Continuing Medical Education Through Dana Resources

cme

By Fred Pond, MLS

Are you looking for low-cost, convenient ways to earn continuing medical education credit (CME)? Try Dana’s resource-rich list of databases and websites. This list offers access to a variety of clinical and medical education resources, and in some instances, CME credit may be obtained without costly out-of-town travel and fees.

Up-To-Date

Check out the popular UpToDate point-of-care database featuring quick access to current medical practices and recommendations. In fact, as you search for answers to patient care questions, UpToDate saves the topics for a later review, and offers continuing education credit by submitting the results to the appropriate accrediting organization.

Those organizations include American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, and American Academy of Physician Assistants, among others.

Activating UpToDate for Continuing Education Credit

  • Visit Dana Medical Library Home page, clicking on Articles & Databases under the FIND column.
  • Click on “UpToDate with CME” selection under the Clinical Databases section.
  • At the prompt, enter your UVM netID and password.  At that point register with UpToDate, indicating the type of continuing education you desire (MD/DO, Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistants, etc).

UpToDate will keep track of the appropriate continuing education process for your professional role. Periodically, you will need to submit the accumulated credit to your professional organization.

Natural Standard

The Natural Standard database offers trustworthy information on complementary and alternative therapies, diets, exercise and nutrition. Natural Standard aggregates from PubMed, CancerLit, the Cochrane database and other trusted databases of the health sciences professional literature to create monographs and systematic reviews of supplements, vitamins and minerals, foods, and diets. At the heart of Natural Standard lies evidence-based systematic reviews, that both inform patient care and provide the content for a growing number of CE/CME topics. Providers can earn credit by reading this topics and then completing a brief quiz.

Natural Standard may not be as popular or as well known as UpToDate, but it offers an Evidence-Based Grading system that applies scientific evidence to alternative therapies. The World Health Organization has named Natural Standard “the best and most authoritative web site available on herbal medicines.”

Mobile App for Natural Standard

Natural Standard is also available as a Mobile app via Skyscape, a smartphone application offering a broad array of health-oriented applications, including DynaMed, RX Drugs, and several other health sciences applications. See below for instructions to receive Natural Standard on your smartphone, making it even easier to receive CME credit while you use your mobile device to answer patient care questions.

Natural Standard MobileActivating Natural Standard on your Smartphone

  • Click on Mobile Apps on the Dana Medical Library Home page, scroll down to Drugs section, to reach instructions for Natural Standard.
  • You will need to install Skyscape prior to Natural Standard, copying an authorization code that the company has sent you via your email request.

CME from the Journal Literature

Simply keeping current by reading professional journal articles can result in CME credit, and Dana Medical Library subscribes to thousands of journals online.  Journals including JAMA, BMJ, and Pediatrics require a quick registration for access to their CME resources.

According to the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), a journal-based CME activity must include reading the article, completing a learner-directed activity offered by the provider, and answering a pre-determined set of questions or completing tasks relating to the content of the article.

In this brief article, we’ve focused on just a few trustworthy, Dana Medical Library licensed resources that offer continuing education via the web. Call or email the Reference Desk at 656-2201 for more information on other reliable sources.

Point-of-Care Information Sources Scrutinized

Attention UpToDate and DynaMed users!

The use of online information resources for answering patient-related questions is playing an increasingly important role in the daily practice of clinicians. In fact, the names of these e-resources have become part of most health care providers’ vernacular. Who hasn’t heard of UpToDate, FirstConsult, DynaMed, eMedicine or Clin eguide to name a few?

The overall aim of these resources is to synthesize all available evidence for major clinical topics. Some basic features shared by these clinical point-of-care tools include:

  • Synthesis of current evidence for diagnosis, interventions, and therapy;
  • Designed for rapid consultation at point of patient care;
  • Evidence-based and frequently updated with links to relevant literature;
  • Drug information, ICD coding, patient information, PDA application, and provision for links to electronic health records.

A recent article from BMJ (1) published the results of its findings on the evaluation of five point-of-care information summaries. The study group looked specifically at the speed of updating evidence relevant to medical practice. The article’s conclusion cited DynaMed as the clear leader in updating speed among the field of five information summary tools.

This journal article raised questions among publishers, guideline developers, researchers, and especially clinicians about the quality and timeliness of point-of-care tools: What is the “need for speed”? How quick is too quick? What are the best approaches (priority, time, other?) for inclusion of topics? Is there now a need for an expert panel to set standards for the development of these clinical decision support tools?

This growing list of questions addressing the quality of decision support tools will be the focus at the Evidence 2012 conference, co-hosted by the BMJ Evidence Centre and the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (CEBM) at the University of Oxford.

Time has certainly come to address and assess the relevance and validity of these point-of-care information resources, particularly in terms of quality of content and comprehensiveness. Along with patron input, Dana Medical Library pays close attention to these studies when assessing point of care resources. We will continue to feature such studies in our newsletters and on our home page.

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1. Banzi, R., Cinquini, M., Liberati, A., Moschetti, I., Pecoraro, V., Tagliabue, L., & Moja, L. (2011). Speed of updating online evidence based point of care summaries: prospective cohort analysis. BMJ, 343, d5856.

Nancy Bianchi, MLS

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