Doctors bone up on orthopaedics through wiki project

September 29, 2008

Web-based academic discussions could well be the way forward for cost-effective and tailored continuing education for health professionals. China's interactive Orthochina.org wiki project for orthopaedic surgeons is an example of the potential of such internet training for continuing medical education. Zhen-Sheng Ma of the Fourth Military Medical University in Xi'an, China, and his colleagues thoroughly evaluated this online tool and will publish their results in the October issue of Springer's journal Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research.

Until recently, the primary vehicle for continuing medical education has been the more traditional conferences and training courses. However, the content of these sorts of courses is not necessarily tailored to meet the individual or immediate needs of professionals and their cost-effectiveness has yet to be established.

Created in 1998, Orthochina.org uses an interactive case-based format and is structured using the wiki concept, where the content of the website is created collaboratively by users through an Internet browser. Information in Chinese and English is posted, edited, deleted and updated by carefully screened participants and is academically monitored by its orthopaedic users. Ten years on, the site boasts nearly 34,000 users and counts over 6,000 visits and over 2,000 posts every month.

Real patient cases are submitted for discussion by orthopaedic surgeons. They include the patient's complaint, findings from physical examinations and relevant images. Professional discussions between participants take place anywhere, anytime, giving suggestions for diagnosis and treatment. Multiple opinions can help the surgeon who has posted his complex case, and is seeking advice on how to treat it, to make an informed decision about his treatment plan.

The authors firmly believe that "surgeon-to-surgeon communication is the most important, the easiest, most closely related to clinical practice, and cost-effective method of patient-problem-orientated continuing medical education." By using the Internet, orthopaedic surgeons from different backgrounds and geographic locations can work together to enhance their quality of care, something workshops and meetings cannot provide in such a tailored and timely manner.

Source: Springer

Explore further: Surgeons admit to mistakes in surgery and would use robots if they reduced the risks

Related Stories

How can we measure the value and impact of orthopaedic care?

November 26, 2013

Healthcare expenditures currently account for 18% of the United States Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Some experts have suggested that an emphasis on value may be an effective strategy to evaluate healthcare costs. In a recent ...

Recommended for you

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017

People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

The ethics of tracking athletes' biometric data

January 18, 2017

(Medical Xpress)—Whether it is a FitBit or a heart rate monitor, biometric technologies have become household devices. Professional sports leagues use some of the most technologically advanced biodata tracking systems to ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.