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In the rapidly changing fields of medicine, such as hematology/oncology and specifically with respect to the management of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), education is a key component of keeping clinicians current on changes to treatment paradigms.
In the rapidly changing fields of medicine, such as hematology/oncology and specifically with respect to the management of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), education is a key component of keeping clinicians current on changes to treatment paradigms. Continuing medical education (CME) is an effective option as it provides scientifically rigorous, independent, accurate, and clinically relevant information that hematologists/oncologists need to treat their patients.
The changing treatment landscape
The assessment and treatment of patients with CLL has changed greatly in the past few years. In December 2018, a major shift took place in the treatment paradigm for CLL related to which patients received targeted therapies as opposed to chemoimmunotherapy. Since then, data have continued to emerge about novel regimens, and NCCN Guidelines® have changed several times to accommodate these data. In 2019, a study in Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma & Leukemia found that education gaps existed for community hematologists/oncologists regarding the need to perform molecular testing on patients with CLL and the incorporation of new treatment regimens into practice. The study found that many hematologists/oncologists in community practice were not following testing guidelines and they were making incorrect treatment selections for patients based on out-of-date information.1 Four new treatments and combinations have been approved for CLL since September 2018, and even more are being evaluated and may be approved in 2020 and 2021. All of these rapid changes point to the need for effective, on-demand continuing education in order to keep clinicians current on the changes taking place.
Leaders in the field of oncology agree. “As the landscape of CLL management continues to rapidly evolve, it is essential that physicians, advanced practice providers, pharmacists, nurses, and all members of the care team are able to help patients make the right therapeutic choice for them. There are an increasing number of options available, and as a result, it is becoming increasingly important to ensure that all members of the team are educated regarding these choices,” said Dr. Jonathan B. Cohen, Assistant Professor at Emory University, Winship Cancer Institute in Atlanta, Georgia.
Effectiveness of education on clinical behavior
It is not only critical that clinicians receive education, but it is vital that the education be effective. A 2020 peer-reviewed study published in collaboration with the FDA demonstrates the power of Medscape digital education to affect clinical behavior and positively impact public health. The study examines the efficacy of targeted short-form messaging and CME aimed at reducing overprescribing of fluoroquinolone antibiotics. The study examined nearly 24,000 high prescribers of fluoroquinolones and divided 11,774 into 3 treatment groups to evaluate and measure the effectiveness of communication and education methodology:
The trial featured a case-matched control group (n = 11,774), and results were compared against that population. The study demonstrated the statistically significant impact of Medscape digital CME (with or without messaging) to reduce inappropriate clinical behavior.2
Medscape is the leading source of digital healthcare information for physicians worldwide3and is a trusted learning partner for the medical community, with a proven ability to deliver education that makes an impact. As new research becomes available and treatment landscapes change, Medscape Education is committed to providing effective digital CME to learners where, when, and how they want to learn.
1. Mato AR, Barrientos JC, Ghosh N, et al. Prognostic testing and treatment patterns in chronic lymphocytic leukemia in the era of novel targeted therapies: results from the informCLL Registry. Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk. 2020;20(3):174-183.
2. Whyte J, Winiecki S, Hoffman C, Patel K. FDA collaboration to improve safe use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics: an ex post facto matched control study of targeted short-form messaging and online education served to high prescribers. Pharm Pract (Granada) [Internet]. April 24, 2020 [cited July 9, 2020];18(2):1773. Available from: https://pharmacypractice.org/journal/index.php/pp/article/view/1773.
3. DRG Digital Taking The Pulse® US, 2019.