PI CME: Barriers and Incentives

February 2, 2010 at 3:02 am Leave a comment

Medical Meetings has reported out the results of their annual survey of physicians. This survey asked several questions about PI CME.  After four years the survey reports that “many of the docs surveyed still didn’t appear to know what it was, or confused it with traditional CME activities.”

Very few physicians report that they are participating in PI CME. One person indicated it is “usually time-consuming and not very beneficial,” Another said, “Performance improvement programs are worthless.” The main barrier people noted was time. Several also noted that the clerical and administrative work PI CME is a barrier, as well as “access to electronic medical records and technical support that could enable the doc to efficiently track the data”.

I wouldn’t make generalizations from these comments but I hear what they are saying.

The biggest incentive to encourage physicians to participate in PI CME activities appears to be money. When asked what would make it worth their while to get involved in a continuous performance improvement activity, one suggested: “Being paid $500 or more per hour.” Others had the same idea: “cash,” “financial bonuses to help defray the costs,” “reimbursement for my time,” and “nothing outside of paying me.” The CME credit was high on the list of carrots that would get physicians to get involved in continuous performance improvement programs. Others noted “that it was already required for Maintenance of Certification in their specialty, which is why they were participating or planning to participate in the near future. “

The respondents said they actually earned only 1.5 percent of their credits in PI CME activities. The percentage of those who obtained up to 25 percent of their credit hours through PI CME went up from 2.4 percent last year to 7 percent this year. Those who received no PI CME credits fell from 94 percent to 89 percent.

Conversations and presentation I heard during the recent meeting of the Alliance for CME lead me to think there is a growing wave of interest among funders for quality PI CME initiatives. Many in the CME enterprise are anxious to try PI CME initiatives but also recognize the additional “costs” to them in offering PI CME activities.

Those of you who follow this Blog know I am convinced that PI CME must become a part of the fiber of physician life long learning. It is unthinkable that any physician would not be committed to looking at the care they provide and make every conceivable effort to improve n areas where they see deficiencies in their care. PI CME offers a structure for them, to do this. It is a structure valued by the medical profession and soon may be required of every physician in the country to maintain his or her license. We have to find a way to change the culture of care so that continuous quality improvement is a seamless part of every care setting – not an add-on with burdensome time, administrative and cost barriers. This is one of the current challenges we have in CME.  How will we lead in this effort?


Entry filed under: Improvement, Physician Continuing Education, PI CME.

CME in the News and on the Blogs January 31, 2010 Pharma gets it – CME Level of Outcomes Matter

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