Evaluating online continuing medical education seminars: Evidence for improving clinical practices

Christine M. Weston, Christopher Sciamanna, David B. Nash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the potential for online continuing medical education (CME) seminars to improve quality of care. Primary care physicians (113) participated in a randomized controlled trial to evaluate an online CME series. Physicians were randomized to view either a seminar about type 2 diabetes or a seminar about systolic heart failure. Following the seminar, physicians were presented with 4 clinical vignettes and asked to describe what tests, treatments, counseling, or referrals they would recommend. Physicians who viewed the seminars were significantly more likely to recommend guideline-consistent care to patients in the vignettes. For example, physicians who viewed the diabetes seminar were significantly more likely to order an eye exam for diabetes patients (63%) compared with physicians in the control group (27%). For some guidelines there were no group differences. These results provide early evidence of the effectiveness of online CME programs to improve physician clinical practice. (Am J Med Qual 2008;23:475-483).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-483
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Quality
Volume23
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2008

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Policy

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