Background: Timely and effective dissemination of the latest clinical evidence to health care providers is essential for translating biomedical research into routine patient care. Online platforms offer unique opportunities for dissemination of medical knowledge. Objective: In this study, we report the profiles of health care providers participating in the New York State HIV-HCV-STD Clinical Education Initiative online program and their evaluations of the online continuing professional development courses. Methods: We compiled professional and personal background information of the clinicians who completed at least one online course. We collected their self-reported program evaluation data with regard to the course content, format, knowledge increase, and impact on clinical practice. Results: We recorded a total of 4363 completions of 88 online courses by 1976 unique clinicians during a 12-month study period. The clinicians' background was diverse in terms of demographics, education levels, professional disciplines, practice years, employment settings, caseloads, and clinical services. The evaluation of online courses was very positive (usefulness/relevance, 91.08%; easy comprehension, 89.09%; knowledgeable trainer, 92.00%; appropriate format, 84.35%; knowledge increase, 48.52%; intention to use knowledge, 85.26%; and plan to change practice, 21.98%). Comparison with the reference data indicated that the online program successfully reached out to the primary care communities. Both the younger generation and the senior health care providers were attracted to the online program. High-quality multimedia resources, flexibility of access, ease of use, and provision of continuing professional development credits contributed to the initial success of this online clinical education program. Conclusions: We have successfully characterized a diverse group of clinicians participating in a statewide online continuing professional development program. The evaluation has shown effective use of online resources to disseminate clinical evidence on HIV, hepatitis C virus, and sexually transmitted disease to primary care clinicians.
- Continuing education
- Hepatitis C
- Information dissemination
- Online systems
- Sexually transmitted diseases
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science Applications