Posts filed under ‘Physician Continuing Education’

Do We Have a Problem with our Problem Solving Behaviors?

In our drive to design CME activities that we hope will demonstrate impact or improvement on a professional practice gap we often jump to potential causes or even solutions before we fully understand the real nature of the gaps that give rise to presumed educational needs.


Continue Reading August 30, 2011 at 2:14 am 2 comments

CME Shown To Produce Positive Clinical Outcomes

PRLog (Press Release) – May 25, 2011

Physicians who participated in live half-day, multi-format CME symposia were 50% more likely to provide evidence-based care for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) than those who did not participate, according to a newly published study. The results reported go on to say:

“In addition to being more likely to provide evidence-based care, participants were more likely than non-participants to correctly recognize COPD in a patient presenting with dyspnea (94% vs 74%; P=0.007); recognize that women may have a greater susceptibility than men to the toxic effects of smoking (90% vs 54%; P< 0.001); and identify the mechanisms of action of emerging therapies (65% vs 33%; P=0.003). Each of these areas had been identified as gaps in current COPD clinical practices; thus, these findings show that continuing medical education can help narrow these gaps.”

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This is the kind of report I would like to see more of in the media and the blogesphere. It validates what we have been saying for years about what constitutes effective design in CME.

May 26, 2011 at 9:29 pm Leave a comment

Communities of Practice – A Framework for Learning and Improvement

One of the sessions at the 2011 annual meeting of Alliance for Continuing Medical Education that I was supposed to participate in was to report on the work of a “Community of Practice”. The session was canceled because an attempt to get a community established failed to materialize. So what are these things called Communities of Practice (COP)? Take a look at the graphic. It provides a good description of a COP.

COP’s are usually comprised of a group of individuals who find they have a common area of interest or a common concern. They build a trusted relationship with each other around the area of common interest and begin to share their unique knowledge and experience related to the issue. By doing so they soon develop a shared understanding and approach to the issue and build a collective knowledge base which informs their practice guiding how they approach the common area of concern. The end result is that the experience of the COP builds in each member a collective knowledge base that, when applied, improves their individual performance and can have a dramatic impact on improving the issue they were drawn together to address.

Think of all of the things happening in CME that might benefit from COP’s forming to explore issues, develop deeper levels of understanding, produce resources for all of us to use. Things like Maintenance of Certification, Maintenance of Licensure, Integrating QI and CME, PI CME, Utilizing Social Media in Healthcare and Physician Learning – and this just scratches the surface of possibilities.

COP’s are engaging, intellectually stimulating, and fun. Find one or start one. You’ll be glad you did.

Integrating Education and Quality Improvement – The New Normal

February 4, 2011 at 2:19 am 7 comments

Response to a Repsonse

I don’t know if any if you look at comments posted this Blog. Actually there aren’t many. But here is one I want to Share. It is from Brian McGowan who is with Pfizer.

Brian says:
“I had the pleasure of attending the IHI forum in December and the Alliance meeting in January and, though they are getting closer in terms of vocabulary, the lean concepts were at the core of the IHI and their process/performance improvement programs, whereas there may have been no more than 2 or 3 abstracts.

Yes, CME professionals can benefit from these concepts, but we need to embrace the expertise and progress made in other silos – first step is to get every CME professional to sign up for the IHI email list…and see what that organization has to offer.”

The Alliance did have 2 or 3 abstracts related to “lean’ principles but there were also a number of other sessions focused on quality improvement initiatives. To me this is an encouraging sign. I’d love to see the CME profession adopt a more common nomenclature and a common approach quality and quality improvement. Whether it is Lean, A3 Problem Solving, FOCUS, Six Sigma, or whatever. I think this would strengthen our effort to work with our quality colleagues. It would clearly have a positive impact on our efforts as CME providers to offer educational resources to healthcare professionals with the desired result of improved competence or performance of our customers and improved patient outcomes of those they care for.

Take Brian’s advice and get yourself on the IHI mailing list.

Thanks Brian.

Integrating Education and Quality Improvement – The New Normal

February 2, 2011 at 7:21 pm Leave a comment

Top 4 Trends in CME

MEETNIGSNET Jan 17, 2011, By Sue Pelletier

Sue Pelletier with Medical Meetings has provided a brief overview of a peer-reviewed study of the past five years in literature about continuing medical education. “CME Crossroads: A Survey of Continuing Medical Education Analysis, Criticism, Research, and Policy Proposals” summarizes an analysis of more than 100 articles, research studies, and policy proposals published over the past five years. It was peer-reviewed by representatives of major players in continuing medical education.”

The four trends identified were:
• Adult Learning
• Better Outcomes
• Regulation and Enforcement
• Conflicts of Interest

Won’t it be nice when all of the trends have to do with education and improvement rather than the non added value brought to the enterprise by regulation, enforcement and concerns over conflicts of interest?

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January 18, 2011 at 8:25 pm Leave a comment

Improvement Resources for the CME Professional

Baldrige and Process Improvement January 10th, 2011

“……….some of this country’s best examples of “organizational structures that sustain cross-functional process improvement” are Baldrige Award winners.” Read some of the key reasons many organizations do not or cannot sustain a culture of improvement embodied in Baldrige award winning organizations.

Spend some time on this site for lots of resources you can use in your own CME operation and to add value to your collaborative efforts to improve healthcare through CME.


Managing to Learn by John Shook. Published by The Lean Enterprise Institute in 2008.

Here is an interesting book to read that gives you a real life story showing what it takes to use A3 thinking to engage in improvement projects. CME providers should read this and use the approach to guide their work on helping practices engage in performance improvement efforts. A3 thinking is a systematic, sustainable, repeatable approach to solving problems that is completely transferable to physician practices that can guide performance improvement efforts and qualify those efforts for PI CME credit.

Do you have an approach or a program in your CME operation you are using to teach physicians improvement skills? If so, I’d like to hear about them and share them with our colleagues around the country.

January 11, 2011 at 7:43 pm Leave a comment

Improvement Resources for the CME Professional

Roles of Regional Health Improvement Collaboratives: Improving Healthcare System Performance
Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement

Here is a resource those interested in approaches to healthcare improvement may want to bookmark. Look around the site.


Improvement in healthcare requires teamwork. Improvement can’t be done my isolated individuals because isolated individuals do not deliver care. When considering and improvement initiative be sure that everybody involved in the work you are trying to improve is involved in the improvement effort. A good resource on Teams is:

The Team Handbook by Peter Scholtes and others. The third edition of the book was published in 2003 by Oriel Incorporated. This is a must have in your improvement library.

January 8, 2011 at 7:32 pm Leave a comment

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