Posted by: DrJosephKim
CDS and data analytics, education, telemedicine
Most doctors don’t know what they don’t know. Those who don’t know something probably won’t want to admit it. So, how do you effectively educate doctors about health IT? After all, most doctors aren’t leveraging the time-saving tools, features, and functionality that’s often built into many digital health tools. They may be stuck using older platforms when newer IT solutions may help them save time and money. They may not know how to effectively leverage clinical decision support (CDS) to improve patient care. They might be turning alarms off because they’re getting annoyed and burdened with alert fatigue.
Given that I work in the medical education industry, I’ve often noticed how doctors want to learn. The key is to identify their needs upfront. We always start with a needs assessment so that we can accurately identify what doctors need to learn. You don’t want to waste their time teaching them things that they already know. So, how do you perform a needs assessment? You can survey doctors. You can run focus groups. You can simply observe their behaviors. You can look at patient outcomes. All of these methods can help you identify relevant needs so that doctors will ultimately be interested in learning how to be more effective.
So, let’s look at an example: doctors are frequently answering patient questions in the middle of the night via phone calls. Some are using telemedicine solutions and using video or photos to see what the patient is describing. Most doctors do not know how to get reimbursed from insurance companies for these calls.
Once you validate this through surveys and focus groups, you can deliver effective continuing education that will engage doctors because you’re now teaching them something they need to learn. They want to learn and will benefit if they do so.
There are many opportunities to educate doctors about health IT. The education could be on computerized physician order entry (CPOE), health information exchange (HIE), personal health records (PHRs), EHRs, telemedicine, or mobile health solutions. The education needs to be relevant for the doctors.