August 07, 2014
76% of physicians believe we are “very” or “extremely” unprepared if an Ebola outbreak happens on US soil according SERMO poll of 1,100 doctors
Boston, MA — SERMO, the leading physician social network with over 270,000 (40%) of U.S. physicians, announced today doctors from around the globe are collaborating inside the SERMO community. They are sharing news and patient care for the Ebola crisis and are using the social network to relay messages in real-time from the front lines of the crisis in Liberia.
Four SERMO members who have strong ties to aid groups in Liberia are sharing human stories exclusively on SERMO relating the current situation as it unfolds minute by minute. Two of these doctors have recently returned from treating patients on the ground in Liberia.
For the first time, physicians are getting unfiltered news, sharing and collaborating about best practices, patient care, and arming one another with health information and sharing research.
In the last few hours, physicians have been sharing information about passenger screenings in US airports and discussing what to do to help the dire conditions at EWAL Hospital, one of the few hospitals still open in Liberia treating Ebola patients.
On a weekly basis SERMO takes the pulse of physicians. In a recent poll on the subject, over 1,100 doctors participated in a poll that asked physicians:
How prepared do you feel the US healthcare system is to respond to an Ebola attack?
35% felt they were extremely unprepared,
41% very unprepared,
15 % neither prepared or unprepared,
8% very prepared,
and 1 % extremely prepared.
The discussion about Ebola on SERMO is passionate and intense. Physicians are providing the volunteers support and advice. The use of novel drug treatments fascinates physicians and they have been discussing how to balance the effectiveness and risks of distributing experimental treatments never tried before on humans. They are also sharing information about the new vaccine expected to reach human clinical trials next month. That phenomenon is called medical crowdsourcing; when the collective wisdom of doctors comes together to discuss medical solutions through a virtual platform. It’s happening in real time and at an unprecedented speed on Sermo.
Jim Wilson, MD, a pediatrician and infectious disease expert with AscelBio and a SERMO correspondent, relating some of the breaking news to his peers comments on the expanded Ebola threat, “In this part of Africa, what we’ve noticed on satellite imagery is there’s been a pattern of deforestation and encroachment of human beings on ecosystems that up until now has been fairly isolated. You’re going to see more outbreaks in the future where the virus has made its way into a highly urbanized environment plus or minus the presence of an international airport, so this is not the last time you’re going to see this.”
“On SERMO, information is being shared by physicians across the globe at an unprecedented rate, from the front lines of clinics in Liberia to experts in the US,” said Peter Kirk, CEO of SERMO when asked about the role SERMO is playing in connecting physicians with breaking medical news. “It’s an example of doctors using technology to tackle local life threatening crises with real-time input around the globe.”
Doctors collaborate on thousands of cases annually in the SERMO community, bringing together an average of over 200 years of experience per case. Whether helping support doctors in the jungles of Panama or serving as information conduits to the hospitals of West Africa, SERMO is providing physicians the platform they need to come together to save lives, discuss the latest in healthcare and make a difference in the world.
According to an update from World Health Organization on July 31st, 2014, there were a total of 122 new cases of Ebola virus disease between July 24th and 27th, as well as 57 deaths reported from Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.
For more information about the recent developments in the Ebola crisis, visit the SERMO blog at http://blog.sermo.com/2014/08/04/ebola-update-a-possible-cure-and-the-real-threat-ebola-poses/ and http://blog.sermo.com/2014/07/30/ebola-outbreak-an-infectious-disease-doctor-tells-his-story/.
SERMO is the United States’ leading social network for physicians. With over 270,000 verified U.S. physicians from 96 specialties and subspecialties, SERMO facilitates clinical collaboration, knowledge sharing and discussion throughout 40 percent of the American medical community. SERMO is a meeting of medical minds; it’s the virtual meeting place for physicians where they are free to engage with other physicians regarding everything that's important to them in the business and practice of medicine.
Founded in 2005, SERMO’s vision is to provide physicians with a safe, private and trusted platform for free and open discussions. By harnessing the collective wisdom of physicians to solve patient cases, SERMO also enables medical crowdsourcing and thus the accelerated advancement of medicine. To learn more about SERMO, visit http://www.sermo.com.