CME – Who Gets the Assignment
I recently visited a small community hospital to talk to them about PI CME. Like in many small settings. responsibility for coordinating the CME program is an add on role. The person assigned the responsibility has other responsibilities. They have no training in CME. They may or may not have experience in education. They may or may not have clinical experience.
One person at the session had just been given the responsibility for CME and was in the Marketing Department. This person had no idea what was required of CME providers. No idea what it means to be an accredited CME provider. Absolutely no knowledge or understanding of what is required by the ACCME, AMA, etc. All they know is that the setting in which they work wants to offer the physicians “CME’s” Whatever CME’s are. What a learning curve.
In situations like this the person assigned responsibility for the CME Program should get together with the Quality Improvement people and ride the quality improvement initiatives like a tight saddle on a bucking bronco. in fact the CME program should probably be assigned to the QI people in these settings. They have they data. They can learn the CME rules and regulations. They can link CME to quality initiatives that make a difference to the patients in that setting.
All approved CME activities have to be evaluated in improvement terms. Improvement in competence, performance or patient outcomes. Lets put CME where the people have the skills to assess these improvements. Quit screwing around with CME as part of marketing or even the medical affairs office. Enhance the educational skills of some of the the improvement people. Enhancing the improvement skills of the CME people doesn’t seem to be working. Let’s try another way to link education to physician competence and performance. Especially if they have patient outcomes data.