Ever think there has to be a better way to update your group’s 100-plus-page program manual? The HM group at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston offers a solution: Post all of the information on a secure wiki page.

That’s what hospitalist Roger Yu, MD, did a few months ago. He transferred his group’s manual to a wiki that allows members to access, add, and edit information about referring physicians, schedules, and more.

Dr. Yu says the page, hosted by Microsoft’s SharePoint platform, allows the 33-hospitalist group to stay up to date on new policies without forcing them to sift through a barrage of e-mails. “We probably have at least eight to 10 clinical rotations,” Dr. Yu says. “The hospital policy is always changing, the way we do our work constantly changes, and [using a wiki platform] is a way of getting this information across.”

The program was especially helpful, he adds, when his group recently developed a new referral relationship with a large, multispecialty group that had some unique needs. “There are specific ways they want us to consult their specialists, and they have different pager numbers and contact people, so we were able to post all of that in a page on the wiki,” Dr. Yu explains, adding any member of his group can add or edit information on the wiki.

Dr. Yu says his group hopes to eventually use the wiki to post calendar events and share teaching materials.

Joe Li, MD, director of the Beth Israel HM program, who tasked Dr. Yu with developing the wiki, says the program has, for the most part, run smoothly: “I wouldn’t say there have been glitches, per se, but I think people in the group have different levels of willingness to adopt new technology,” says Dr. Li, SHM’s president-elect. “Some [of our] people have accessed it less than others.”

Dr. Yu says that while creating a wiki doesn’t require extensive HTML knowledge or even computer savviness, it does involve some initial planning. “I would say if you’re going to start it up, it’s more about thinking about how to organize the table of contents,” he says. Once the table of contents is created, he says, expect to spend a few hours a day plugging in the information. It took him about three days to input the 120-plus-page manual.

For more tips on how to create your own wiki, visit Microsoft's help page.

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