45. Education at distance: Broadcasting ECG rounds to Southeastern Ontario (BESO Project). An innovative approach for teaching electrocardiography

A. Baranchuk, G. Dagnone, P. Fowler, M. N. Harrison, L. Lisnevskaia, B. Etemadi, D. Blouin, D. P. Redfearn, C. S. Simpson

Abstract


Electrocardiography (ECG) interpretation is an essential skill for physicians as well as for many other health care professionals. Continuing education is necessary to maintain these skills. The process of teaching and learning ECG interpretation is complex and involves both deductive mechanisms and recognition of patterns for different clinical situations (“pattern recognition”). The successful methodologies of interactive sessions and real time problem based learning have never been evaluated with a long distance education model.
To evaluate the efficacy of broadcasting ECG rounds to different hospitals in the Southeastern Ontario region; to perform qualitative research to determine the impact of this methodology in developing and maintaining skills in ECG interpretation.
ECG rounds are held weekly at Kingston General Hospital and will be transmitted live to Napanee, Belleville, Oshawa, Peterborough and Brockville. The teaching methodology is based on real ECG cases. The audience is invited to analyze the ECG case and the coordinator will introduce comments to guide the case through the proper algorithm. Final interpretation will be achieved emphasizing the deductive process and the relevance of each case. An evaluation will be filled out by each participant at the end of each session.
Videoconferencing works through a vast array of internet LANs, WANs, ISDN phone lines, routers, switches, firewalls and Codecs (Coder/Decoder) and bridges. A videoconference Codec takes the analog audio and video signal codes and compresses it into a digital signal and transmits that digital signal to another Codec where the signal is decompressed and retranslated back into analog video and audio. This compression and decompression allows large amounts of data to be transferred across a network at close to real time (384 kbps with 30 frames of video per second). Videoconferencing communication works on voice activation so whichever site is speaking has the floor and is seen by all the participating sites. A continuous presence mode allows each site to have the same visual and audio involvement as the host site. A bridged multipoint can connect between 8 and 12 sites simultaneously.
This innovative methodology for teaching ECG will facilitate access to developing and maintaining skills in ECG interpretation for a large number of health care providers.
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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25011/cim.v30i4.2805

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