Dr Marc Epstein said the practice had sought a more effective solution than the use of traditional paper documents, shared folders on a hard drive or a practice intranet. 'A bespoke practice-wide wiki has provided an efficient and innovative approach for us,' he said, 'and empowers staff to create, contribute and edit content.'
Dr Epstein said a wiki could be created in minutes without specialist expertise and there were numerous inexpensive off-the-shelf solutions, such as the one they used at www.edit me.com. The wiki looks and feels like a conventional website, and the creation and editing of content requires minimal IT skills or staff training. Central archiving of resources means that all staff have access to the same information, and a built-in search engine allows content to be easily located.
What the judges said:
A new page can be generated from any computer, with content added using simple word processing tools, and the finished page is instantly visible.
In terms of accountability, all page amendments are logged with details of who made the changes, a list of previous page edits can be viewed and old versions can be restored.
And because only one version of a document is visible, it reduces clinical risk by ensuring that all staff use the most contemporary version.
Dr Epstein said one useful application had been the recording of practice contact details, which had previously been entered in an address book maintained by the secretaries. Frequent amendments resulted in illegibility, and staff had to disturb the secretaries to access the correct contact information.
'By migrating our contact details to the wiki, all staff now have access from their desktop and amendments can be made by the secretaries via the wiki,' said Dr Epstein. The wiki is also being used as a hub for sharing education and clinical material throughout the team to help facilitate GP revalidation.
Highfield Surgery, Hazlemere, Buckinghamshire
Dr Nigel Masters and Catherine Tutt, practice nurse specialist in respiratory disease, produced a free web-based calculator to help primary care teams record a ‘smoking pack year number’.
This gives individuals a single figure combining smoking intensity and smoking duration, with each pack year defined as 20 cigarettes smoked every day for one year.
The calculator is now providing 120,000 calculations per year and is available at www.smokingpackyears.com.
What the judges said:
How to vote for The Elmham Surgery as the overall winner
Voting is now closed
The winning practice will receive £4,000 and you will be entered into a prize draw for a fantastic iPod Touch. The closing date is 3 September 2012.