MANUSCRIPT: How do junior medical officers use online information resources? A survey.
Online information resources function dually as important learning tools and sources of the latest evidence-based recommendations for junior medical officers (JMOs). However, little is currently known about how JMOs utilise this information when providing care for their patients. This study aimed to examine the usage and experience of online information resources amongst JMOs in South Australia to ascertain (i) the type of resources accessed, (ii) the frequency, (iii) the intended purpose, and (iv) the perceived reliability.
A survey instrument using multiple choices, five-point Likert scales and free-text comments was developed and distributed through SurveyMonkey to South Australian JMOs between 1 May 2014 and 30 June 2014.
Of the 142 surveyed, 100 JMOs (70.4 %) used online information resources as their first approach over all other resources available. JMOs overwhelmingly (94.4 %, n = 134) used online information resources at least once per day, with the most frequent purpose for use being information regarding prescription medication (82.4 %, n = 117, reported ‘very frequent’ use). JMOs stated online resources were necessary to perform their work and, of the different types of information accessed, they rated peer-reviewed resources as the most reliable.
JMOs strongly rely upon online clinical information in their everyday practice. Importantly, provision of these resources assists JMOs in their education and clinical performance.