Methods: In 2011, faculty from six major transplant centers in the states of Washington, Oregon, and California began participating in web-based conferences. To assess impact, we distributed a 30-item survey generated in Qualtrics via email in Spring 2018. Participants were invited if they had ever attended one of the conferences. The survey collected quantitative and qualitative data on how the conferences changed clinical practice and helped build community. Data on conference topics was also collected.
Results: West Coast Transplant ID Conferences were held 12 times between 2011 and 2018 with TID topics covered including management of RSV, antifungal prophylaxis, CMV, and LTBI among others. Sixteen participants responded to the survey representing all six institutions. 8 (50%) of respondents spent at least half of their time in the practice of TID. 6 (37%) of respondents worked for < 5 years and 5 (31%) reported working more than 10 years in TID. 56% of participants attended ≥ 4 conferences in the last 3 years. 93% of participants included trainees on the conference call. All respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the topics covered were relevant to their practice. 87.5% felt that the calls generate consensus about difficult or controversial topics. 62.5% reported that they had changed their practice because of the conferences. Only 1 respondent reported that they collaborated on research because of the conference. 100% agreed or strongly agreed that the conferences built a sense of community within TID.
Given improvements in web-based technologies, a community of practice can be easily created despite geographic distance allowing for TID providers to discuss relevant topics that impact practice and enhance sense of community. This model could be reproduced in other areas of infectious diseases.
B. Schwartz, None
T. Vijayan, None