Background: Timely and accurate diagnosis of meningitis and encephalitis not only guides the patient care strategy, but can reduce inappropriate antibiotic use, support antimicrobial stewardship, shorten hospital stays, and decrease morbidity and mortality.
Methods: To address knowledge and competence gaps among ID specialists, a CME/CE-certified. 30-minute, video-based, multidisciplinary panel discussion was developed and posted online on 8/2/2017. Featuring 3 faculty with therapeutic expertise, the activity addressed:
Distinguishing characteristics of various diagnostic methods;
Considerations when interpreting test results; and
Applying findings to patient care decisions
Educational effectiveness was assessed with a repeated-pairs pre-/post-assessment study design, in which each individual served as his/her own control. Responses to three multiple-choice, knowledge/competence questions and 1 self-efficacy confidence question were analyzed. A chi-squared test assessed changes pre- to post-assessment. P values <0.05 are statistically significant. Effect sizes were evaluated using Cramer's V (<0.05 modest; 0.06-0.15 noticeable effect; 0.16-0.26 considerable effect; >0.26 extensive effect). Data were collected through 9/7/2017.
Results: 4712 healthcare providers, including 3317 physicians have participated in the activity. Data from ID specialists (n=266) who answered all pre-/post-assessment questions during the study period were analyzed. Significant improvements were observed overall (P=.0002; V=.156) and in several specific areas of assessment (Figure). Following activity participation, 29% of ID specialists indicated increased confidence in diagnosing meningitis and encephalitis using rapid molecular tests and 89% of ID specialists indicated a commitment to incorporate one or more changes into practice. Lastly, the findings also uncovered educational needs that are the focus of ongoing interventions.
Conclusion: Participation in this online education significantly improved ID specialists knowledge and competence with regard to using rapid molecular tests to diagnose meningitis and encephalitis. These findings highlight the positive impact of well-designed online education.
Independent Medical Education