This post recently featured in a perspectives article in the Annals of Emergency Medicine:
Berger E. Web 2.0 in Emergency Medicine: Specialty Embracing the Future of Medical Communication. Ann Emerg Med. 2012 Apr;59(4)A21-23
What is Web 2.0 for Emergency Physicians?
Even though “the times they are a changing“, many Emergency Physicians are unfamiliar with the concept of Web 2.0, the diversity of Web 2.0 resources, and how to use these resources to enhance their clinical practice and professional development.
This guide addresses these issues so that Emergency Physicians won’t be afraid to take a ride on the ‘Web 2.0 roller coaster‘! (You might like to brush up on some Basic Web Definitions as well).
What is Web 2.0?
Web 2.0 is a nebulous term referring to the current era of web development and design that, according to Wikipedia, is characterized by information sharing, collaboration, and interoperability. Web 2.0 changes the way we access, store, and receive information. The Web, rather than the desktop computer, has become the platform that matters. Web 2.0 resources provide us with boundless information that is:
- Rapidly accessible anytime, from anywhere with an internet connection
- Current and continuously updated
- Dynamic and interactive
- Created collaboratively
- Easily stored, shared, and modified
Many of us are using Web 2.0 in our everyday lives already. Have you ever read a blog (that would have to be a yes…), or used a popular website such as Wikpedia, Facebook, Youtube or Flickr, or do you have a Google account? Then you have used a Web 2.0 resource.
Web 2.0 in under 5 minutes – ‘The Machine is Us/ing Us’ by Michael Wesch:
How does Web 2.0 compare with Web 1.0?
Here are some differences between Web 1.0 (a backronym) and Web 2.0:
Why use Web 2.0?
Emergency physicians, and doctors, in general, are constantly communicating with one another about medicine whether formally (journals, conferences, meetings, CME sessions, etc) or informally (on the floor, during breaks, online, at home, etc). Because of this, Web 2.0, which epitomizes constant communication, is a natural tool for doctors to use.
According to Pat Croskerry, the environment that emergency physicians work in is a ‘Perfect Storm” for medical error. We work in a time-critical, information limited, pressure cooker environment. To thrive and survive we need to constantly maintain and grow our foreground knowledge (used for ‘flesh and blood’ decision making to care for our patients and solve clinical problems) as well as our background knowledge (the core content and basic sciences that we need to understand the language of medicine, to teach, and to pass exams).
We need to know a lot, we need to know it now, and often we don’t know what we need to know until we need to know it… Where can we turn?
Web 2.0 of course — you don’t want to be stuck using old textbooks chained to the desk for the rest of your career do you?
What can Web 2.0 be used for?
Emergency Physicians can use Web 2.0 for:
- Searching and sourcing information
- Sorting, saving and storing information
- Staying up-to-date
- Sharing information
- Social networking
What are Web 2.0 Resources?
There are a diverse range of Web 2.0 resources relevant to Emergency Physicians and which can impact on our daily practice.
- Microblogging tools e.g. Twitter
- Feeds and Aggregators
- Social bookmarking
- Social networking Physician Social and Professional Networks — Is Social Media the Rock’n’Roll of HealthCare?
Won’t all this lead to information overload?
Not if you use it right, in fact Web 2.0 tools can help save you from information overload.
- Web 2.0 in Medicine
- Web 2.0 in Medicine: You Only See What You Know
- A Presentation on Web 2.0 in Health Care by John Sharp
- How and Why Junior Physicians use Web 2.0
- How Stuff Works: How Web 2.0 Works – How Web 3.0 Will Work
- Tim O’Reilly — What Is Web 2.0
From the ‘mainstream’ published literature:
- Berger E. Web 2.0 in Emergency Medicine: Specialty Embracing the Future of Medical Communication. Ann Emerg Med. 2012 Apr;59(4)A21-23
- Berger E. This sentence would easily fit onto Twitter: Emergency physicians are learning to “tweet“. Ann Emerg Med 2009; 54(2): A23-A25.
- Berger E. Emergency medicine in the blogosphere: The irreverent wit of the specialty’s unofficial voice. Ann Emerg Med 2009; 49(5): 612-614.
- Berners-Lee T, Hendler J, Lassila O. The semantic web. Sci Am 2001; 10 May.
- Boulos M, Moramba I, Wheeler S. Wikis, blogs and podcasts: a new generation of web-based tools for virtual collaborative clinical practice and education. BMC Med Educ 2006; 6: 41.
- Cadogan MD. Web 2.0 rollercoaster. A ride we should all take. Emerg Med Australas. 2009 Feb;21(1):1-3. PMID: 19254306.
- Giustini, D. How Web 2.0 is changing medicine. BMJ 2006; 333:1283 — Web 3.0 and medicine. BMJ 2007;335: 1273-1274
- McLean R, Richards BH, Wardman JI. The effect of Web 2.0 on the future of medical practice and education: Darwikinian evolution or folksonomic revolution? MJA 2007; 187 (3): 174-177
- Smith R. What clinical information do doctors need? BMJ 1996;313:1062-1068 (26 October)