ABSTRACT: Physician assessments of the value of therapeutic information delivered via e-mail
Although e-learning programs are popular and access to electronic knowledge resources has improved, raising awareness about updated therapeutic recommendations in practice continues to be a challenge.
OBJECTIVE OF PROGRAM:
To raise awareness about and document the use of therapeutic recommendations.
In 2010, family physicians evaluated e-Therapeutics (e-T) Highlights with a Web-based tool called the Information Assessment Method (IAM). The e-T Highlights consisted of information found in the primary care reference e-Therapeutics+. Each week, family physicians received an e-mail containing a link to 1 Highlight from a different chapter of e-Therapeutics+. Family physicians received continuing medical education credits for each Highlight they rated with the IAM. Of the 5346 participants, 85% of them were full-time or part-time practitioners. A total of 31 429 Highlights ratings were received in 2010 (median of 2 ratings per participant, range 1 to 49). Among participants who rated more than 2 Highlights, the median number of ratings was 7 (mean 11.9). The relevance of the information from individual Highlights varied widely; however, for 90% of the rated Highlights participants indicated total or partial relevance of the information for at least 1 patient. For 41% of rated Highlights, participants expected patient health benefits to result from implementing the recommendation, such as avoiding an unnecessary or inappropriate treatment, or a preventive intervention.
This continuing medical education program stimulated family physicians to rate therapeutic recommendations that were delivered weekly via e-mail. The process of rating e-T Highlights with the IAM raised awareness about treatment recommendations and documented self-reported use of this information in practice.