Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

11-12-2013

Abstract

Background:

Health care professionals, trainees, and patients use the Internet extensively. Editable Web sites may contain inaccurate, incomplete, and/or outdated information that may mislead the public’s perception of the topic.

Objective:

To evaluate the editable, online descriptions of clinical pharmacy and pharmacist and attempt to improve their accuracy.

Methods:

The authors identified key areas within clinical pharmacy to evaluate for accuracy and appropriateness on the Internet. Current descriptions that were reviewed on public domain Web sites included: (1) clinical pharmacy and the clinical pharmacist, (2) pharmacy education, (3) clinical pharmacy and development and provision for reimbursement, (4) clinical pharmacists and advanced specialty certifications/training opportunities, (5) pharmacists and advocacy, and (6) clinical pharmacists and interdisciplinary/interprofessional content. The authors assessed each content area to determine accuracy and prioritized the need for updating, when applicable, to achieve consistency in descriptions and relevancy. The authors found that Wikipedia, a public domain that allows users to update, was consistently the most common Web site produced in search results.

Results:

The authors’ evaluation resulted in the creation or revision of 14 Wikipedia Web pages. However, rejection of 3 proposed newly created Web pages affected the authors’ ability to address identified content areas with deficiencies and/or inaccuracies.

Conclusions:

Through assessing and updating editable Web sites, the authors strengthened the online representation of clinical pharmacy in a clear, cohesive, and accurate manner. However, ongoing assessments of the Internet are continually needed to ensure accuracy and appropriateness.

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