• Virtual ER Wins Virtuel Prize

    The Laval Virtuel Prize in Medicine has been awarded to MedSMART Inc. (www.med-smart.org) for the use of simulation and IT technologies in distance education and training in medicine. The Laval Virtuel Prize is awarded by the city of Laval, France, which started an annual conference on virtual reality in 1999.

    Using MedSMART's technologies, any medical team (regardless of geographic location or financial resources) can receive realistic training under the guidance of a medical expert and with no risk to human life. They can “kill” the patient if the decisions are wrong, and they can “save” the patient by proper administration of IVs, injections, CPR, airway maintenance, or traumatic injury treatment — all in real time with the same urgency as there is in emergency rooms.

    Recently, MedSMART demonstrated a series of trans-Atlantic training sessions involving simultaneous interactive use of simulators in the United States and France. Several sessions were jointly performed by MedSMART's EMT specialist and a paramedic from the French armed forces. Using volunteers from the French audience, MedSMART demonstrated the direct translation of simulator training into a real-life rescue effort.


    Medical Directions Inc. and Medulogic LLC have released an online CE program to help hospitals and their physicians understand the complexities of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act.

    According to the course's author, David Lickerman, MD, the EMTALA law is very confusing and easy to violate. “The law governs the actions of every hospital with an emergency department, every emergency physician, and every physician who takes calls for an emergency department,” he says. “Penalties for violations can be severe.” The program, available to physicians via The Virtual Lecture Hall (www.vlh.com), is sponsored for AMA Category 1 credit by the American College of Emergency Physicians. Medical Directions Inc. also offers the program for group purchase to hospitals and liability insurers. To learn more, contact Bob Amend at (520) 722-1970.


    The University of Wisconsin Medical School CME page (www.cme.wisc.edu) decided to poll visitors to its site about whether downloading ancillary software such as media players to view presentations was too much of an inconvenience. Here's how the question was posed: “Would you load the FREE Real Media or QuickTime programs to your computer in order to have audio/video available?”

    Here were the responses as of August 12, 2002: Of 271 total votes cast, there were 247 “yes” votes (91.14 percent), and just 24 “no” votes (8.86 percent). Any questions?


    There's an interesting new place to see CME sites rated on various criteria, everything from ease of use to whether there is an “abundance of advertising/annoying pop-up ads.” It's called www.mdnetguide.com, which is the Web site for the print publication MD net guide. The basic edition reaches 90,000 primary care physicians; there are also separate editions for various specialists. A section called “CME Online” provides thumbnail descriptions of current online offerings. The magazine mostly carries pharmaceutical advertising, but it might be a useful place to promote e-CME activities, too.

To learn more, contact Tighe Blazier, senior vice president, sales and marketing, at (609) 716-7777.

Dave's Picks

E-CME MADE EASY www.iacme.org: This is the Internet Academy for CME, an application service provider that offers what seems to be a unique approach to e-CME. For example, in the IACME model, all a medical association has to do is provide the speaker, the course work, and access to its members. It is also useful (although apparently not necessary) for the association to have its own server from which to host IACME's software. IACME's services also include training faculty about the ins and outs of Web-based lecture techniques.

HASSLE-FREE E-CME www.mededcme.com: The site of the Indiana State Medical Association is a good example of a state society that is awake to the possibilities of offering education to a national and even international audience. The association's operating goal of providing “hassle-free learning for physicians, practice managers, clinical and office staff, and other health care professionals” is refreshingly straightforward.