Maintaining Relevance in a Changing Environment

November 12, 2010 at 5:44 am Leave a comment

If you have followed this Blog at all you know I am of the opinion that all CME is improvement focused. I am a proponent of establishing a systematic, repeatable, and sustainable approach to improvement that is evidence based and meets as well as exceeds the requirements imposed on the CME field by the ACCME. A3 Thinking is a proven way to meet that challenge. It is being adopted in healthcare across the country. It is a skill set people not currently in CME have and are willing and eager to share. Medicine has embraced skill sets outside of its core competencies for decades. It is doing it again by embracing Lean Healthcare thinking and tools like A3 Thinking.

A few weeks ago I was asked to participate in a meeting to address the topic of “A3 Thinking in Healthcare”. The topic is not what is as interesting as the group I was asked to speak to. It is an organization called APICS. They use terms like “Advancing Productivity, Innovation and Competitive Success” to describe themselves. APCS is a trade organization of people highly skilled in operations and supply chain management. These are people from manufacturing. They are systems and process experts with a highly developed skill set in solving problems using an array of quality improvement tools.

I was joined in the presentation by someone who works in their field. We came at the topic from two perspectives. His from manufacturing with an interest in applying A3 Thinking to business processes. Mine, from CME, with an interest in applying A3 Thinking to improving physician performance in the clinical setting. These people get it. They understand data based decision making. They understand identifying the root causes of problems using data. They understand addressing root causes of problems through carefully designed interventions and then measuring their progress in solving problems and eliminating system or process performance concerns.

Lean experts, like members of APICS, are finding their way into healthcare settings across the country. And they have a skill set that is woefully needed in many healthcare settings. If you watch you’ll see an increasing number of people and groups talking about “Lean Healthcare”. One of their basic problem solving tools is A3 Thinking.

As CME professionals we can up our value by learning these skills and applying them to our part of the medical education continuum. If we don’t there are others eager to do so. We can choose to make ourselves more relevant or be replaced. What is your choice?


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

CME in the News and on the Blogs – November 9, 2010 A CME Opportunity?

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