Back to Journals » Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare » Volume 9

Facebook as a tool for communication, collaboration, and informal knowledge exchange among members of a multisite family health team

Authors Lofters AK, Slater M, Nicholas E, Leung F

Received 18 August 2015

Accepted for publication 8 December 2015

Published 25 January 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 29—34


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Mahima Ashok

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Aisha K Lofters,1,2 Morgan B Slater,1 Emily Nicholas Angl,1 Fok-Han Leung1

1Department of Family and Community Medicine, 2Centre for Research on Inner City Health, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St Michael's Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

Objective: To implement and evaluate a private Facebook group for members of a large Ontario multisite Family Health Team (FHT) to facilitate improved communication and collaboration.
Design: Program implementation and subsequent survey of team members.
Setting: A large multisite FHT in Toronto, Ontario.
Participants: Health professionals of the FHT.
Main outcome measures: Usage patterns and self-reported perceptions of the Facebook group by team members.
Results: At the time of the evaluation survey, the Facebook group had 43 members (37.4% of all FHT members). Activity in the group was never high, and posts by team members who were not among the researchers were infrequent throughout the study period. The content of posts fell into two broad categories: 1) information that might be useful to various team members and 2) questions posed by team members that others might be able to answer. Of the 26 team members (22.6%) who completed the evaluation survey, many reported that they never logged into the Facebook page (16 respondents), and never used it to communicate with team members outside of their own site of practice (19 respondents). Only six respondents reported no concerns with using Facebook as a professional communication tool; the most frequent concerns were regarding personal and patient privacy.
Conclusion: The use of social media by health care practitioners is becoming ubiquitous. However, the issues of privacy concerns and determining how to use social media without adding to provider workload must be addressed to make it a useful tool in health care.

Keywords: social media, team-based care, communication, interprofessionalism, social network

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]


Other articles by this author:

Exploring the acceptability of human papillomavirus self-sampling among Muslim immigrant women

Lofters AK, Vahabi M, Fardad M, Raza A

Cancer Management and Research 2017, 9:323-329

Published Date: 19 July 2017

Lay health educators within primary care practices to improve cancer screening uptake for South Asian patients: challenges in quality improvement

Lofters AK, Vahabi M, Prakash V, Banerjee L, Bansal P, Goel S, Dunn S

Patient Preference and Adherence 2017, 11:495-503

Published Date: 8 March 2017

Cholesterol testing among men and women with disability: the role of morbidity

Lofters AK, Guilcher SJT, Webster L, Glazier RH, Jaglal SB, Bayoumi AM

Clinical Epidemiology 2016, 8:313-321

Published Date: 1 September 2016

“Brain drain” and “brain waste”: experiences of international medical graduates in Ontario

Lofters A, Slater M, Fumakia N, Thulien N

Risk Management and Healthcare Policy 2014, 7:81-89

Published Date: 12 May 2014

Does social disadvantage affect the validity of self-report for cervical cancer screening?

Lofters AK, Moineddin R, Hwang SW, Glazier RH

International Journal of Women's Health 2013, 5:29-33

Published Date: 17 January 2013

Readers of this article also read:

A review of analgesic and emotive breathing: a multidisciplinary approach

Bordoni B, Marelli F, Bordoni G

Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare 2016, 9:97-102

Published Date: 29 February 2016

Interprofessional team management in pediatric critical care: some challenges and possible solutions

Stocker M, Pilgrim SB, Burmester M, Allen ML, Gijselaers WH

Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare 2016, 9:47-58

Published Date: 24 February 2016

Postpartum depression screening in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: program development, implementation, and lessons learned

Cherry AS, Blucker RT, Thornberry TS, Hetherington C, McCaffree MA, Gillaspy SR

Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare 2016, 9:59-67

Published Date: 18 February 2016

Interprofessional teamwork innovations for primary health care practices and practitioners: evidence from a comparison of reform in three countries

Harris MF, Advocat J, Crabtree BF, Levesque JF, Miller WL, Gunn JM, Hogg W, Scott CM, Chase SM, Halma L, Russell GM

Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare 2016, 9:35-46

Published Date: 29 January 2016

Risk factors for hearing loss in infants under universal hearing screening program in Northern Thailand

Poonual W, Navacharoen N, Kangsanarak J, Namwongprom S

Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare 2016, 9:1-5

Published Date: 24 December 2015