About the Katie Program


Have you ever had the experience of attending a continuing education event to learn about a new treatment or diagnostic procedure and come away more unsure about what to think, what to do, and how to do it than when you went in? Do you have trouble keeping up-to-date? Do you feel overwhelmed by the amount of new information that relates to your practice? Ever feel unsure about what information to ignore and what to act on? These common experiences are what inspired the development of the Katie Program, which aims to make clinical learning more valuable to you. Overall, we think that small changes in the learning culture could markedly bridge the so called knowledge-to-action gap in health care. 

What it is

The Katie program:

  • Is a knowledge translation initiative developed for clinicians (e.g., physicians, pharmacists, nurses, dentists, and other health providers)
  • Is a transformational influence that supports clinicians in making the most of their learning activities
  • Promotes presenters and learners to efficiently appraise new information and discuss how it can be applied
  • Is to be used in any learning situation
    • Conferences/meetings
    • Evening presentations
    • Online learning programs
    • One-on-one discussions
    • When reading to keep up-to-date or solve a clinical query 

Our intention is for the Katie Program (including its educational materials, tools, and messages) to have a growing and enduring positive effect on the translation of new therapeutics and other health knowledge on clinical decision making. 

What it isn’t

The Katie program is not:

  • a certification program of continuing education content
  • an activity that occurs only in formal learning settings
  • a course in critical appraisal
  • a course in statistics

Goals of the program

We hope that over time the Katie Program will stimulate a culture of effective, critical, action-oriented learning at continuing education programs and other professional development activities. This is not to say that this does not happen now, however it is recognized that there is room for improvement when it comes to decision making in clinical practice. Some problems relate to the slow uptake of new knowledge in practice and others to the premature adoption of inferior treatments. The Katie Program recognizes the importance of continuing education in the transfer and application of new therapeutics knowledge and focuses on the opportunity to improve these efforts.  

Specific aims of the Katie Program include:

  • To establish itself as a regular part of continuing education programs
  • To influence the content of presentations, for example:
    • Balanced clinical review of the issues and evidence
    • Focus on patient-oriented effects that matter
    • Use and interpretation of appropriate expressions of clinical effect
    • Transparent declarations of what remains uncertain and unknown
    • Discussion of feasibility, affordability, and other practical issues
  • To influence the format of presentations
    • Facilitate audience comments and questions throughout
    • Discuss standards in clinical practice and appropriate changes based on new information
    • Identify common and foreseeable barriers to change
    • Discuss enablers of appropriate changes in practice 
    • Welcome alternative perspectives and discuss them with the participants
  • To influence the approach to learning by participants
    • Appraisal of the information presented
    • Practical discussions regarding application issues (barriers, enablers) when change in clinical practice is warranted  
  • To reduce the evidence-to-practice gap

A successful, Katie-influenced program will be clinically-practical, patient-oriented, and lively. Speakers will give an evidence-based, balanced, transparent presentation that encourages participant input and participants will ask questions, give opinion, provide suggestions, and make the appropriate changes in their practices. 

Activities of the program

The Katie program’s initial activities include:

  • Informing pharmacists, physicians, and other clinicians about the program
  • Providing the Katie card to clinicians for use at all learning opportunities (e.g., conferences, meetings, evening events, online learning, self-directed learning, one-on-one discussions with industry representatives, etc.)
  • Providing the Katie card and information about the Katie Program to continuing education program developers, authors, and presenters in advance of their lectures, workshops, courses, and conferences
  • Supporting the development of critical appraisal and application abilities via the development of various tools (e.g., Katie’s Knowledge Translator, Katie’s Appraisal Tool), series (e.g., Katie on the 52 Crosstown), online resources, and education programs. 

Presentations about the program 

Workshop: KT10 Conference

Changing the culture of Continuing Health Education

June, 2010
KT10 workshop Katie program [PDF - 4.8 MB]

Evidence Based Medicine, Family Physicians, and Knowledge Translation (KATIE)
36th Annual Dalhousie CME February Refresher

February, 2010
Feb Refresher Katie 2010

[PDF - 5 MB]

The KATIE Program
Continuing Pharmacy Education, Annual Fall Refresher

October, 2009
Katie Refresher 2009

[PDF - 3.1 MB]