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      Wikis and Collaborative Writing Applications in Health Care: A Scoping Review Protocol


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          The rapid rise in the use of collaborative writing applications (eg, wikis, Google Documents, and Google Knol) has created the need for a systematic synthesis of the evidence of their impact as knowledge translation (KT) tools in the health care sector and for an inventory of the factors that affect their use. While researchers have conducted systematic reviews on a range of software-based information and communication technologies as well as other social media (eg, virtual communities of practice, virtual peer-to-peer communities, and electronic support groups), none have reviewed collaborative writing applications in the medical sector. The overarching goal of this project is to explore the depth and breadth of evidence for the use of collaborative writing applications in health care. Thus, the purposes of this scoping review will be to (1) map the literature on collaborative writing applications; (2) compare the applications’ features; (3) describe the evidence of each application’s positive and negative effects as a KT intervention in health care; (4) inventory and describe the barriers and facilitators that affect the applications’ use; and (5) produce an action plan and a research agenda. A six-stage framework for scoping reviews will be used: (1) identifying the research question; (2) identifying relevant studies within the selected databases (using the EPPI-Reviewer software to classify the studies); (3) selecting studies (an iterative process in which two reviewers search the literature, refine the search strategy, and review articles for inclusion); (4) charting the data (using EPPI-Reviewer’s data-charting form); (5) collating, summarizing, and reporting the results (performing a descriptive, numerical, and interpretive synthesis); and (6) consulting knowledge users during three planned meetings. Since this scoping review concerns the use of collaborative writing applications as KT interventions in health care, we will use the Knowledge to Action (KTA) framework to describe and compare the various studies and collaborative writing projects we find. In addition to guiding the use of collaborative writing applications in health care, this scoping review will advance the science of KT by testing tools that could be used to evaluate other social media. We also expect to identify areas that require further systematic reviews and primary research and to produce a highly relevant research agenda that explores and leverages the potential of collaborative writing software. To date, this is the first study to use the KTA framework to study the role collaborative writing applications in KT, and the first to involve three national and international institutional knowledge users as part of the research process.

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          Systematic review of factors influencing the adoption of information and communication technologies by healthcare professionals.

          This systematic review of mixed methods studies focuses on factors that can facilitate or limit the implementation of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in clinical settings. Systematic searches of relevant bibliographic databases identified studies about interventions promoting ICT adoption by healthcare professionals. Content analysis was performed by two reviewers using a specific grid. One hundred and one (101) studies were included in the review. Perception of the benefits of the innovation (system usefulness) was the most common facilitating factor, followed by ease of use. Issues regarding design, technical concerns, familiarity with ICT, and time were the most frequent limiting factors identified. Our results suggest strategies that could effectively promote the successful adoption of ICT in healthcare professional practices.
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            Wikis, blogs and podcasts: a new generation of Web-based tools for virtual collaborative clinical practice and education

            Background We have witnessed a rapid increase in the use of Web-based 'collaborationware' in recent years. These Web 2.0 applications, particularly wikis, blogs and podcasts, have been increasingly adopted by many online health-related professional and educational services. Because of their ease of use and rapidity of deployment, they offer the opportunity for powerful information sharing and ease of collaboration. Wikis are Web sites that can be edited by anyone who has access to them. The word 'blog' is a contraction of 'Web Log' – an online Web journal that can offer a resource rich multimedia environment. Podcasts are repositories of audio and video materials that can be "pushed" to subscribers, even without user intervention. These audio and video files can be downloaded to portable media players that can be taken anywhere, providing the potential for "anytime, anywhere" learning experiences (mobile learning). Discussion Wikis, blogs and podcasts are all relatively easy to use, which partly accounts for their proliferation. The fact that there are many free and Open Source versions of these tools may also be responsible for their explosive growth. Thus it would be relatively easy to implement any or all within a Health Professions' Educational Environment. Paradoxically, some of their disadvantages also relate to their openness and ease of use. With virtually anybody able to alter, edit or otherwise contribute to the collaborative Web pages, it can be problematic to gauge the reliability and accuracy of such resources. While arguably, the very process of collaboration leads to a Darwinian type 'survival of the fittest' content within a Web page, the veracity of these resources can be assured through careful monitoring, moderation, and operation of the collaborationware in a closed and secure digital environment. Empirical research is still needed to build our pedagogic evidence base about the different aspects of these tools in the context of medical/health education. Summary and conclusion If effectively deployed, wikis, blogs and podcasts could offer a way to enhance students', clinicians' and patients' learning experiences, and deepen levels of learners' engagement and collaboration within digital learning environments. Therefore, research should be conducted to determine the best ways to integrate these tools into existing e-Learning programmes for students, health professionals and patients, taking into account the different, but also overlapping, needs of these three audience classes and the opportunities of virtual collaboration between them. Of particular importance is research into novel integrative applications, to serve as the "glue" to bind the different forms of Web-based collaborationware synergistically in order to provide a coherent wholesome learning experience.
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              Use of communities of practice in business and health care sectors: A systematic review

              Background Since being identified as a concept for understanding knowledge sharing, management, and creation, communities of practice (CoPs) have become increasingly popular within the health sector. The CoP concept has been used in the business sector for over 20 years, but the use of CoPs in the health sector has been limited in comparison. Objectives First, we examined how CoPs were defined and used in these two sectors. Second, we evaluated the evidence of effectiveness on the health sector CoPs for improving the uptake of best practices and mentoring new practitioners. Methods We conducted a search of electronic databases in the business, health, and education sectors, and a hand search of key journals for primary studies on CoP groups. Our research synthesis for the first objective focused on three areas: the authors' interpretations of the CoP concept, the key characteristics of CoP groups, and the common elements of CoP groups. To examine the evidence on the effectiveness of CoPs in the health sector, we identified articles that evaluated CoPs for improving health professional performance, health care organizational performance, professional mentoring, and/or patient outcome; and used experimental, quasi-experimental, or observational designs. Results The structure of CoP groups varied greatly, ranging from voluntary informal networks to work-supported formal education sessions, and from apprentice training to multidisciplinary, multi-site project teams. Four characteristics were identified from CoP groups: social interaction among members, knowledge sharing, knowledge creation, and identity building; however, these were not consistently present in all CoPs. There was also a lack of clarity in the responsibilities of CoP facilitators and how power dynamics should be handled within a CoP group. We did not find any paper in the health sector that met the eligibility criteria for the quantitative analysis, and so the effectiveness of CoP in this sector remained unclear. Conclusion There is no dominant trend in how the CoP concept is operationalized in the business and health sectors; hence, it is challenging to define the parameters of CoP groups. This may be one of the reasons for the lack of studies on the effectiveness of CoPs in the health sector. In order to improve the usefulness of the CoP concept in the development of groups and teams, further research will be needed to clarify the extent to which the four characteristics of CoPs are present in the mature and emergent groups, the expectations of facilitators and other participants, and the power relationship within CoPs.

                Author and article information

                JMIR Res Protoc
                JMIR Res Protoc
                JMIR Research Protocols
                JMIR Publications Inc. (Toronto, Canada )
                Jan-Jun 2012
                11 April 2012
                : 1
                : 1
                : e1
                [1 ]Centre de santé et de services sociaux Alphonse-Desjardins (Centre hospitalier affilié universitaire de Lévis) Lévis, QCCanada
                [2 ]Département de médecine familiale et médecine d'urgence Université Laval Québec, QCCanada
                [3 ]Division de soins intensifs Département d'anesthésiologie Université Laval Québec, QCCanada
                [4 ]Axe Traumatologie – Urgence – Soins Intensifs Centre de recherche FRQS du CHA universitaire de Québec Québec, QCCanada
                [5 ]Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Division of Reproductive Medicine NijmegenNetherlands
                [6 ]Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre Radboud REshape and Innovation Centre NijmegenNetherlands
                [7 ]Social Media Working Group International Medical Informatics Association GenevaSwitzerland
                [8 ]eHealth Strategy Office Faculty of Medicine University of British Columbia Vancouver, BCCanada
                [9 ]Centre for Global eHealth Innovation University of Toronto and University Health Network Toronto, ONCanada
                [10 ]Faculté des sciences infirmières Université Laval Québec, QCCanada
                [11 ]Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada Ottawa, ONCanada
                [12 ]Telfer School of Management University of Ottawa Ottawa, ONCanada
                [13 ]Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre Scientific Institute for Quality of Healthcare NijmegenNetherlands
                [14 ]Federation of Patients and Consumer Organisations in the Netherlands UtrechtNetherlands
                [15 ]Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec (CRCHUQ) Quebec, QCCanada
                [16 ]Canada Research Chair in Implementation of Shared Decision Making in Primary Care Quebec, QCCanada
                Author notes
                Corresponding Author: Patrick Michel Archambault patrick.m.archambault@ 123456gmail.com
                ©Patrick Michel Archambault, Tom H. van de Belt, Francisco J. Grajales III, Gunther Eysenbach, Karine Aubin, Irving Gold, Marie-Pierre Gagnon, Craig E. Kuziemsky, Alexis F. Turgeon, Julien Poitras, Marjan J. Faber, Jan A.M. Kremer, Marcel Heldoorn, Andrea Bilodeau, France Légaré. Originally published in JMIR Research Protocols (http://www.researchprotocols.org), 11.04.2012.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Research Protocols, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on http://www.researchprotocols.org, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

                : 10 November 2011
                : 01 December 2011
                : 19 February 2012
                : 22 February 2012


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