An online tool to help doctors learn about the rational use of diagnostic investigations

R.K. Kumar, K. Webber, C. Gilbert, W. Pryor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Because the uncritical overuse of diagnostic tests adds to healthcare costs and has potential adverse consequences for patients, there is a need to develop effective approaches to decrease inappropriate use of investigations. Education and feedback have the potential to modify the behaviour of clinicians in a sustainable way, and there is strong support for requester training targeted at critical education and training points. To address this need, we developed an open-access case-based online learning tool for prevocational trainees called iNvestigate. In this simulation environment, users prioritise differential diagnoses then request investigations and review results for up to five test-ordering encounters. They are presented with relevant information about the investigations they have selected as well as the cumulative cost of all tests requested. At the end of each case study, users are provided with formative feedback, including how their choice of investigations, overall diagnostic strategy and the cost involved compare with that of an expert. A set of 22 case studies appropriate for prevocational trainees is now available, and additional cases will be added to the site in the future. A questionnaire will enable the progressive accumulation of evaluation data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-98
Number of pages5
JournalFocus on Health Professional Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes

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