|Journal||Vasc Endovascular Surg Volume: 47 Issue: 3 Pages: 169-71|
|Publish Date||2013 Apr|
Social media has revolutionized interpersonal communication and has become a commonly used public informational resource. This study evaluates the impact of intranet informatics on a specialty practice of vascular surgery.Referral patterns for patients with chronic compartment syndrome (CCS) and popliteal entrapment syndrome (PAES) between 2008 and 2011 were analyzed. Demographics included referral source (physicians, nonphysicians), media resource, and case volume change.Prior to 2008, referrals came from local or regional sports medicine practices (100%). Since 2008 this pattern has changed; local/regional (80%), national (15%), and international (5%). Physician referrals dropped from 97% to 70%, and nonphysician referrals increased from 3% to 30%. Both CCS procedures and PAES procedures increased as remote geographic and public referrals increased. Referral change was associated with social media searches using applications such as PubMed and Google.Social media is an evolving source of medical information and patient referrals which physicians should cautiously embrace.