Thursday, July 2, 2015

Are Online Learning Modules an Effective way to Provide Hand Trauma Management CME to Referring Physicians?

Jason Williams, MD, FRCSC, MEd
Dalhousie University

Background: The vastness of modern medical knowledge and the rapidity of change have created increased need for ongoing or continuing medical education (CME) for physicians. Online CME is attractive for its availability at anytime and anyplace, low cost, and potentially increased effectiveness compared to traditional face-to-face delivery.

Objective: To determine whether online CME modules are an effective method for delivering Plastic Surgery CME to referring primary care physicians.

Methods: A needs assessment survey was conducted of all emergency and family physicians in Nova Scotia, Canada. Results indicated this was an area of need and that hand trauma related topics were most desired for CME. SoftChalk lesson builder was used to construct a pilot multimedia e-learning module that was distributed along with a pretest, posttest and feedback questionnaire. Quantitative (pre and post test scores) and qualitative (feedback responses) data were analyzed.

Results: The 32 participants who completed the study indicated that it was a positive and enjoyable experience, and that there was a need for more resources like this. Compared to pre-test scores, there was a significant gain in knowledge following completion of the module (p=0.001).

Conclusion: This study has demonstrated that the e-learning format is attractive for this population and effective in increasing knowledge. This positive outcome will lead to development of further modules.