Back to School: See How Clinical Continuing Education Has Improved Health Care Quality – Proven in Peer-Reviewed Journals!
We often hear that there is little evidence of CME’s success in teaching clinicians relevant strategies for better patient care, for changing practice through education, and for connecting with the quality improvement (QI) movement. Witness the current initiatives of the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Profession (ACEhp), “Why We Matter” and the 10-year Roadmap and 10 complementary Building Blocks of the Quality Improvement Education (QIE) Initiative. While Davis and others have noted historical effectiveness of CEhp, such as in this 1992 article, later articles by Bloom, Davis, and Ratanawongsa have questioned CME effectiveness (e.g., in 1995 and 2005) and identified reporting inconsistencies that reduce the validity of CME outcomes reports.
It is true that our reporting of CEhp methods and outcomes has need of greater readership and better reporting. Yet CME, performance improvement (PI), interprofessional education (IPE), and education-driven QI projects already have many achievements reported, in both initiative-level outcomes reports and the published, peer-reviewed literature. Going beyond JCEHP, where articles feature methods and case studies for improving clinical education, and CE Measure, which reports on-the-ground initiatives and specific outcomes data, we see that clinical journals and meetings are publishing increasing numbers of CEhp studies. What’s more, reporting of these achievements is certain to grow after the ACEhp QIE Initiative launches its custom version of the SQUIRE tool this month, at September 2015’s Alliance Quality Symposium. The SQUIRE tool, created by the group developing Standards for Quality Improvement Reporting Excellence, will help all of us doing CEhp research design our studies and publish our findings in a standardized manner … for later meta-analyses of into CME/CEhp effectiveness as a mechanism for quality improvement.
Today our goal is to show the past effectiveness of CEhp initiatives in published educational outcomes studies, as we prepare—as a profession—to begin reporting CME and IPE initiatives with greater rigor, and to illustrate the effectiveness of certified clinical education by accredited providers on a greater scale. Therefore, Don Harting, my friend and colleague who specializes in medical education needs assessments, and I have embarked on a “Back-to-School” campaign to highlight published articles where CME, IPE, PI, and QI initiatives worked to change clinicians’ behavior or improve performance in routine, clinical practice. Don featured 15 of our 30 articles on Twitter (@CME_Scout) and his blog from August 17 – August 31, 2015, and I will be posting to publicize another 15 articles at @SHB_CMEedit and this blog from September 1 – September 15, 2015. You can sign up to receive a summary report of the published studies we feature by following fullcirclece.blogspot.com, or find me in person at the Alliance Quality Symposium at the end of September.
We want you to take away these messages from this campaign, so let me encourage you to put yourself in the first person and say these motivational statements:
- I can talk about CEhp initiatives that were effective in improving the quality of health care
- There is evidence in the peer-reviewed literature to prove CEhp effectiveness
- I am ready to read CEhp outcomes studies, to help me learn to prepare my own (if you are not sure you’re ready, check out the 12-article research and statistics series in the ACEhp Almanac, which started in February 2015)
- My group’s CEhp outcomes data do not have to show change to be worth publishing, i.e., it’s okay to publish negative findings because I am a dispassionate researcher of clinical education
- I can find clinical and educational journals to whom to submit my CME outcomes data
- My CEhp work in content and faculty development, instructional design, and outcomes analysis matters
Now don’t you feel better? Not sure? Ready to go? Follow our tweets, read the articles or their abstracts, and then say these points to yourself again.
Finally, to promote articles showing the achievements of the continuing education profession in improvement health care quality, we have a contest where you can Retweet to Win (see rules) by sharing our featured articles with your network of CEhp professionals. Harting Communications LLC is offering a $100 Amazon gift card as first prize, and Full Circle Clinical Education, Inc, is offering a $50 Amazon gift card as second prize!
Remember to followus on Twitter @SHB_CMEedit and @CME_Scout so that you can notified via direct message if you win! And tell Don and me whether this service campaign supporting awareness of CEhp effectiveness was helpful to you.
Good luck, happy reading, and enjoy!
Best wishes, and thanks for viewing my updates,