The Pentalfa project. 2: profile of participants and economic aspects
Attitude of Health Personnel
Costs and Cost Analysis
Education, Medical, Continuing
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AbstractA distance continuing medical education programme was established at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven using multipoint videoconferencing via ISDN lines at 384 kbit/s. During each of the first three academic years of the project, two or three periods of eight or nine sessions each were organized (a total of 74 sessions). A questionnaire was given to all participants to determine the profile of the users and the efficiency of the project. Sixty-five per cent of the participants were male. The proportion of female participants was higher at the central location than at the peripheral sites. The mean age of the participants was 37.7 years (SEM 0.3). Male participants were older than female ones. At the central location, the mean age was lower than at the peripheral locations. Nearly 90% of the participants at the peripheral sites said that they saved time by attending a videoconference session. The average time saving per participant at the peripheral locations increased from 99 min in the first year to 145 min in the third year of the project. The time saving was closely related to the distance between the peripheral location and the central location. The global cost per participant at the peripheral locations was 43.7 Euros per hour of broadcasting and the indirect estimated cost-saving was 64 Euros per hour. More than 85% of the participants at the peripheral sites stated that they would no longer travel to Leuven (the central location) for these sessions if they were to be organized in a traditional, face-to-face manner, mostly because of the time required, particularly in road travel.
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