Aim: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed an online training course to address a lack of knowledge among healthcare professionals regarding the identification of patients at risk for hemochromatosis and recognition of its related early symptoms. A multilevel evaluation design was used to (a) guide course development, (b) test course efficacy, and (c) assess training impact.
Methods: Highly focused, brief evaluation activities with the intended audience (N = 642) provided a stream of qualitative and quantitative data that guided course design, development, and implementation.
Results: The training course had intended positive impacts on healthcare professionals' knowledge and perceived competence in recognizing, diagnosing, and treating hemochromatosis. Both physicians and nurses directly attributed changes in their clinical practice to course participation including increases in appropriate diagnostic biochemical testing for iron overload in new and existing patients.
Conclusions: The hemochromatosis course is a successful learning tool that has the desired impact on learning and knowledge reinforcement. The evaluation conducted provided a stream of evidence that was useful in course development as well as assessment of training outcomes. The detailed evaluation plan description may serve as a template for assessing other online continuing education training courses that address public health issues.