Electronic Knowledge Resources and Point-of-Care Learning: A Scoping Review

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Abstract

Purpose

The authors sought to summarize quantitative and qualitative research addressing electronic knowledge resources and point-of-care learning in a scoping review.

Method

The authors searched MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, and the Cochrane Database for studies addressing electronic knowledge resources and point-of-care learning. They iteratively revised inclusion criteria and operational definitions of study features and research themes of interest. Two reviewers independently performed each phase of study selection and data extraction.

Results

Of 10,811 studies identified, 305 were included and reviewed. Most studies (225; 74%) included physicians or medical students. The most frequently mentioned electronic resources were UpToDate (88; 29%), Micromedex (59; 19%), Epocrates (50; 16%), WebMD (46; 15%), MD Consult (32; 10%), and LexiComp (31; 10%). Eight studies (3%) evaluated electronic resources or point-of-care learning using outcomes of patient effects, and 36 studies (12%) reported objectively measured clinician behaviors. Twenty-five studies (8%) examined the clinical or educational impact of electronic knowledge resource use on patient care or clinician knowledge, 124 (41%) compared use rates of various knowledge resources, 69 (23%) examined the quality of knowledge resource content, and 115 (38%) explored the process of point-of-care learning. Two conceptual clarifications were identified, distinguishing the impact on clinical or educational outcomes versus the impact on test setting decision support, and the quality of information content versus the correctness of information obtained by a clinician–user.

Conclusions

Research on electronic knowledge resources is dominated by studies involving physicians and evaluating use rates. Studies involving nonphysician users, and evaluating resource impact and implementation, are needed.

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