stanford anesthesia residency program applicants. A quantitative scoring system was then created to assess the quality of ARPWs in meeting the information needs of these applicants. Two researchers independently analyzed all 131 ARPWs in the United States to determine whether the ARPWs met the needs of applicants based on the scoring system. Finally, a qualitative assessment of the overall user experience of ARPWs was developed to account for the subjective elements of the Web site's presentation. Ninety-eight percent of respondents reported having used ARPWs during the application process. Fifty-six percent reported first visiting the Stanford ARPW when deciding whether to apply to Stanford's anesthesia residency program. Multimedia and Web 2.0 technologies were "very" or "most" useful in "learning intangible aspects of a program, like how happy people are" (42% multimedia and Web 2.0 versus 14% text and photos). ARPWs, on average, contained only 46% of the content items identified as important by applicants. The average (SD) quality scores among all ARPWs was 2.06 (0.59) of 4.0 maximum points. The mean overall qualitative score for all 131 ARPWs was 4.97 (1.92) of 10 points. Only 2% of applicants indicated that the majority (75%-100%) of Web sites they visited provided a complete experience. Anesthesia residency applicants rely heavily on ARPWs to research programs, prepare for interviews, and formulate a rank list. Anesthesia departments can improve their ARPWs by including information such as total hours worked and work hours by rotation (missing in 96% and 97% of ARPWs) and providing a valid web address on the Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database Access System (FREIDA) (missing in 28% of ARPWs).
    Anesthesia and analgesia 11/2010; 112(2):430-9. DOI:10.1213/ANE.0b013e3182027a94 · 3.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Librarians at the Mayo Clinic developed customized Web 2.0 courses for library staff, health science faculty, and nurse educators. As demand for this type of training spread across the institution, a single, self-paced class was developed for all employees. The content covered the typical Web 2.0 and social media tools (e.g., blogs, really simple syndication [RSS], wikis, social networking tools) emphasizing the organization's social media guidelines. The team consulted with the public affairs department to develop the class and coordinate marketing and advertising. The eight-module, blog-based course was introduced to all employees in 2010. Employees completing each module and passing a brief assessment receive credit on their employee transcript. Libraries staff provided support to participants throughout the duration of the course through chat widgets, e-mail, and blog comments. The results show that even though a high number of learners accessed the course, the completion percentage was low since there was no requirement to complete the course. Deploying a single, self-paced course for a large institution is an enormous undertaking, requiring the support of high level administration, managers, and employees.
    Medical Reference Services Quarterly 07/2011; 30(3):233-44. DOI:10.1080/02763869.2011.590413
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    ABSTRACT: Today's educators are faced with substantial challenges in the use of information technology for anaesthesia training and continuing medical education. Millennial learners have uniquely different learning styles than previous generations of students. These preferences distinctly incorporate the use of digital information technologies and social technologies to support learning. To be effective teachers, modern educators must be familiar with these new information technologies and understand how to use them for medical education. Examples of new information technologies include learning management systems, lecture capture, social media (YouTube, Flickr), social networking (Facebook), Web 2.0, multimedia (video learning triggers and point-of-view video) and mobile computing applications. The information technology challenges for educators in the twenty-first century include: (a) understanding how technology shapes the learning preferences of today's anaesthesia residents, (b) distinguishing between the function and properties of new learning technologies and (c) properly using these learning technologies to enhance the anaesthesia curriculum.
    03/2012; 26(1):33-53. DOI:10.1016/j.bpa.2012.02.002
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