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Evaluating the effect of a web-based E-Learning tool for health professional education on clinical vancomycin use: Comparative study

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Background: Internet-based learning for health professional education is increasing. It offers advantages over traditional learning approaches, as it enables learning to be completed at a time convenient to the user and improves access where facilities are geographically disparate. We developed and implemented the Vancomycin Interactive (VI) e-learning tool to improve knowledge on the clinical use of the antibiotic vancomycin, which is commonly used for treatment of infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Objective: The aims of this study were to evaluate the effect of the VI e-learning tool on (1) survey knowledge scores and (2) clinical use of vancomycin among health professionals. Methods: We conducted a comparative pre-post intervention study across the 14 hospitals of two health districts in New South Wales, Australia. A knowledge survey was completed by nurses, doctors, and pharmacists before and after release of a Web-based e-learning tool. Survey scores were compared with those obtained following traditional education in the form of an email intervention. Survey questions related to dosing, administration, and monitoring of vancomycin. Outcome measures were survey knowledge scores among the three health professional groups, vancomycin plasma trough levels, and vancomycin approvals recorded on a computerized clinical decision support system. Results: Survey response rates were low at 26.87% (577/2147) preintervention and 8.24% (177/2147) postintervention. The VI was associated with an increase in knowledge scores (maximum score=5) among nurses (median 2, IQR 1-2 to median 2, IQR 1-3; P<.001), but not among other professional groups. The comparator email intervention was associated with an increase in knowledge scores among doctors (median 3, IQR 2-4 to median 4, IQR 2-4; P=.04). Participants who referred to Web-based resources while completing the e-learning tool achieved higher overall scores than those who did not (P<.001). The e-learning tool was not shown to be significantly more effective than the comparator email in the clinical use of vancomycin, as measured by plasma levels within the therapeutic range. Conclusions: The e-learning tool was associated with improved knowledge scores among nurses, whereas the comparator email was associated with improved scores among doctors. This implies that different strategies may be required for optimizing the effectiveness of education among different health professional groups. Low survey response rates limited conclusions regarding the tool's effectiveness. Improvements to design and evaluation methodology may increase the likelihood of a demonstrable effect from e-learning tools in the future.

Publication Date


  • 2018

Citation


  • Bond, S. E., Crowther, S. P., Adhikari, S., Chubaty, A. J., Yu, P., Borchard, J. P., . . . Miyakis, S. (2018). Evaluating the effect of a web-based E-Learning tool for health professional education on clinical vancomycin use: Comparative study. JMIR Medical Education, 4(1). doi:10.2196/mededu.7719

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85066163047

Web Of Science Accession Number


Volume


  • 4

Issue


  • 1

Abstract


  • Background: Internet-based learning for health professional education is increasing. It offers advantages over traditional learning approaches, as it enables learning to be completed at a time convenient to the user and improves access where facilities are geographically disparate. We developed and implemented the Vancomycin Interactive (VI) e-learning tool to improve knowledge on the clinical use of the antibiotic vancomycin, which is commonly used for treatment of infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Objective: The aims of this study were to evaluate the effect of the VI e-learning tool on (1) survey knowledge scores and (2) clinical use of vancomycin among health professionals. Methods: We conducted a comparative pre-post intervention study across the 14 hospitals of two health districts in New South Wales, Australia. A knowledge survey was completed by nurses, doctors, and pharmacists before and after release of a Web-based e-learning tool. Survey scores were compared with those obtained following traditional education in the form of an email intervention. Survey questions related to dosing, administration, and monitoring of vancomycin. Outcome measures were survey knowledge scores among the three health professional groups, vancomycin plasma trough levels, and vancomycin approvals recorded on a computerized clinical decision support system. Results: Survey response rates were low at 26.87% (577/2147) preintervention and 8.24% (177/2147) postintervention. The VI was associated with an increase in knowledge scores (maximum score=5) among nurses (median 2, IQR 1-2 to median 2, IQR 1-3; P<.001), but not among other professional groups. The comparator email intervention was associated with an increase in knowledge scores among doctors (median 3, IQR 2-4 to median 4, IQR 2-4; P=.04). Participants who referred to Web-based resources while completing the e-learning tool achieved higher overall scores than those who did not (P<.001). The e-learning tool was not shown to be significantly more effective than the comparator email in the clinical use of vancomycin, as measured by plasma levels within the therapeutic range. Conclusions: The e-learning tool was associated with improved knowledge scores among nurses, whereas the comparator email was associated with improved scores among doctors. This implies that different strategies may be required for optimizing the effectiveness of education among different health professional groups. Low survey response rates limited conclusions regarding the tool's effectiveness. Improvements to design and evaluation methodology may increase the likelihood of a demonstrable effect from e-learning tools in the future.

Publication Date


  • 2018

Citation


  • Bond, S. E., Crowther, S. P., Adhikari, S., Chubaty, A. J., Yu, P., Borchard, J. P., . . . Miyakis, S. (2018). Evaluating the effect of a web-based E-Learning tool for health professional education on clinical vancomycin use: Comparative study. JMIR Medical Education, 4(1). doi:10.2196/mededu.7719

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85066163047

Web Of Science Accession Number


Volume


  • 4

Issue


  • 1