• E-mail Course Teaches Alternative Care

    Healthcare professionals measurably increased their knowledge of herbal and dietary supplements via a simple e-mail course, according to a study published in the September 2002 issue of Academic Medicine.

    Kathi Kemper, MD, a pediatrician at Brenner Children's Hospital at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., developed a series of e-mails containing information and questions about various herbal and dietary supplements. More than 537 healthcare professionals participated in the e-mail series, which took place over 10 weeks. Participants were asked questions twice a week about herbal supplements and were given a link to an Internet site for more information about each topic.

    Participants were also given a pre- and post-test to see if they increased their knowledge base and if they were more confident in their ability to answer their patients' questions and find the resources they needed. Scores on the post-test showed an improvement in the knowledge scores from 67 percent at baseline to 80 percent after taking the course.

    All 20 questions used in this series, as well as information on other herbal and dietary supplements, are available on www.besthealth.com.


    Medsn, a Los Angeles-based healthcare marketing and education solutions provider, has announced the launch of its anatomy and physiology course catalog. Created for and used by pharmaceutical sales reps, nurses, EMTs, and other nonphysician healthcare professionals, these anatomy and physiology modules contain a mix of text, synchronized audio, graphics, medical images, and animations.

    The release of this new course catalog follows a study by the Institute for Simulation and Training at the University of Central Florida in which the effectiveness of Medsn's Web-based training solutions, including the anatomy and physiology catalog content, were judged against traditional paper-based training methods. Subjects using Medsn's Web-based approach scored 80.5 percent on multiple-choice tests, while students using traditional instruction scored only 61 percent on identical tests.

    Study participants who used the Medsn modules cited their preference for its effective illustrations and instructional design, among other attributes.

    See the catalog online at www.medsn.com/medsn/catalog_course.htm


    Medical Learning Co., a Wellesley, Mass.-based cooperative venture of the American Board of Family Practice and Kurzweil Technologies, will use Bellevue, Wash.-based Click2-learn's Aspen Learning Content Management System (LCMS) to develop continuing education curricula for MLC's clients in the healthcare industry.

The brand-new version (2.0) of the Aspen LCMS will enable Medical Learning Co. employees — even those without any programming knowledge — to create customized templates for each of the company's customers, who will then populate the templates with their own Web-based content and course-ware.

Dave's Picks

Keep it Simple, Stupid www.ndei.org/content/home

The National Diabetes Education Initiative (NDEI) is a program designed for healthcare professionals involved in the care and management of patients with Type 2 diabetes. The NDEI site, run by Thomson Professional Postgraduate Services, combines simplicity of design and navigation with sophisticated information delivery. There is very little whiz-bang graphic animation; just lots of learning options — even fax-based information for those so inclined.

Business Tips for Docs www.mdoptions.com

Mdoptions.com offers an unusual concept: advice for the business of running a medical practice. It's produced by Premier Healthcare Resource Inc., a New Jersey-based firm that specializes in developing business-related information for physicians. Other medical Web site operators are invited to license content from Premier. Visit www.premierhealthcare.com for more information.