A few years back a dental specialist told me that JCDA must become interactive to remain relevant to Canadian dentists. This conversation led me to the idea of convening a virtual community around clinical content. I believe we are now on the threshold of making that idea a reality. Guided by a group of more than 100 dentists across the country, we have begun putting the building blocks of a virtual community into place.
Over the summer, this community participated in a pilot project that fostered communication between general practitioners and specialists dialogue that has been identified as a priority during our initial research for JCDA-OASIS. A Treatment Planning Challenge, conducted by JCDA inconjunction with members of the International Team for Implantology, involved 2 phases. First, Dr. Bill Abbott (OMFS) presented 130 general practitioners with a short online case presentation about a 17-year old with a missing 22. Participants were then asked to provide their suggested treatment plan options and questions they would pose to a specialist. The response from dentists was impressive, despite the pilot project coinciding with vacation season.
For the second phase, I joined Dr. Abbott and his prosthodontist colleague, Dr. Chris Storey, in an online video discussion to respond to some of the participants' questions and to show how the case was treated. The input we received on the case study was posted online so participants could see how their colleagues responded to the challenge. You can view the results from all phases of the pilot project at jcda.ca/jcda-oasis/tpc.
I am very encouraged by the feedback we received on this pilot. Colleagues told us it was an interesting and enjoyable learning experience and want to see JCDA facilitate similar dialogue about clinical cases. As one participant told me, mulling over treatment planning dilemmas "gets the creative juices flowing." Although we'll need to improve some technical aspects involved in hosting virtual discussions, these initial results have motivated me to refine our model to make it even more engaging.
Another step we're taking to facilitate dialogue is through the new JCDA blog jcdablogs.ca. We have invited all the national specialty associations to contribute to this site, to update colleagues about the latest developments in the dental specialties. The Canadian Academy of Periodontology is the first group to take us up on our invitation. In time, I hope we'll see a diversity of voices on this site. We're also using the site to invite colleagues to send us their burning clinical questions; we'll then pose these questions to our JCDA expert panellists and feature the answers as soon as possible.
I invite you to join the clinical conversation in 3 ways:
- Send us your clinical questions, anonymously if you prefer. Post them online at jcdablogs.ca or call 1-855-71-OASIS.
- Submit a clinical case (including those with less-than-desirable outcomes) that could be used as a valuable learning opportunity, similar to our pilot project. These cases could be presented anonymously, if you wish.
- Let me know if you'd like to contribute to the JCDA blog. We'd especially like to feature posts from educational organizations.
As JCDA evolves into a resource that focuses primarily on clinical decision support, there will be challenges along the way. However, based on the engagement and feedback so far, I believe it's a path worth taking.