Use of a Wiki to Improve Communication and Information Sharing
Rick Tharp, Spencer Klaassen Presented at the 41st Annual ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting
In 2004, our rapidly evolving pharmacy department faced a growing knowledge deficit. The pharmacy staff was grappling with a series of changes, ranging from a new pharmacy information system to a renewed focus on clinical pharmacy activities. In the process, important directives and therapeutic interchange opportunities were lost, information was not communicated to all shifts, and clinical interventions were missed due to a lack of focus. Staff pharmacists were overwhelmed with ever-changing information and new expectations.
One of our biggest challenges was developing a system for quickly distributing new information, while also retaining it for future reference. One problem with the tools traditionally used to deliver information is their volatility: a note written on a white board is here today and erased tomorrow; sticky notes become unstuck and are swept into the trash; memos and e-mails are read, discarded, and often forgotten. We needed a solution that would allow us to dispense information as quickly as possible, and, just as importantly, that would ensure that the material was readily available and easily accessible.
Our initial decision was to publish a traditional Web page. Our original Web page displayed tables of therapeutic interchanges, therapeutic alternatives, and drugs requiring pharmacist intervention. The information on this Web page was well received, and we realized that a similar approach could be used to convey other useful bits of information.
However, the shortcomings of a traditional Web page soon became apparent to us. Global searches through multiple Web pages were not easy or intuitive. To find information, the searcher must first know what category the topic was placed under. We also realized that updating the Web pages and maintaining an index was too time consuming for one person.
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