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WhatsApp: A Real-Time Tool to Reduce the Knowledge Gap and Share the Best Clinical Practices in Psoriasis.

WhatsApp: A Real-Time Tool to Reduce the Knowledge Gap and Share the Best Clinical Practices in Psoriasis.

WhatsApp: A Real-Time Tool to Reduce the Knowledge Gap and Share the Best Clinical Practices in Psoriasis.

Telemed J E Health. 2018 Jun 20;:

Authors: Mazzuoccolo LD, Esposito MN, Luna PC, Seiref S, Dominguez M, Echeverria CM

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects around 100 million people worldwide. The burden of disease is high, but more recent therapies show promising results. Clinicians need, however, more training in the use of such therapies.
INTRODUCTION: Project ECHO® (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is structured around the promise of delivering medical education at a distance, empowering clinicians who operate in remote areas. The use of instant messaging services, such as WhatsApp® Messenger, has the potential to improve on the existing framework and bridge the existing gap of knowledge. This article reports on a study concerning the implementation of a WhatsApp discussion group in Project ECHO Psoriasis in Argentina.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: One hundred thirty-two dermatologists in Argentina were invited to participate in the WhatsApp discussion group. After 1 year of participation, a follow-up questionnaire was used to assess the effectiveness of the project.
RESULTS: Eighty dermatologists participated. All questions placed in the discussion were answered by a psoriasis specialist, 79% of which were answered within the first 5 min. Clinicians report significant improvement in diagnosis, comorbidities, and treatment with both conventional and biological therapies.
DISCUSSION: Preliminary results are promising. This new cost-effective solution builds on the existing Project ECHO Psoriasis in Argentina and shows potential in bridging the gap of knowledge, promoting better clinical decisions through empowerment of medical doctors operating in remote locations.
CONCLUSIONS: Further research is needed to increase generalization of the results. Moreover, it would be interesting to match the data from the discussion group with follow-up questionnaires.

PMID: 29924684 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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