Training for quality management: report on a nationwide distance learning initiative for physicians in Spain.
Under the sponsorship of a pharmaceutical firm, a distance-learning course on Quality Management methods was developed at the University of Murcia (Spain) and offered nationwide to primary health care physicians working in the public system. A total of 7104 physicians (47.7% of the census) signed up (at least one in 92.2% of the health centres). The course content follows the author's model of quality improvement, monitoring and design trilogy, but focuses mainly on methods for a quality improvement cycle using a learning-by-doing and problem-solving approach. The unexpected success of this initiative has led us to reflect on the interest in learning about quality improvement methods shown by physicians, the usefulness of the distance-learning approach, and also to continue the project with new initiatives such as: a summary poster, software containing all the necessary tools and data analysis for quality improvement, and a manual. (+info)
Implementation and evaluation of a virtual learning center for distributed education.
A number of tools are required to support a distributed education program. This paper will relate experiences in the development and implementation of a web-based Virtual Learning Center. Initial evaluation offers direction for further development, necessary university support, and faculty and student preparation. (+info)
Education of health professionals using a proposed telehealth system.
The movement of health care from hospitals to the community has demanded a major shift in the way in which health care professionals are being taught. This paper describes the collaboration of the Schools of Nursing and Medicine in the use of telehealth technology for the education of health care professionals. The specific aims of the project were to use the technology for the verification of the students' assessment and physical examinations, for the conduct of multi-professional patient rounds, and provision of consultations to professionals at remote sites. Capitalizing on the Schools' previous experience for observing students via computer technology at remote sites, we employed PC-based workstations, specialized peripherals, and Internet connecting protocols to implement a telehealth project for professional clinical education. Initial student, faculty and staff reactions were generally positive. The formal evaluation plan focuses on students, faculty, and staff. Structured questionnaires are used and a comparison of learning by telehealth technology will be made with alternative (more conventional) methods in evaluating knowledge and quality of verification of physical examination findings, and satisfaction with the learning process. (+info)
Student bodies: psycho-education communities on the web.
We have developed a Web-delivered, multimedia health educational program, Student Bodies, designed to improve body satisfaction, a probable risk factor for the development of eating disorders in young women. The program includes psycho-educational content and a newsgroup for communication, and is delivered in a structured framework of weekly readings, assignments and postings to the newsgroup. Intervention group participants improved their body image, and reduced other attitudes that predispose to eating disorders. (+info)
Using multi media to enhance a flexible learning program: lessons learned.
Central Queensland University is a well-established distance education provider with an internationally recognized reputation in flexible learning. It has a well-developed infrastructure for the preparation of quality print and multimedia learning materials. A symposium and working conference linking twelve sites, including Auckland NZ via video conferencing, and supported by print based materials and web based conferencing was held during November 1998 with the assistance of Telstra's Conferlink. This paper provides the background, organisation, and evaluation results. Our conclusions are that appropriate use of a combination of print based materials, videoconferencing and a web based classroom works well for the provision of continuing education to health professionals. In addition this symposium was able to reach clinicians and demonstrate the value of informatics to support evidence based practice. (+info)
Effects of traditional classroom and distance continuing education: a theory-driven evaluation of a vaccine-preventable diseases course.
OBJECTIVES: This study evaluated the effects of a major federal immunization continuing education course, delivered in both traditional classroom and satellite broadcast versions, on public health professionals' knowledge, agreement, self-efficacy, and adherence in practice to recommendations. METHODS: The study used a comparative time series design to determine whether the course influenced participants' knowledge, agreement, self-efficacy, and adherence in practice to general and polio-specific recommendations as measured immediately and 3 months after the course. It also compared the effects of the classroom and satellite broadcast versions and used path analysis to show how the outcomes were related to one another. RESULTS: Both versions significantly improved knowledge, agreement, self-efficacy, and adherence. Knowledge and agreement were significant predictors of self-efficacy, which directly predicted adherence. Vaccine availability and supportive clinic policies were also important adherence predictors. CONCLUSIONS: A well-designed training update can change provider knowledge, agreement, self-efficacy, and adherence. Traditional classroom and distance training can have comparable effects. The findings support incorporation of distance learning in national public health training, if the distance learning is used wisely in relation to training needs, goals, and practice contexts. (+info)
Does the site of postgraduate family medicine training predict performance on summative examinations? A comparison of urban and remote programs.
BACKGROUND: The location of postgraduate medical training is shifting from teaching hospitals in urban centres to community practice in rural and remote settings. We were interested in knowing whether learning, as measured by summative examinations, was comparable between graduates who trained in urban centres and those who trained in remote and rural settings. METHODS: Family medicine training programs in Ontario were selected as a model of postgraduate medical training. The results of the 2 summative examinations--the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part II and the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) certification examination--for graduates of the programs at Ontario's 5 medical schools were compared with the results for graduates of the programs in Sudbury and Thunder Bay from 1994 to 1997. The comparability of these 2 cohorts at entry into training was evaluated using the results of their MCCQE Part I, completed just before the family medicine training. RESULTS: Between 1994 and 1997, 1013 graduates of family medicine programs (922 at the medical schools and 91 at the remote sites) completed the CFPC certification examination; a subset of 663 completed both the MCCQE Part I and the MCCQE Part II. The MCCQE Part I results for graduates in the remote programs did not differ significantly from those for graduates entering the programs in the medical schools (mean score 531.3 [standard deviation (SD) 69.8] and 521.8 [SD 74.4] respectively, p = 0.33). The MCCQE Part II results did not differ significantly between the 2 groups either (mean score 555.1 [SD 71.7] and 545.0 [SD 76.4] respectively, p = 0.32). Similarly, there were no consistent, significant differences in the results of the CFPC certification examination between the 2 groups. INTERPRETATION: In this model of postgraduate medical training, learning was comparable between trainees in urban family medicine programs and those in rural, community-based programs. The reasons why this outcome might be unexpected and the limitations on the generalizability of these results are discussed. (+info)
An analysis of technology usage for streaming digital video in support of a preclinical curriculum.
Usage of streaming digital video of lectures in preclinical courses was measured by analysis of the data in the log file maintained on the web server. We observed that students use the video when it is available. They do not use it to replace classroom attendance but rather for review before examinations or when a class has been missed. Usage of video has not increased significantly for any course within the 18 month duration of this project. (+info)