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“WhatsApp”ening in orthopedic care: a concise report from a 300-bedded tertiary care teaching center

  • Vishesh Khanna
  • Senthil N. Sambandam
  • Arif Gul
  • Varatharaj Mounasamy
Original Article • GENERAL ORTHOPAEDICS - TRAUMA

Abstract

Smartphones have emerged as essential tools providing assistance in patient care, monitoring, rehabilitation, communication, diagnosis, teaching, research and reference. Among innumerable communication apps, WhatsApp has been widely popular and cost effective. The aim of our study was to report the impact of introduction of a smartphone app “WhatsApp” as an intradepartmental communication tool on (1) awareness of patient-related information, (2) efficiency of the handover process and (3) duration of traditional morning handovers among orthopedic residents in a 300-bedded tertiary care teaching center. Written handovers and paging used for communication at our center led to occasional inefficiencies among residents. Widespread use, low cost, availability and double password protection (phone lock and WhatsApp lock) made WhatsApp’s group conversation feature an ideal tool for intradepartmental patient-related communication. Twenty-five consecutive admissions before and after WhatsApp (BW, AW) were included in the study. Eight orthopedic residents attempted fifty randomly arranged questions based on the twenty-five patients in each study period. A null hypothesis that introduction of WhatsApp group would neither increase the awareness of patient-related information nor improve the efficiency of the handovers among residents was assumed. A significant improvement observed in scores obtained by residents in the AW group led to rejection of the null hypothesis. The residents also reported swifter and efficient handovers after the introduction of WhatsApp. Our results indicate that the introduction of a smartphone app “WhatsApp” as an intradepartmental communication tool can bring about an improvement in patient-related awareness, communication and handovers among orthopedic residents.

Keywords

Smartphones Whatsapp Handovers Technology Improved patient care 

Notes

Conflict of interest

None.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vishesh Khanna
    • 1
    • 2
  • Senthil N. Sambandam
    • 1
    • 3
  • Arif Gul
    • 4
  • Varatharaj Mounasamy
    • 5
  1. 1.K.G. Hospital and Post Graduate Medical InstituteCoimbatoreIndia
  2. 2.New DelhiIndia
  3. 3.K.G. Joint Reconstructive CenterK.G. Hospital and Post Graduate Medical InstituteCoimbatoreIndia
  4. 4.Princess Alexandra HospitalHarlowUK
  5. 5.VCU Medical Center Ambulatory Care CenterRichmondUSA

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