BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Video conferencing technology (telemedicine) can be applied to many settings within the medical community; we assessed the feasibility of its use in conducting observations of faculty at remote family medicine teaching sites.
METHODS: We deployed seven telemedicine units to five family medicine residency sites and two observation stations within our division. Practice managers and physician faculty members received on-site training on the basic functionality of the technology, as well as "best practices" and minor troubleshooting techniques. Quick reference guides and other support documents were developed and provided for each site. During the remote faculty observation, two observers simultaneously viewed the resident being precepted, assessing the faculty member using a standardized tool. After the experience, all participants were asked to complete a survey on the usability of the technology.
RESULTS: Nineteen observations were successfully conducted from November 2011 to December 2012. From a qualitative perspective, faculty accepted this as a viable means of faculty development. Minor technical hurdles were captured in the survey and improved upon as staff and faculty became more comfortable with the technology and as our technical capabilities allowed. Overall, the technology was rapidly accepted into the practices.
CONCLUSIONS: Video teleconferencing represents a valuable tool that contributes to the development of faculty by making observation available to numerous sites, including remote areas that may have been previously challenging to reach due to logistics. Recent improvements in technology should make the process easier and allow more aspects of the encounters to be readily observed.
Published In/Presented At
Biery, N., Bond, W., Smith, A. B., LeClair, M., & Foster, E. (2015). Using Telemedicine Technology to Assess Physician Outpatient Teaching. Family Medicine, 47(10), 807-810.
Medical Specialties | Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Education, Administration, Instructional Technology Support, Medical Education, Simulation Center, Department of Family Medicine, Department of Family Medicine Faculty, Department of Family Medicine Residents