Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Oncology wiki

Again demonstrating the versatility of social media, BIDMC oncology fellow Peter Yang created a wiki to share clinical knowledge about his field.  He explained in a Facebook note to me:

I was wondering if you would mind looking at and offering any thoughts about a project I've been working on during fellowship, HemOnc.org, which is a shared online notebook/wiki for hematologist/oncologists, http://hemonc.org/Main_Page.

This type of platform allows me to not only put together a compilation of reference material for myself, but to also share it with others, and learn from the content and references other people contribute. My hope is that this will be a model for physicians in different practices to share information in a more efficient way than word of mouth and to learn from the range of clinical practices in different areas--for example in my case, sharing useful links and different methods of administering a certain chemotherapy regimen. Being a medical reference, I needed to configure it so only verified accounts can edit pages, but otherwise have kept it as open as possible. It is focused on resources that are most useful to providers, but I expect there to be increasingly more overlap with patient-centered information, since part of our job as providers is to educate and provide useful resources to our patients. For example, I already have put links to patient information for all FDA approved chemotherapy medications at
http://hemonc.org/Drug_index, and I expect to put links to patient education materials under each disease in the upcoming months.


Peter Yang said...

Thank you for letting people know about the site! I believe strongly that medical professionals can work together and create a valuable resource for providers and patients alike. The medical field can do a better job of sharing information and clinical experiences between different medical practices in a centralized area, and I think wikis can be a useful platform to get that done.

Anonymous said...

Love this! Especially the inclusion of pathology information, which is often confusing for oncologists.

I wonder if a wiki format would be useful for actually coordinating individual patient care between specialists?

nonlocal MD

Peter Yang said...

Dear Anonymous,

I'm glad you think the site is off to a good start. The pathology links were actually courtesy of one of the pathology residents in our medical center, demonstrating the value of sharing between doctors, because I had no idea that those references existed. There are many useful resources out there, but they are often poorly publicized, and I hope HemOnc.org will be a way that providers can share high-yield information with each other. I actually expect this pathologist to add additional content to the site in the upcoming months, which hopefully will be very useful to everyone.

Regarding wikis as a model for communication between specialists, I agree. I think that they could eventually be used to create one collaborative daily note for each patient every day, which would be overall simpler than separate notes by each specialty that repeat the same information such as vital signs and labs. For example, ID would insert something about antibiotics and workup, endocrine would insert something about diabetes, and case management would insert something about placement & dispo planning. Wikis keep track of who added exactly what content, can be edited by multiple parties, and pages can be finalized when they need to be "signed." Once the appropriate access rights are in place, I think it could be a very powerful and game-changing way to practice medicine.