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A British Doctor Harnessed The Power Of Cheesy Web Videos To Improve Asthma Care
September 11, 2013
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In April 2012, Dr. Tapas Mukherjee, an English respiratory specialist, was dismayed when he saw the results of a study looking into how well his colleagues were prepared to deal with severe asthma attacks. Only 62 per cent were aware that their hospital network had guidelines in place for them to follow, and worse, only 45 per cent had ever used them. So he had a bright idea: why not make a music video to educate them?

The result was "Breakfast at Glenfield," an endearingly cheesy Weird Al-style takeoff on Deep Blue Something's 1995 hit "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (Glenfield is the name of the hospital where Mukherjee works). The video features Mukherjee in soft-rock star garb (dangling sunglasses, shirt unbuttoned to the sternum) delivering such unforgettable lines as "You all say, I know all the guidelines. But we've done an audit from the sidelines. And we know you're all just wrong." Over the course of nearly five minutes, a team of doctors and nurses acts out common errors in asthma treatment, and then models the proper procedures — all with Mukherjee's tenor soaring above them.

The video soon went viral — within the asthma treatment community, at least (it currently has just shy of 24,000 views).

Here's the impressive part: cheesy as it was, the video actually worked. According to a presentation that Mukherjee delivered at the European Respiratory Society Annual Congress in Barcelona today, a follow-up study performed in June 2012 showed that 100 per cent of the health care professionals within his hospital network were aware of the guidelines after the video came out.

"As doctors are often working in busy environments, we have to think of creative ways of reaching them with important clinical information," Murkerjee said in a statement. "Our study has shown that social media is a free and effective way of doing this."

Via ERS Annual Congress


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