Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.


Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Health communication

WhatsApp groups improve communication within pharmacy teams, finds study

Using the social messaging platform WhatsApp improves communication between junior and senior pharmacists when providing out-of-hours care, study results show.

The study, published in Research in Social Administrative Pharmacy (29 June 2019), analysed 1,580 WhatsApp messages sent by pharmacists in a secondary care organisation in the North East of England between August 2017 and March 2018.

The WhatsApp group, which was set up in 2014 to enable “rapid” communication during out-of-hours care, included 72 pharmacists at every level of seniority.

An analysis of the messages found that 410 of them related to handing over patients, another 410 messages related to procedural queries, 379 messages were whole-staff communications and 79 messages related to clinical queries.

The researchers said that analysis of the messages suggested that WhatsApp “improved communication between junior and senior pharmacists”, while providing professional development and supporting relationships.

The paper also noted that use of the WhatApp group spiked during the WannaCry cyber attack on the NHS in May 2017, suggesting “that when conventional means of interaction are unavailable, unofficial WhatsApp groups can be used to maintain efficient communication between colleagues”.

However, the study also raised concerns “regarding the encroachment of work activities into personal time”, and suggested service managers “consider multiple ethico-legal and social frameworks when developing or allowing the organic development of such communication methods within healthcare provider organisations”.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20206742

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Jobs you might like

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.