On September 22, 2011 NAMEC held an educational session for all members. During this session members participated in a Rapid Exchange which consisted of five tables, each with a unique topic facilitated by a NAMEC member. Topics included: Collaboration, Funding, Outcomes, Professional Development, and Social Media. Attending members were free to rotate every 10 minutes to a new table, while each facilitator initiated and guided conversation on their topic.
Key takeaways from each table include:
collaboration facilitator: marc l. mosier, md
Collaboration can mean many things to different people depending upon their business strategy and focus. Participants were engaged and offered valuable insight into the benefits and challenges of collaborating with various partners, including academia, societies, faculty, payers and other third party organizations to deliver effective continuing medical education.
Overwhelmingly, most participants spoke to the critical need to carefully choose whom they collaborate with and base their choices on a proven track record of delivering to specific expectations in a timely manner. Early and regular communication helps to clearly identify and define goals and expectations so as to ensure alignment and success of the collaboration. Several spoke to the challenges of becoming involved in multi-partner collaborations due to the variance in shared goals and difficulty in moving the relationship forward.
While many collaborations are developed for the short-term fulfillment of objectives, many felt they were increasingly receptive to becoming involved in extended long-term initiatives. This only happens after both collaborating partners have come to know each other and have grown to adapt to each other’s often changing priorities. Platform approaches are not preferred by many Educational Partners & MECCs due to the perception that their value is “watered down” or diminished by participating alongside competitors on the same platform. Those MECCs operating as a “platform often act as a “distribution channel” and embrace collaboration with other partners to expand their own value to the external community.
funding facilitator: antwoine l. shepard
Funding challenges have grown as the climate surrounding industry-funded CME has evolved. Participants shared anecdotes and strategies regarding their experiences in funding, especially regarding alternative funding models.
Most participants have considered alternative funding models; however few have successfully funded CME programs without traditional industry support. Some participants have had success receiving government funding which most agreed requires a long-term relationship building strategy. Others have had some limited success with foundations and global corporations. Not only do these avenues require long-term relationship building, but also education as many are not aware of the existence, importance, and relevance of CME.
Also of note, most participants discussed the challenges involved with securing funding from multiple supporters. Conflicting supporter funding cycles and interests were among the chief challenges cited. Nearly all participants had at some point recently returned funds to supporters because they were unable to adequately multi-fund a program.
Despite the difficult landscape many participants were optimistic about the future, noting that their funding strategies were improving.
outcomes facilitator: mindi daiga
Outcomes have become increasingly relevant as the CME landscape has changed. Many participants noted that different definitions or interpretations of Moore’s Levels are still being used, and felt that PACME and NAMEC should collaborate on common lexicon and expectations. Also, interest was expressed in creating a Forum for Supporters to provider general feedback to providers on outcome need and expectation. This doesn’t have to be specific to activity or provider, but could assist providers in improving methods and reports.
The skill set needed to collect and analyze data, and create a report for publishing isn’t an “inherent” proficiency of many CME professionals, and many noted that internal resources need to be developed or external resources used to complete these tasks. Also, providers need to find the time, resources, and expertise to facilitate publishing their outcomes in peer-reviewed medical journals and submitting abstracts to medical conferences to support the value of CME.
Outcomes data should be shared with faculty post-activity and used to engage faculty in discussion for future activities. It is important that faculty understand that outcomes might not be as rigorous as a clinical trial or other scientific research; however they are based on validated approaches and accepted methodologies!
professional development facilitator: kristin fludder
Many of the participants were not CCMEP certified but expressed an interest in getting study material to prepare for the test. A few suggestions for study material included reviewing and understanding the ACCME accreditation criteria and policies/procedures as there are many questions related to those topics on the exam. The Alliance website was another suggestion and the group praised the revamp of the website last year, making it a valuable resource for professional development. Another suggestion was forming a study group for NAMEC members facilitated by someone who is CCMEP certified.
Also, participants noted that there were few job opportunities as companies have downsized or closed. Many were interested in ways to network and stay involved in CME. Some felt the job board on the NAMEC website should be greater utilized.
social media facilitator: derek warnick
Social media continues to be used experimentally, and only a small percentage of participants were currently developing strategies. A few are using Twitter to promote activities and participant learning, but even fewer are using it as part of their personal learning network.
Nearly no one had participated in #CMEchat. Few mentioned they had "lurked", but not participated.
The majority of participants had a LinkedIn account and most are part of the CME group. Very few have started a discussion or commented on a discussion.
Some participants mentioned they have incorporated social media or Web 2.0 into their CME programs. The most common tool mentioned was adding a moderated comments section to an online CME activity.