Objective: To find the dynamics and impact of using WhatsApp among the practicing orthopedic surgeons, to sort out the benefits and outcomes along with the space of improvement in it.
Methodology: This was a cross-sectional study conducted from January 1 to 31, 2019 during which 113 practicing doctors of the orthopedic departments of a private or public hospital were registered, from House officers to the professor level who use WhatsApp group chats. A structured questionnaire was devised, which covered all relevant questions. A pilot study was also done to assess the authenticity of the questionnaire. The data were analyzed using SPSS version 20.
Results: Among the 113 participants, 68.1% negated the use of pagers in their hospital, 99.1% shared case-related imaging reports in the group discussion chats, while 98.2% were comfortable taking the opinion of the seniors through such group. Almost all the participants felt that WhatsApp helped them in learning and improving their knowledge. Nearly all of the participants (99.1%) highly graded the role of WhatsApp in improving patient care.
Conclusion: The use of WhatsApp among the members of the orthopedic team is believed to improve communication, patient care, and skill level of the surgeons. Thus, following this modern high-tech trend has caused a positive impact on the personal and professional level. A large scale study will be justified to measure the effects of social media communications on patient care.
Key words: WhatsApp, communication, orthopedic surgery, smartphone applications, healthcare applications.