Leveraging Social Media to Accelerate It Innovation

1Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
2University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
3Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Meeting: Hospital Medicine 2014, March 24-27, Las Vegas, Nev.

Abstract number: 217


Electronic Health Records (EHR) are increasingly becoming the standard of care in inpatient settings. Front line clinicians, including residents, frequently have innovative suggestions for inpatient EHR modifications that can enhance quality, safety and workflow efficiency. Residents,, however, often do not know how to submit requests for changes in information technology (IT) or do not have time to participate in IT feedback and prioritization meetings. When resident ideas are suggested, information technology departments and personnel also may have difficulty communicating feedback on suggested changes, their rationale, and other urgent IT and hospital priorities that can influence their prioritization and decision making.. This can lead to frustration, lack of engagement, and missed opportunities for quality improvement.


Our goal was to provide a platform for real‐time communication between residents and IT personnel. We customized a web‐based social media site, Brainstorm, to allow for open discussion of new ideas between these two groups and encouraged a select group of residents to participate and share the web platform with their colleagues. Ideas and comments could be posted anytime and were viewable by all site members.


The platform was introduced in November 2012. By June 2013, 107 people had registered, submitting 101 ideas and leaving a total of 514 comments. Of the participants, 50% were residents and a total of 70% were clinical users while 23% were primarily IT users. Half of the ideas submitted were considered for pilots and 22% of these were completed or pending implementation. Examples of ideas implemented included preventing antibiotic orders from expiring without notification to improve patient safety; prepopulating vital signs onto daily progress notes and reducing the total number of reports printed to improve efficiency; and improved methods for pharmacy, nursing and physicians to coordinate discharge medication reconciliation.


Resident input is critical for optimization of the EHR. Traditional channels for IT requests are burdensome for busy housestaff and may not provide adequate bidirectional communication. Social media sites can be used in healthcare settings to enhance collaboration between groups that typically have limited direct contact. This can improve communication and facilitate identification and implementation of new ideas.

To cite this abstract:

Gitelman Y, Lorincz I, Stromberg N, Tait G, Tuyn M, Rosin R, McGreevey J, Salmon J, Hanson W, Patel N, Myers J. Leveraging Social Media to Accelerate It Innovation. Abstract published at Hospital Medicine 2014, March 24-27, Las Vegas, Nev. Abstract 217. Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2014; 9 (suppl 2). https://www.shmabstracts.com/abstract/leveraging-social-media-to-accelerate-it-innovation/. Accessed March 28, 2020.

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