Point-of-care Resource Use in the Emergency Department: A Developmental Model Academic Article uri icon

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  • Background: Technologic advances, free open-access medical education (FOAM or #FOAMed), and social media have increased access to clinician-oriented medical education resources and interactions at the point of care (POC); yet, how, when, and why medical providers use these resources remains unclear. To facilitate the development and design of intuitive POC resources, it is imperative that we expand our understanding of physician knowledge-seeking behavior at the POC. Methods: Individual semistructured interviews were conducted and analyzed using a qualitative, grounded theory approach. Twelve emergency medicine providers (three medical students, three residents, and six attending physicians) were interviewed in person or via video chat to explore how POC resources are used in the emergency department (ED). A coding system was developed by two investigators and merged by consensus. A third investigator audited the analysis. Results: A conceptual framework emerged from the data describing the four main uses of POC resources (deep-dive, advanced clinical decision making, teaching patients, and teaching learners) and how practitioners' main use varied based on medical expertise. Junior learners prioritize their own broad learning. Experienced learners and physicians prefer to 1) seek answers to specific focused clinical questions and 2) disseminate POC information to teach patients and learners, allowing them to devote more of their time to other clinical and teaching tasks. Conclusion: The conceptual framework describes how physician knowledge-seeking behavior using POC resources in the ED evolves predictably throughout training and practice. Knowledge of this evolution can be used to enhance POC resource design and guide bedside teaching strategies.


  • Patocka, Catherine
  • Lin, Michelle
  • Voros, Jeremy
  • Chan, Teresa

publication date

  • July 2018