Sept. 25 - A doctor in the UK has become a Youtube sensation while demonstrating the power of social media to help patients. Dr Tapas Mukherjee is now known as 'The Singing Doctor', with his version of 90s hit ''Breakfast at Tiffany's'' by the band Deep Blue Something, which he has adapted lyrically to help acute asthma patients treat their condition. Jim Drury went to meet him.
Respiratory doctor Tapas Mukherjee is a YouTube sensation, with his version of 90s hit 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'. But 'Breakfast at Glenfield' has a serious message. It's the British medic's attempt to improve understanding of acute asthma among doctors and patients. Alarmed at how new guidelines at Glenfield Hospital weren't taking effect, he decided to take a 21st Century approach. SOUNDBITE (English) DR TAPAS MUKHERJEE, RESPIRATORY REGISTRAR AT GLENFIELD HOSPITAL, SAYING: "Getting everybody in the same place and telling them about the guidelines was just not possible, and that's where the idea of using social media came to us." Grabbing colleagues in lunch breaks, the doctor rewrote the lyrics to the song by US band Deep Blue Something. He replaced the original's lovelorn laments with condensed sections of the guidelines. Within weeks of patients and colleagues posting the video on Facebook and Twitter, staff awareness rose dramatically. SOUNDBITE (English) DR TAPAS MUKHERJEE, RESPIRATORY REGISTRAR AT GLENFIELD HOSPITAL, SAYING: "I can't think of any other way that we could have spread the guidelines as quickly and effectively as we did. And when we did the repeat audit a month or so afterwards we found that across this trust 100 percent of our staff were aware that we had new guidelines, which compared to just 60 percent before; and in terms of using it, where we had about 40 percent of people using it, that had gone up to about 80 percent." Colleagues are happy to help out with the occasional live performance. Respiratory ward manager Sarah Johnstone sees social media as an effective way to raise medical awareness. SOUNDBITE (English) SARAH JOHNSTONE, RESPIRATORY WARD MANAGER AT GLENFIELD HOSPITAL, SAYING: "Every person has a mobile phone in their pocket, has media access to social networking sites. And if this was on a social networking site then people will copy and paste and share the information and it's a much better and quicker way to get this information to a much wider public." Mukherjee's patients agree that the message is getting across. SOUNDBITE (English) CERI JONES, ASTHMA PATIENT, SAYING: "Social media is just massive, it just goes everywhere. Anything that's quite informative can just get passed around within seconds." SOUNDBITE (English) DOROTHY SCARBOROUGH, ASTHMA PATIENT, SAYING: "You learn from it. A lot of people don't understand what we've got." Buoyed by his success, the Singing Doctor of Glenfield plans another self-recorded video, giving advice on how to use inhalers which he hopes will provide another breath of fresh air for patients. UPSOT: MUKHERJEE SINGING 'You've followed the guidelines, there's no more to do'