EELAB: An innovative educational resource in occupational medicine

A. Y. Zhou, J. Dodman, L. Hussey, D. Sen, C. Rayner, N. Zarin, R. Agius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Postgraduate education, training and clinical governance in occupational medicine (OM) require easily accessible yet rigorous, research and evidence-based tools based on actual clinical practice. Aims To develop and evaluate an online resource helping physicians develop their OM skills using their own cases of work-related ill-health (WRIH). Methods WRIH data reported by general practitioners (GPs) to The Health and Occupation Research (THOR) network were used to identify common OM clinical problems, their reported causes and management. Searches were undertaken for corresponding evidence-based and audit guidelines. A web portal entitled Electronic, Experiential, Learning, Audit and Benchmarking (EELAB) was designed to enable access to interactive resources preferably by entering data about actual cases. EELAB offered disease-specific online learning and self-assessment, self-audit of clinical management against external standards and benchmarking against their peers' practices as recorded in the research database. The resource was made available to 250 GPs and 224 occupational physicians in UK as well as postgraduate OM students for evaluation. Results Feedback was generally very favourable with physicians reporting their EELAB use for case-based assignments. Comments such as those suggesting a wider range of clinical conditions have guided further improvement. External peer-reviewed evaluation resulted in accreditation by the Royal College of GPs and by the Faculties of OM (FOM) of London and of Ireland. Conclusions This innovative resource has been shown to achieve education, self-audit and benchmarking objectives, based on the participants' clinical practice and an extensive research database.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-370
Number of pages8
JournalOccupational Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2017


  • Assessment
  • Audit
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Internet
  • Occupational medicine education
  • Occupational medicine teaching
  • Training

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing


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