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E-learning modules in new and emerging infectious diseases improve the applied knowledge and problem-solving skills of healthcare professional learners
  1. Kieran Walsh
  1. BMJ Knowledge Centre, BMJ Publishing Group, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kieran Walsh, BMJ Publishing Group, London, UK; kmwalsh{at}bmj.com

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Introduction 

Infectious diseases are a common cause of morbidity and mortality throughout the world.1 It is vital that doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals learn the knowledge, skills and behaviours to better care for patients with infectious diseases. The competences that healthcare professionals must learn include those of diagnosis, management, reporting and prevention. Some infectious diseases are rare and so healthcare professionals have little opportunity to learn in the clinical environment by caring for affected patients. Although rare, some of these diseases are potentially catastrophic to global health.2 So we need to develop new methods of education to help healthcare professionals learn how to better manage these diseases.

E-learning may be one method to provide education on infectious diseases. E-learning can help doctors and other healthcare professionals obtain new knowledge and skills.3 4 It can also be continually updated with the latest practice-changing evidence—which is important in rapidly changing infectious diseases.5 Such resources can offer other features that are attractive to learners from the health professions: they are time efficient and so short; they can be image rich which may be important in a specialty which often relies on clinical examination, radiological and microbiological skills; they can be case based—according to how patients typically present and they can be …

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