CME Web site gives MDs new views of ophthalmologic
October 23, 2006
There’s no shortage of Web sites that can claim to give viewers an eyeful, but it’s nice to see one that can make that claim in an educational sense—and even offer CME credits. In this case, the eyeful is, in fact, an eye case: an evidence-based ophthalmological case study at www.ebeyecase.ca.
Free membership on Queen’s University site, with FPs focusing on referrals while specialists get evidence-based update- by: Patricia Nicholson.
There’s no shortage of Web sites that can claim to give viewers an eyeful, but it’s nice to see one that can make that claim in an educational sense—and even offer CME credits.
In this case, the eyeful is, in fact, an eye case: an evidence-based ophthalmological case study at www.ebeyecase.ca.
“Every month we develop a new case,” says Dr. Sanjay Sharma, associate professor of ophthalmology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., and chief editor of www.ebeyecase.ca. Cases can range from eye trauma to diabetes, and take the form of interactive modules in which doctors make diagnostic choices. They also include an evidence-based medicine piece reviewing the latest literature, and links to online literature searches. Video editorials or videotaped surgical tips and techniques are also presented.
At the end of each case, there is an online test. Then members can download a CME certificate.
Site membership is free, and every case study is accredited through Queen’s University for between 1.5 and two hours of MainPro for family doctors, or the specialist equivalent.
The site was launched in mid-September with an initial complement of nine case studies. Dr. Sharma estimates that about 250 people signed up within its first three weeks. Membership is split about evenly between family doctors and specialists.
“The emphasis for family docs is when to appropriately refer, and the emphasis for the ophthalmologist is how to treat in an evidence-based fashion,” Dr. Sharma says. “We really want a good mix of cases, and we’ve been able to establish a really strong national editorial board to help us out in certain areas. So we’re really drawing on the collective experience of a lot of great minds.”
The site will cover common eye conditions, as well as more esoteric diseases.
“Half of them will be kind of bread-and-butter: cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration,” Dr. Sharma says. “And then the other ones are rarer birds that people in regular practice would rarely see.”
The goal of the site is to provide physicians with another tool to help keep abreast of clinical information.
“Theoretically I’d like to have everyone out there who is interested in learning about eye disease coming to this site, and this being a definitive portal for them,” he says.
Administrative procedures and technology come together to present these cases on the site. The accreditation for each case study through Queen’s CME office can be a long process, but presenting the cases on the Web site provides a perfect opportunity to make use of online media.
“We’re pretty excited about the ability to do video. We’ve actually set up a production studio here, so we’re trapping people in the corridors—some of the other editorial members—to give us their wisdom on how do we treat a particular case, or sometimes we have our video-grapher up in the operating suites videoing things,” Dr. Sharma says.
“We’re having fun with it. We’re sort of playing with the technology, and the feedback we’ve had is excellent.”
Dr. Sharma is also using that technology to educate patients and lay people. See Media Watch in November to find out more about his new medical Web site for the general public.