Facebook the new black: A novel platform for medication related issues, updates and clinical pearls

Mr Christopher Hidayat1

1Westmead Hospital, Westmead, Australia

Background: The dissemination and communication of medicines information between nursing staff within the Emergency Department (ED) is often challenging. Face-to-face announcements made during business hours do not always reach nursing staff working overnight shifts and hard copy newsletters and emails are not always read in a timely manner.

Aim: The aim of this service was to determine nurse perceptions of using social media for communication of pharmacy information in ED.

Method: Using the social media platform Facebook, a private group titled ‘ED Pharmacy Updates’ was created for ED nursing staff to improve communication regarding medication related issues, updates and clinical pearls. The ED Pharmacy Updates Facebook group is moderated by the ED Pharmacist who is responsible for the dissemination of content and ensuring it adheres to local social media policy. It was stipulated that anything urgent would not be communicated via the Facebook group.

Results: To date, 140 ED nurses have joined the ED Pharmacy Updates Facebook group with 83 nurses completing an evaluation form. 95% of respondents reported that their preferred means of communication was via the Facebook group. 93% reported that they found the Facebook group relevant to their learning and practice as a nurse. 93% also agreed that the Facebook group is interactive and allows them to be actively involved in their own learning. 92% reported the Facebook group is user friendly and easy to navigate.

Conclusion: Face-to-face announcements, newsletters and emails have been long-standing modes of communication for medication related issues, updates and clinical pearls. Whilst these can remain, it is important to explore other means as demonstrated above. Social media platforms are becoming increasingly popular and can be effectively utilised to relay medicines information.


Christopher is currently a Specialist Pharmacist in Emergency Medicine at Westmead Hospital. He enjoys all aspects of Emergency Medicine and is passionate about medication safety and education.