Antibiotic resistance (AR) is increasing in bacterial infections worldwide, due to overuse and misuse of antibiotics. Surgeons are frequent users of antibiotics and therefore must be considered important stakeholders in measures to improve antimicrobial stewardship (AMS). Our purpose is to evaluate if Twitter can engage surgeons in education and news regarding antimicrobial stewardship.
To begin this single center prospective study at a 1400-bed academic medical center, four faculty (3 surgeons & 1 Infectious Diseases (ID) pharmacist) who were active on Twitter, delivered at the Dept. of Surgery’s Grand Rounds “Why I Tweet” presentation on the benefits of Twitter to academic development. 18 surgeons then volunteered to participate in this study. The participants were invited to attend a “Twitter 101” workshop, and those who did received a list of recommended people to follow on Twitter, including the study investigators. 2 ID & 1 SICU pharmacists sent tweets about AR, & other ID topics relevant to surgeons during a 3-month study period (2/1/15 - 4/30/15). Twitonomy was used to aggregate tweets and determine depth of penetration of a topic by calculating each tweet’s potential reach (number of unique users who potentially saw the tweet), impression (number of potential views) and engagement (the number of users who interacted with the tweet by retweeting)
Results: A total of 5,117 tweets were sent 3,877 by investigators and 13 of 18 study surgeons sent 1,240; 5 surgeons never tweeted. Pharmacists sent 451 ID related tweets for potential reach of 393,184. Surgeons retweeted 31 ID tweets for a potential reach 5,101 and potential impressions of 38,784. The most popular ID surgical topics to all followers by impressions/engagement were “superbugs”(10,239/426), “antibiotic Armageddon” (4308/307), “C. difficile” (1,430/62), and “duodenoscopes infecting patients with a resistant organism” (1,266/61). During the study, ID pharmacists had 30 new non-study surgeons outside their hospital “follow” them on Twitter.
Conclusion: Twitter’s 140 character tweets provided real-time concise ID messages and effectively engaged both study and non-study surgeons in ID topics relevant to AR and stewardship.
C. Jones, None
B. Nwomeh, None
K. Bauer, None
E. C. Ellison, None