Evaluation of an eLearning platform for teaching Medical students how to make appropriate radiology referrals

Spooner, Muirne, Marshall, Nina, Galvin, Leo, Pearly, Joanna and McElvaney, Noel G. (2011) Evaluation of an eLearning platform for teaching Medical students how to make appropriate radiology referrals. [Conference Proceedings]


Poor quality radiology referrals can lead to inadvertent radiation exposure, inappropriate exams and workflow disruption. An audit of body CT requests at our institution demonstrated minimal improvement in referral quality over the initial 8 months of internship. A practical e-learning radiology referral module (RRM) was conceived to teach appropriate radiology referral.The module was delivered online with prior and subsequent assessment with simulated radiology requests. A curriculum blueprint determined content with an emphasis on practical issues, including provision of logistical information (referrer contact), clinical detail (notes) and safety issues (contrast allergy). Material was delivered by interactive quiz with provision of feedback and explanations. Absolute criterion standard-setting exercises were employed and detailed marking schemes devised.The module was successful in addressing practical and safety issues in the simulated setting. On premodule testing only 24% of students noted contrast media contraindications, rising to 59% after the RRM (p= 0.004). Similarly notification of MRSA status, pregnancy status and provision of referrer contact details demonstrated significant improvement. The quality of the clinical portions was stable, with good initial scores. Post module testing resulted in an improved overall score, 61% to 75% (p=<0.0001).Medical students lack core knowledge to allow safe radiological referral with little improvement with typical intern experience. This can successfully be addressed via an e learning module with measurable improvements in referral quality, particularly in regard to practical radiology issues.Practical radiology referral issues are not traditionally well addressed in the undergraduate setting or in the workplace but can be taught successfully via an e - learning module.Teaching Point- TP Interns demonstrate minimal improvement in the quality of their radiology referrals in their first 8 months of work; - TP Medical students are unaware of many of the practical issues pertinent to radiological referral; - TP Interactivity and summative assessment generate the most interest for students.

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NAIRTL 4th Annual Conference (Cork) 2010 Flexible Learning Conference Proceedings_sm.pdf

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