Factors to Keep in Mind When Selecting a PI CME Project to Pursue

April 12, 2010 at 11:14 pm Leave a comment

The sage advice being given by our colleagues already engaged in PI CME efforts is growing with every project they attempt. Here are a few of the things I have gleaned from my conversations with many of these people that you may want to heed in you PI CME efforts. It is not an exhaustive list. Feel free to jump in and add things you think are important.

Limit the scope.

Start small. Don’t try to improve a major end-to-end process but a portion of one. Make the time frame near-term, maybe no more than 60 to 90 days. Make your project relatively straightforward and one you have access to the resources and skills to achieve. Learn and practice rapid-cycle-improvement.

Choose Something that has High Value to Stakeholders

The PI CME initiative you work on must actually contribute something to your target audience – the physicians you serve. It should be an effort perceived as having high value when the desired results are achieved.

Choose Something that has a Clear Alignment to Organizational and/or Healthcare Improvement Goals

The PI CME initiative being pursued should directly contribute to the attainment of an established healthcare improvement priority or an organizational goal. This will add positive attention to the effort.

Choose the Right Metrics

The definition and the means of measurement must be in place, understood, and accepted by those who will be involved in the effort and be of value to key stakeholders. This requires a sound, disciplined post-project review — and potentially a long term assessment of results.

Get People to Agree on the Goal of the Effort

This seems simple obvious, but it is not uncommon for the CME office and other departments to have different views about what “goodness” is for a particular process. Some of these things may be imposed on the CME operation by external regulators, like disclosures, letters of agreement and other mandates. Be sure the target audience agrees that the goal is worth the effort required to be successful.

Physician Champion

The CME office is not in charge of the project, but rather is a primary advocate for the improvement effort. In PI CME the important constituents are most often the physicians involved in the work that is the focus of an improvement effort. If physicians in particular, and a physician champion specifically, are not absolutely sold on the idea and are not willing to encourage both affected members of the healthcare team and fellow physicians to implement the improved process, things will not get done. This requirement is so vital that, if such a champion is not available, you should pursue another project.

Physician Engagement

Success means that physicians realize that they are the experts, they feel a sense of ownership about what they do, and they engage in seeing how things could actually be done better. Early, visible, concrete successes are especially important to the long-term acceptance of performance improvement as a valuable part of the culture of healthcare.


Entry filed under: CME Issues, Continuing Medical Education, Continung Professional Development, Improvement, Physician Continuing Education, PI CME.

CME in the News and on the Blogs, April 7, 2010 Is Somebody Stifling Performance Improvement Where You Work?

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