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Infectious Disease

Social Media as a tool for Antimicrobial Stewardship

University of Chicago

Approved: December 2012

Grant Period: January 2013 – June 2014


Social Media as a tool for Antimicrobial Stewardship

At the University of Chicago Medicine, Internal Medicine (IM) house staff use Apple iPads (Cupertino, CA) in their daily work and are part of the key demographic for social media advertisers. We aim to test the hypothesis that social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter can be used to efficiently disseminate educational information to Internal Medicine house staff leading to increased adherence to established practice guidelines in an academic medical center. Because people who work together tend to share information and practices, both participants and their colleagues are expected to improve practice. If successful, the use of such methods could solve some of the biggest roadblocks to education and communication in the healthcare setting and would certainly contribute new knowledge to the fields of medical education and antimicrobial stewardship. By using the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program's (ASP) Facebook, Twitter, and intranet web pages as novel communication tools, we will increase use of stewardship-sponsored order sets and pathways, achieve improved adherence to guidelines for selected conditions, and increase overall knowledge base about antimicrobials. In order to accomplish this goal, we plan to engage the trainees on Twitter and Facebook by hosting daily medical trivia contests rewarding both participation as well as timely correct answers (see design below). Between contests, additional educational material (clinical pearls, links to guidelines, etc) will be pushed out to participants. The contests and messages will also serve as a novel medical education platform focusing on appropriate antibiotic use, antibiotic safety, and use of educational tools (including pathways and order sets) currently underutilized at our hospital.