Your Practice Transformation Companion

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Interested in Continuing Medical Education Changes? Read On...

The majority of people travelling to Traverse City this time of year are seeking pleasure in one of the “Pure Michigan” premier destinations on Grand Traverse Bay. Practice Transformation Institute staff were in Traverse City recently but not for sun and sand. Instead we were at the newly renovated Park Place Hotel for the annual Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS) conference on Continuing Medical Education (CME) for accredited organizations held August 8.

Why should this interest you as a reader? You’d probably like to hear more about the hotel and its amenities or the great restaurants and wineries in the Traverse City area than the latest updates regarding accreditation changes that accredited providers must undergo. It would be more enjoyable to write about travel than CME, too.

As an accredited provider of CME for Michigan physicians, Practice Transformation Institute (PTI) is responsible for validating that CME activities meet MSMS accreditation requirements.  We take that role seriously. So we opted for business over fun, at least for one day. After the event we knew we would have time to enjoy Traverse City.

The planning committee at MSMS crafted an informative event with a stellar line-up of speakers and topics. Steve Singer, PhD, the Director of Education and Outreach at the Accreditation Council of Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), was the keynote speaker. ACCME is the national organization that oversees the states’ accredited providers. In Michigan this takes place through its affiliation with MSMS.

Dr. Singer presented an overview on CME at the national and state level, upcoming simplification of requirements and processes, and conflict of interest and disclosure management. Were you aware that there are 677 organizations nationally accredited by the ACCME and 1273 organizations, such as PTI, accredited at the state level? Neither did we. In Michigan alone, there are 12 ACCME organizations and 46 accredited organizations through MSMS, making Michigan one of the largest in the United States. These organizations provided more than 7900 hours of CME instruction in 2012! That’s pretty impressive news for Michigan physicians.

There are new parameters to measure when designing CME which will affect both the accredited providers when they evaluate requests, and the producers when designing a CME program. With the changes in health care and a move toward patient-centeredness, medical education must keep pace with it. Learning must be designed to change competence, performance and patient outcomes, and physicians must be able to analyze those objectives as a result of the program. The goal is to raise the bar in critical thinking after a CME event so that what is learned can result in a change in practice patterns to improve the delivery of care, increase patient satisfaction and/or improve patient outcomes.

The class performed group exercises on completing a CME application and navigating the gray zone of Conflict of Interest. Other updates included:
Applying faculty credits to learning from teaching medical students and residents;
2015 PARS changes;
Maintenance of Certification; and
Trends in online learning.

Online learning is considered the fastest growing area in achieving CME’s. In 2012 50% of CME was done online compared to 30% in ‘live’ events. A few of the conveniences to online learning are accessibility, enhanced technology and no expenses with travelling. Stay tuned for these type of programs from PTI.

In response to participant feedback, the ACCME began serious deliberation to streamline the accreditation process which will affect state organizations, such as MSMS. The new changes will align state and national requirements for consistency across accreditors, rules, processes and interpretation.

A lot of information was packed into a few hours. However, the entire day was not all business. Lunch was a great surprise, served on the 10th floor of Park Place with a magnificent view of Grand Traverse Bay. It is equally stunning at night with panoramic views of the region. Along with the other attendees, PTI looks forward to next year’s conference, wherever that may be.