TITLE

Increasing Social Capital via Local Networks: Analysis in the Context of a Surgical Practice

AUTHOR(S)
Thakur, Anjani; Yang, Isaac; Lee, Michael Y.; Goel, Arpan; Ashok, Ashwin; Fonkalsrud, Eric W.
PUB. DATE
September 2002
SOURCE
American Surgeon;Sep2002, Vol. 68 Issue 9, p776
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The relationship between social capital (support, trust, patient awareness, and increased practice revenue) and local networks (university hospital) in communities has received little attention. The development of computer-based communication networks (social networks) has added a new dimension to the argument, posing the question of whether local networks can (re-)create social capital in local communities. This relationship is examined through a review of the literature on local networks and social capital and a surgeon's practice management from 1990 to 2001 with respect to repair of pectus chest deformities. With respect to pectus repair there was a consistent but small number of new referrals (15-20 new patients/year), lack of patient awareness (eight to 12 self-referred patients/year), and modest practice revenue. Since the inception of an Internet website (social network) dedicated to pectus repair in 1996 there has been increased social participation (n = 630 hits/year to the website); facilitation of spread of information through E-mail messages (n = 430 messages/year); and a greater participation of groups such as women, minorities, adults, and those with disability (n = 120 patients/year). The dissemination of information via the local network has also allowed an "outward movement" with increased participation by interconnecting communities (n = 698,300 global Internet participants based on statistical ratios). We conclude that local networks have enhanced social networks providing new grounds for the development of relationships based on choice and shared interest.
ACCESSION #
7752129

 

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