BU/Haymarket deliver 'PI light' CMESerial, active learning may be the most powerful, but creating a program that promotes performance improvement in a distance-learning setting poses a challenge. “In a serial program, it's very difficult to get people to do more than one [component],” said Lara Zisblatt, assistant director, Boston University School of Medicine CME.
BU and Haymarket Medical Education, partners on the Practice Circles program, produced an activity with elements of a PI activity but one that didn't require the same time commitment. The initiative, aimed at MDs, PAs and NPs, and had an action plan in the middle enabling participants to see practice changes and enabling them to reflect on improvements. (Disclosure: Haymarket Media publishes MM&M.)
“Even though it didn't fulfill the requirements of a PI CME, it sill has the same architecture—an audit of practice in the beginning, a participation and interventions including creation of an action plan, and a reevaluation at the end,” Zisblatt said.
It also required less time to complete. The grantor was Cephalon, maker of wakefulness drug Nuvigil, and the program was designed to improve diagnosis and management of sleep-wake disorders. Since there is no blood test, for example, to diagnose these disorders, Zisblatt shied away from a full-on PI program. “Instead, what we chose to do was what we consider a ‘PI light,'” she said.
The course generated 562 completed actions—listening to a live teleconference, completing a survey or action plan, etc.—while 22 people did all seven components of the eight-week program. The Alliance for CME gave the accredited program its Award for 2011 Best Industry-Supported CME.
Said Zisblatt: “The good news is [if a participant] did even a single piece of the program, we've been finding that, through the evaluations, they've still been improving part of the practice.”