I had a great meeting yesterday with the medical director of a London Primary Care Trust. We mainly discussed clinical Q&A and part of that was the educational potential of frequently asked questions (FAQs).

We have answered over 10,000 clinical questions of which 6,200+ are available via TRIP Answers. One thing we have noticed is that it is relatively rare to see the same question twice. So, when you do get the same question twice, it’s significant. Our view is that having a question asked frequently indicates that there is probably a widespread knowledge gap in GP-land.

So, why not try and meet the need? The obvious problem is finance, as we want to do it well and therefore it needs funding. But that’s a small detail!!!

What would it look like? Take an example FAQ – Are statins useful in the elderly? I would see the webpage having a number of areas:

  • Background to the question
  • Clinical bottom line
  • Extended material based on the actual answer to the question
  • References
  • Related content
  • Testing component

The last component needs some thought, do you use an MCQ? I’m sure there’s something more sophisticated – but not sure if that’s needed.

So, what have we got? 52 packs (one per week), focussed learning, testing component, certificate to show ‘attainment’.

Now, how to get funding?