1608d Changing physician behaviour – what works? a snapshot of an intervention to improve monitoring and medical care for survivors and responders of the 9/11 terrorist attacks


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Abstract

Introduction and objectivesAfter the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, there was a demonstrated need to develop monitoring and treatment programs for responders and local community survivors of the events. Almost immediately, the Fire Department of the City of New York initiated a screening program for FDNY responders. The Medical Monitoring Treatment Program began to monitor law enforcement and general responders in the New York City area. The New York City Health and Hospitals group established a program for area workers, residents, and those who were in the dust or dust cloud on 9/11 – the group now referred to as ‘survivors.’MethodsAt the onset of the Program, a comprehensive outreach and education strategy was created to reach potentially eligible 9/11 responders and survivors. A treatment Referral Program was established with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, WTC Health Registry. These efforts proved successful in enrolling new members. However, a gap was identified in how information about the program and related health conditions were being disseminated to medical health professionals who were in a unique position to refer patients to the Program for care.To reach healthcare providers the Program contracted with WebMD-Medscape, a leading online source of information for the medical community and healthcare professionals. The goals of partnering with Medscape were: to increase provider awareness about WTC Health Program screening and treatment, provide training materials to external healthcare providers to ensure consistency and quality related to screening and treatment, incentivize the use of training materials by offering CME/CE credits through a free and easy to access system, and to archive WTC Health Program knowledge.Through the partnership with WebMD-Medscape the Program created five products:After the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks: The World Trade Centre Health Program and Disaster ResponseHealth Risks Associated with 9/11 and the WTC Disaster: Lessons LearnedAdvances in Screening and Treatment for WTC Responders and SurvivorsAirway, Digestive, and Mental Health Comorbidities in WTC Responders and SurvivorsCancer in the WTC Health ProgramResultsReached over almost 45 000 healthcare providers in 45 states, the District of Columbia, and non-continental US Territories77% of learners who took the post-test indicated they will make a change in their practice and 50% of those indicated they were very committed to making this change.On average, 22% of test takers said they plan to modify treatment plans, 19% will change their prevention practice, 12% will incorporate different diagnostic strategies and 10% will use alternative communication methodsOn average 50% of the test takers are very committee to making the change and 32% were somewhat committed.ConclusionsContinuing education trainings are an effective tool for sharing research with healthcare providers.The five CME/CE programs credited by the WTC Health Program reached a large number of healthcare providers and led to improved awareness and treatment for 9/11-related diseases.

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