Glenfield Hospital's Dr Tapas Mukherjee has come out with an unusual way of increasing awareness of the new guidelines for treating asthma - by releasing a music video.
A study presented at the European Respiratory Society (ERS) Annual Congress in Barcelona today (10 September 2013), has demonstrated the success of this video and suggests that social media can be used to successfully improve medical practice.
In April 2012, an audit at Dr Mukherjee's hospital highlighted a lack of knowledge in acute severe asthma management. Only 45% of healthcare professionals had used hospital guidelines on the management of asthma and only 62% were aware of them.
The guidelines were translated into memorable lyrics, with Dr Mukherjee singing the advice on how to treat acute asthma. The video was posted on the social media sites, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
A repeat audit was carried out in June 2012. When comparing the results to the previous audit in April, the study found that 100% of healthcare professionals were aware of the guidelines. All aspects of asthma management and knowledge had improved, with the most significant improvements seen for chest radiograph indication and target oxygen saturation.
Dr Mukherjee said: "Our study has shown that social media can help to change clinical practice, with 100% awareness of the new guidelines in the post-analysis. As doctors are often working in busy environments, we have to think of creative ways of reaching them with important clinical information. Our study has shown that social media is a free and effective way of doing this. The method could be adapted to different scenarios and the possibilities are not limited by resources of money, but only by imagination."