Features of effective medical knowledge resources to support point of care learning: A focus group study

David A. Cook, Kristi J. Sorensen, William Hersh, Richard A. Berger, John M. Wilkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Objective: Health care professionals access various information sources to quickly answer questions that arise in clinical practice. The features that favorably influence the selection and use of knowledge resources remain unclear. We sought to better understand how clinicians select among the various knowledge resources available to them, and from this to derive a model for an effective knowledge resource. Methods: We conducted 11 focus groups at an academic medical center and outlying community sites. We included a purposive sample of 50 primary care and subspecialist internal medicine and family medicine physicians. We transcribed focus group discussions and analyzed these using a constant comparative approach to inductively identify features that influence the selection of knowledge resources. Results: We identified nine features that influence users' selection of knowledge resources, namely efficiency (with subfeatures of comprehensiveness, searchability, and brevity), integration with clinical workflow, credibility, user familiarity, capacity to identify a human expert, reflection of local care processes, optimization for the clinical question (e.g., diagnosis, treatment options, drug side effect), currency, and ability to support patient education. No single existing resource exemplifies all of these features. Conclusion: The influential features identified in this study will inform the development of knowledge resources, and could serve as a framework for future research in this field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere80318
JournalPloS one
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 25 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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