08/23/11 Portland, Ore.
The OHSU School of Medicine’s Division of Continuing Medical Education (CME) has received a 6-year accreditation with commendation from the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). This extends CME’s accreditation approval to 2017.
Of approximately 700 ACCME-accredited organizations, few typically receive accreditation with commendation. In the ACCME’s words, OHSU “is a learning organization and a change agent for the physicians (they) serve.”
“Key indicators of a program’s performance are how it improves patient outcomes, as well as how it changes a physician’s behavior,” said Donald Girard, MD, Associate Dean of Graduate Medical Education and Continuing Medical Education. “The council’s decision is a testament to the strength of our program; it reminds us that OHSU is a leader in academic medicine.”
On the coattails of this achievement, CME has been selected to participate in a national program called Aligning Education for Quality (ae4Q). Led by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), ae4Q’s objective is to work with innovative CME institutions to develop and evaluate methods for enhancing the effectiveness of physician education by incorporating advanced techniques for teaching and by incorporating quality improvement content into their programs. Quality improvement provides methods which can improve clinical outcomes, service quality, and patient experience of clinical care.
The School of Medicine’s CME division is one of only twelve academic medical centers invited to participate in the pilot project by Dave Davis, MD, Senior Director for Continuing Education and Performance Improvement for the AAMC, and Nancy Davis, PhD, Executive Director of the National Institute for Quality Improvement for Education.
“Our CME program was selected on the basis of our history of effective program design and readiness to change,” said Elizabeth Bower, MD, MPH, Assistant Dean of Continuing Medical Education. “OHSU has strong and innovative CME offerings and we understand the importance of linking quality and education to practice improvement. We have the commitment and resources to lead change.”
“Ae4Q is a departure from the commonly-held perception of CME as a credit-granting unit responsible only for external conference production,” said Dr. Girard. “Now, by creating a set of standards that measure quality improvement, the CME program can more effectively offer feedback to learners.”
Ae4Q will develop examples of more effective educational techniques for CME including novel uses for information technology. These developments will be used to promote changes in CME nationally, with the objective of helping physicians improve clinical care and service quality.
“We are convening a taskforce of our most innovative OHSU educators to partner with AAMC in the ae4Q program. We will be piloting various changes in our CME offerings that we believe community physicians will find very effective and exciting,” said Chuck Kilo, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer at OHSU. “OHSU is already a leader in many aspects of medical education, such as our medical simulation capabilities for clinician education. AE4Q will allow us to continue to advance our educational efforts for the benefit of the community.”
Each year, about 20,000 health care professionals take courses offered by OHSU’s CME division. Nearly 100 activities are offered to address the educational needs of both generalist and specialist physicians and other health care practitioners. Programs are developed and led by OHSU faculty and range from the traditional Primary Care Review to Rural Trauma Team Development which provides onsite, multi-disciplinary training to regional hospitals.
The initial phase of the pilot program will last one year. AAMC leaders and participants will then assess the effectiveness of the innovations and make plans to spread the best changes to other CME programs and academic institutions.
Pictured above: (From Left) Dr. Girard & Dr. Bower at the 2011 White Coat Ceremony