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Social media as a tool for antimicrobial stewardship

      Highlights

      • Medical trainees can be engaged through the use of social media.
      • Social media can be used to increase awareness and use of educational tools.
      • Clinical pathway use increased through increased awareness and periodic reminders.
      • Antibiotic knowledge increased as a result of following our program on social media.

      Background

      To increase the reach of our antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP), social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter, were used to increase internal medicine residents' (IMRs') antibiotic (Abx) knowledge and awareness of ASP resources.

      Methods

      Fifty-five of 110 (50%) IMRs consented to participate; 39 (71%) completed both pre- and postintervention surveys and followed our ASP on social media. Along with 20 basic Abx and infectious diseases (IDs) questions, this survey assessed IMR awareness of ASP initiatives, social media usage, and attitudes and beliefs surrounding Abx resistance. Over 6 months, IMRs received posts and Tweets of basic Abx/IDs trivia while promoting use of educational tools and clinical pathways on our ASP Web site. To compare pre- and postsurvey responses, McNemar test or Stuart-Maxwell test was used for categorical variables, and paired t test or Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used for continuous variables, as appropriate.

      Results

      Of the IMRs, 98% and 58% use Facebook and Twitter, respectively. To compare pre- and postintervention, median scores for Abx knowledge increased from 12 (interquartile range, 8-13) to 13 (interquartile range, 11-15; P = .048); IMRs knowing how to access the ASP Web site increased from 70% to 94%. More IMRs indicated that they used the clinical pathways “sometimes, frequently, or always” after the intervention (33% vs 61%, P = .004).

      Conclusions

      Social media is a valuable tool to reinforce ASP initiatives while encouraging the use of ASP resources to promote antimicrobial mindfulness.

      Key Words

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