Social networks are an important mechanism for knowledge sharing. The analysis of social networks focuses on uncovering the patterns of people’s interactions. The social network analysis done within TREKK helps us understand more about the network and the interactions taking place between the healthcare professionals working at the TREKK sites (general emergency departments that are part of the TREKK Network) across Canada.
Social networking analysis is a way of looking at social relationships in terms of network theory. It looks at individuals within a network and the ties that they have to others in the network (for example – across the TREKK network or within an institution or hospital).
In the spring of 2014, TREKK developed a social networking survey under the guidance of Dr. Janet Curran (Dalhousie University; IWK Health Centre). It was shared with our clinical representatives (TREKK reps) at 37 TREKK sites and they were asked to share it with their colleagues working in general emergency departments across Canada. The same survey was then repeated in the spring of 2015 so that we could see whether or not the TREKK network or the relationships in it changed over the course of the year as TREKK started to do education sessions and build its online resource repository.
The objectives of this survey were to:
Determine the directions that information is flowing and the pattern of knowledge sharing between the rural, urban and community emergency departments
Determine whether the information flow changes during the duration of the TREKK initiative
Identify ‘opinion leaders’ and local knowledge brokers of the Network and redirect these identified knowledge brokers to isolated individuals within the Network who are seeking advice and information
Along with a few basic demographic questions (name, role & work institution), we asked the following networking questions:
In the past two months, please list all the people you went to for advice/information about managing the care of children in the emergency department (name, location, discipline, role)?
In the past two months, please list all the people who sought your advice/information about managing the care of children in the emergency department (name, location, discipline, role)?
In the past two months, with whom did you formally share information regarding pediatric emergency practice (name, location, discipline, role)?
How did you share this information (email, presentation, phone, informal conversation, meeting, rounds, other)?