by Valerie P. Jackson, MD Online Longitudinal Assessment launched for diagnostic radiology and diagnostic radiology subspecialty diplomates this past January. Four months after implementation of the system, ABR Executive Director Valerie Jackson took time to answer a few questions about OLA, the American Board of Medical Specialties’ Vision for the Future Commission, and ABR exams in general. OLA has been active for four months. What are some of the emerging trends? More than 16,000 DR diplomates and subspecialties, almost 90 percent of the total enrolled in MOC, have answered at least one question in OLA. More than 380,000 questions have been answered, and more than 46 percent of participants have answered at least 20 questions. At that pace, this group will complete its yearly requirement of 52 questions by July. Of course, diplomates may complete up to 104 questions per year if desired. Every OLA participant has the opportunity to participate as an OLA “rater,” which helps to set the passing standard for each question. Almost one-third of participants have been involved in the rating process. Diplomates may add comments to each OLA question, and to date we have received more than 10,000 comments. Each comment is reviewed so that we can improve our processes. Many comments have been very positive about the OLA experience; others have been extremely helpful in alerting us to potential problems with an item. Feedback is provided directly to volunteers who create the content for OLA. We are very pleased with the level of engagement of our diplomates with OLA and look forward to rolling this out to interventional radiology, radiation oncology, and medical physics in January, 2020. We have received more than 10,000 comments from diplomates using OLA. Upon which suggestions is the ABR looking to act? Based on feedback from our diplomates, the ABR is working on a number of enhancements for OLA.
- We are assessing the amount of time required to answer an individual OLA question. While the vast majority of diplomates successfully answer both one- and three-minute questions in less than one minute, there have been comments about wanting more time. The time limits were set up based upon our experience with our exams and the fact that OLA is meant to assess “walking-around knowledge” that diplomates should know “off the top of their head.” The board will be reviewing all data and comments about timing for the questions to decide if changes are necessary.
- The board is evaluating the feasibility of adding a clinical practice area for emergency radiology.
- We are developing a mechanism to count OLA participation as part of ABR’s Self-Assessment CME (SA-CME) requirement.
- Eventually, we plan to allow diplomates to customize their OLA notification experience, letting them change the frequency of notifications of new questions. However, this will require extensive software development, so in the meantime, we will continue to send weekly reminders. Each question has a four-week shelf life and there is no requirement to answer questions every week.
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