2 - International Conference in Emergency Medicine and Public Health-Qatar Proceedings
  • ISSN: 1999-7086
  • EISSN: 1999-7094


The conventional landlines and bleeps that are commonly used in recalling physicians during major casualty incident (MCI) have shown multiple defects. Despite the remarkable advancement of handheld devices, social media and short text messaging (SMS), only a few studies on the comparison between the conventional communication and the social media have been found in the literature. This research compares (1) bleeps, (2) SMS and (3) WhatsApp as communication tools for recalling doctors. These tools were selected because they are commonly used in our region.

We selected two periods for communications: social-friendly (09:00–19:00) and anti-social (23:00–06:00) periods. A total of 120 emergency physicians from Hamad General Hospital were contacted by the three communication tools in the two selected periods. We investigated the percentage of the responders and the time of response because this is the first step to the MCI response.

Bleep had the fastest response (mean 7.6 minutes in the social-friendly period and 9 minutes in the anti-social period), but with a least response of 10.8% and 3.0% for the social-friendly and anti-social periods, respectively. WhatsApp had the majority of responses (45.0% in the social-friendly period and 47.5% in the anti-social period, respectively). However, its response time was long (146 and 141 minutes), respectively. Therefore, it is not suitable for recalling doctors during MCI. In contrast, SMS showed a bizarre response, with a mean response time of 43 and 154 minutes for the social-friendly and anti-social periods, respectively. This showed a marked increase in response from 30.8% for the social-friendly period to 44.2% for the anti-social period.

At present, there is not even one satisfactory and reliable communication tool for recalling physicians during MCI. Unsatisfactory response may be due to human factors that can be improved by training to achieve optimal compliance in both percentage and response time. This could in turn help achieve the ultimate response in MCI. More research is needed in this field to obtain the best and most accurate communication tool.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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