Purpose for the Program
The Mississippi Delta region is one of the most distressed areas of the nation. Health care providers fight to improve health disparities of its maternal, neonatal, and pediatric residents. This project will improve evidence-based educational opportunities in maternal child health for these rural health care providers using new and innovative technologies.
To develop distance learning curricula that foster maternal child health leadership, competencies, and evidence-based practices, that specifically addresses topics relevant to maternal child health professionals in the Mississippi Delta region, including racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse themes. Increase attainment of maternal child health continuing education in the Mississippi Delta region through distance learning opportunities, which specifically target outreach among racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse maternal child health professionals. Increase understanding and comprehension of maternal child health evidence-based practices among participants in the Delta. Improve translation of maternal child health evidence-based practices into care provided by participants.
Implementation, Outcomes, and Evaluation
The program began in July 2010 and has conducted 28 educational offerings through interactive video and has granted 278 continuing education hours to health care providers in the Mississippi Delta region in the first year. In August 2011, a new Web site, www.learnondemand.org, was launched to provide a forum for live streaming, content modules, and other Web-based educational materials for health care providers. Randomized surveys identified that nurses that utilize the learning opportunities are more likely to engage in evidence-based practice initiatives at their facility. One nurse stated “They [the nursing teleconferences] are invaluable and becoming a planned event in our unit.” In addition to nursing and medical continuing education, the program also provides educational opportunities for other health care providers, such as sonographers, genetic counselors, and multiple others. Two years of outcome data related to the current use of live-streaming, interactive video, enduring educational materials, and which is most beneficial to rural health care providers will be discussed.
Implications for Nursing Practice
Utilization of new and innovative technologies in continuing education can aid in dissemination of evidence-based practice implementation by rural health care providers.