The feasibility of developing continuing education programs based on patient care research has been explored through a study of physician response to apparently unexpected abnormalities in three routine screening tests (urinalysis, fasting blood glucose, and hemoglobin). Initial assessment revealed no apparent response of any kind to approximately two thirds of these test abnormalities. A specially designed workshop conference, a full complement of interns, and repeated newsletter reminders failed to improve the quality or quantity of responses. Obscuring abnormal data on the laboratory slip with removable fluorescent tape resulted in significant improvement, more than half of which was maintained six months after use of the tape was discontinued. This study illustrates the complementary relationship between patient care research and continuing education that can be profitably integrated in programs to improve medical care.
Williamson JW, Alexander M, Miller GE. Continuing Education and Patient Care ResearchPhysician Response to Screening Test Results. JAMA. 1967;201(12):938–942. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130120046011