Development and usage of wiki-based software for point-of-care emergency medical information

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Abstract

Objective To describe the creation and evaluate the usage of the first medical wiki linked to dedicated mobile applications.

Methods With the support of multiple current and past contributors, we developed an emergency medicine wiki linked to offline mobile applications (WikEM) in 2009. First deployment was at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center emergency medicine residency program, with the wiki later opened to public use. To evaluate the project, we performed a post hoc analysis of system use and surveyed 8 years of current and past residents. Outcomes included website and application analytics, as well as survey analysis by composite response categories.

Results Over the 6-year period of this project, the wiki grew to over 7250 pages and 45 500 edits. The website receives more than 85 000 user sessions per month, with over 150 million page views to date. There have been over 200 000 installs of the mobile applications, progressing to produce over 5000 mobile sessions daily. Of potential survey respondents, 87.7% (107) completed the Internet-based survey. Among those who contributed to the wiki, 74.6% reported that it benefited their understanding of core emergency medicine content. Of program graduates, the vast majority reported use of the wiki as a resource after residency (93.8%) along with improvement in clinical efficiency (89.7%). Residents reported higher use and a more favorable opinion of wiki usefulness compared to graduates (P < .001).

Conclusions A wiki paired with mobile applications is beneficial for resident education and useful in post-residency clinical practice.

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