Examining Associations Between Physician Data Utilization for Practice Improvement and Lifelong Learning

Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions (Fall 2019)

Researchers sought to identify factors that influence physician engagement with practice data to drive competence and practice change. A Canada-wide survey of psychiatrists, radiation oncologists, and general surgeons evaluated these factors via the Jefferson Scale of Physician Lifelong Learning, with linear regression applied to model the association between the outcome variable frequency of data use and independent predictors of continuous learning to improving practice. The majority of respondents used data for practice improvement and exhibited high orientation to lifelong learning, while linear regression analysis identified frequency of assessing learning needs, helpfulness of data to enhance practice, and frequency to develop learning plans as key predictors of data use. These factors collectively explained about 43% of the variance in physicians' orientation toward integrating accessible data into their practices. "Implications for this work include process development for data-informed action planning for practice improvement for physicians," the authors concluded.

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