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A dedicated paediatric departmental intranet site – is it worth it?
  1. MW Hesseling
  1. Paediatrics, Glan Clwyd Hospital, Bodelwyddan, UK


Aims There is currently no published evidence looking into the use of departmental websites in medicine. This study investigated the usage, acceptance and potential benefits of a paediatric departmental intranet site in a DGH over a three year period.

Methods We introduced a paediatric intranet site in our department five years ago, which includes all of our guidelines on an exclusively paperless basis. Further information relevant to mainly medical but also nursing staff is provided through the site. We looked at the usage of all pages to our paediatric intranet site by analysing monthly hit rates for both the departmental pages and selected guideline documents. We then followed this up by undertaking a survey among junior doctors to determine more detailed user feedback.

Results The most frequented pages on our intranet site by far were the guideline pages with a monthly average of about 140 hits for the paediatric guideline index and approximately 100 for the neonatal guideline index. Most of the other departmental pages received between 5 and 10 hits per month. However, when looking at maintenance, these were pages requiring very little time in upkeep.

The departmental hit figures compared well to other hospital intranet pages, a fact reflected in a monthly usage survey showing four of the paediatric pages in the 25 most visited hospital pages. A survey of 40 junior medical staff working in the department confirmed that the intranet guidelines were easy to access with no patient safety risks identified but clear benefits for patient safety.

Conclusion This is the first study providing quantitative data for the usage of a paediatric departmental intranet site in a medium sized DGH in the UK. It shows that an intranet site can be a safe and worthwhile medium to disseminate important departmental information including medical guidelines. Most of all, the intranet site provides clear clinical governance benefits for departments such as the facility of providing even minor updates to guidelines in an instant. Our study is beneficial to any paediatric department considering the establishment of their own intranet site.

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