Background: Physicians are increasingly using the social media outlet, Twitter, as a medium to connect and engage. Specifically, Twitter-based journal clubs have created a space for clinicians, educators and researchers to disseminate and discuss recent research. Recognizing this developing landscape, the Journal of Hospital Medicine (JHM) began producing a CME-accredited Twitter-based journal club, called #JHMChat in 2015. Here, we aim to describe the implementation and impact on Twitter and journal metrics.
Methods: Held every 1-2 months, each 1-hour #JHMChat focused on a recently published JHM article, was moderated by a social media editor, and included at least one study author. All sessions were framed by questions intended to guide and encourage discussion.
Two hours after each session, we obtained the following Twitter metrics: number of participants and tweets per session, tweets/participant, and total impressions
Measuring dissemination external to Twitter, we assessed: 1) the change in each articles’ Altmetric score (a digital-based metric that quantifies the attention received by a scientific publication on various online platforms), and 2) the page views on the JHM website for each article after each session. A thematic analysis of each article was conducted to assess for common themes. Post-chat survey of participating authors and participant responses to CME surveys were also reviewed.
Results: Between October 2015-2017, a total of 15 sessions were held with a mean (±SD) of 2.17 (±0.605) million impressions/session, 496 (±134) total tweets/session, and 82 (±24) participants/session, with 7.4 (±2.1) tweets/participant (Table).
Thematic analysis revealed three predominant themes: Value-based care (VBC), Quality and Patient Safety (QPS), and Medical Education (ME). VBC articles had the greatest number of impressions (2.61±0.55 million) and participants (90±12). The mean increase in Altmetric score was 14 (±12) with ME themed articles garnering the greatest change (mean: +32 points). Page views of the articles after #JHMChat corresponded to the increase in levels of electronic Table of Content releases (Figure). All (100%) participating authors and 93% of participants believed #JHMChat was a valuable experience and rated the experience highly on post-chat surveys and CME evaluations.
Conclusions: #JHMChat appears to be one of the largest attended online journal clubs and demonstrates the potential outreach and influence these gatherings can have on disseminating research and building engagement within an online community. Articles focused on value-based care and medical education had the greatest impact on dissemination metrics, in particular total impressions and Altmetric scores, respectively. Future research in online journal clubs should explore the downstream effects on citation rates, clinical uptake, and participant knowledge after the sessions.