October 1997 Bulletin

Academy plans on-line CME on malpractice

Participating in a continuing medical education course takes on new meaning when the Academy introduces its first on-line continuing medical education program.

Scheduled to premier in early 1998, Academy members will be able to participate in a continuing medical education program focusing on the Committee on Professional Liability's work with closed-claims studies and the publication Managing Orthopaedic Malpractice Risk.

The educational program on malpractice and closed-claims studies will be the Academy's initial entry in on-line educational opportunities. (A more intensive, on-line continuing medical education course that includes private discussion groups between faculty and participants is in the works, and will be offered in late 1998.)

The Academy plans to make the malpractice interactive program brief; it only should take two to three hours to complete. Receiving continuing medical education credit for participating in the program will be optional. Individuals will be able to review the program content over multiple sessions and receive Category 1 continuing medical education credit upon completion of assessment questions that are linked to the program. There will be no registration fee for Academy members to participate in the program. It can be accessed at any time.

Work on the on-line program began in July when committee members were assigned a clinical topic area. In September, committee members submitted slides for their assigned topic area and recorded their presentations. Individuals with multimedia computers and access to the Internet will be able to hear each member's presentation; there also will be full text for those users who do not have audio capabilities built-in their computers.

The on-line program starts off with introductory topics about the importance of closed-claims studies; malpractice risk in orthopaedics; and present and future financial risk factors. After reviewing these areas, users are able to select information on closed-claims studies from the following 11 clinical topic areasótotal hip arthroplasty, total knee arthroplasty, femoral shaft fracture, femoral neck fracture, tibia fracture, spine surgery, spinal fusion, knee arthroscopy, ankle fractures, foot surgery and pediatric orthopaedics.

Each section will contain malpractice-related information relevant to that specific clinical condition and/or procedure. It will include background information on indemnity and defense costs of lawsuits and the different types of allegations of negligence and patient dissatisfaction reported in malpractice cases. Malpractice risks associated with the suggested diagnoses and procedures of the clinical topic areas also are provided.

Following each clinical section, a series of questions will be presented, and the participant is given the option to complete the self-assessment test to obtain continuing medical education credit. Each section should take five to ten minutes to complete.

Committee members responsible for the on-line program include Steven S. Fountain, MD; Jack C. Childers Jr., MD; Dennis B. Brooks, MD; Dale R. Butler, MD; Morton Farber, MD; Lynn Carol Garner, MD; K. Mason Howard, MD; Albert E. Sanders, MD; Charles A. Webb Jr., MD; Anthony T. Yeung, MD; and Harold A. Yocum, MD.

More information about the on-line program's start date will be posted on the Academy's home page at www.aaos.org in the "What's New This Week" section.

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