CME Professionals: Learn Improvement Skills or be Replaced

July 7, 2010 at 4:37 pm Leave a comment

For the past year or so I have been touting the use of tools used in manufacturing as a way to improve healthcare delivery, frame PI CME and, improve our CME operations. Specifically I have encouraged CME providers to adopt an approach called “A3 Problem Solving”. Those of you who follow this blog know I am in the midst of a series of posts discussing a systematic, sustainable, repeatable approach to improvement. The series is based on A3 thinking.

I was delighted to see in the Spring 2010 issue of the JCEHP a report titled “Using Quality Improvement Experts From Manufacturing to Transform Primary Care”. The results report that the “teaming of quality experts from the manufacturing industry with primary care office providers and staff resulted in office efficiency, improved care provided, and progress toward attainment of a patient centered medical home (PCMH)”.

In a recent blog I suggested that there were people with these quality improvement skills interested and poised to enter the medical field. There are trade organizations representing people with these skills seeking ways to penetrate the medical enterprise. With results like those reported in this article it won’t be too long before the medical profession seeks out more people with this expertise.

CME professionals can learn these skills. They can apply them in their own CME operation. They can use the framework suggested by A3 problem solving to design CME activities, especially PI CME activities.

By doing so, they will add immense value to their CME program, to the organizations in which they work, and to the healthcare system in this country.

I have said it before and I say it again, “All CME is improvement focused”. Look at what the ACCME requires of accredited CME providers. Through their approved CME activities, accredited CME providers must demonstrate improvement in either physician competence, physician performance, or the health status of the people they care for.

CME professionals must both learn these skills and apply them with a high level of expertise or we will be replaced by those who can and are very willing to step into our environments and meet the challenge.

My brother, who has worked manufacturing for 30 years, and myself have trained nearly 200 CME professionals how to use the A3 process. We are in the midst of a pilot project with 5 CME professionals who are using the A3 process to improve an important process in their CME operation. The project has been selected for presentation at the 2011 meeting of the Alliance for CME. If you are interested in learning the A3 approach and using it in your CME operation, we can help you. Let us know. (I know – Blatant commercialism. But hey, I want the profession to thrive and learning these skills can help)


Entry filed under: CME, CME Issues, Improvement. Tags: , , , , .

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