Emerg Med J 27:50-51 doi:10.1136/emj.2009.075713
  • Short report

Google governance: increasing the effectiveness of critical care physicians through the use of an online usergroup

  1. C Reid,
  2. S Harper,
  3. A Tzannes,
  4. K Habig,
  5. S Coombes,
  6. S Hayes,
  7. B Burns,
  8. C Oh,
  9. M Newcombe,
  10. S L Fineberg,
  11. G Tall,
  12. M Novy
  1. Ambulance Service New South Wales, Greater Sydney Area Helicopter Emergency Medical Service, Sydney, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Cliff Reid, Greater Sydney Area Helicopter Emergency Medical Service, Rescue Helicopter Base, Bankstown Aerodrome 2200, PO Box 58, Georges Hall 2198, Sydney, NSW, Australia; adrenaline{at}
  • Accepted 28 April 2009


Aims: The aim of this study was to describe the use of an online usergroup to enhance communication and productivity by critical care specialists.

Methods: In this article, we provide a description of the first 6 months of use of an online usergroup by senior retrieval physicians.

Results: Initially developed as a communication and online discussion tool, our online usergroup evolved to include a number of other utilities that support clinical governance. These included a repository for useful files, educational presentations, online rostering and “portfolio pages”, updating aspects of an individual specialist’s non-clinical activity. Its applications continue to evolve in number and utility. Participating physicians perceive an increase in organisational efficiency.

Conclusions: An online usergroup such as Google Groups may provide powerful support to an organisation’s clinical governance. We recommend this tool to other services with limited administrative personnel.


  • The authors collaborated in the production of this manuscript entirely online via the Ambulance Service New South Wales Retrieval Google Group.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and Peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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