Targeted CME can improve health outcomes at your hospital

Sara Berg, MS , News Editor

Many physicians might simply pursue CME to meet their requirements, but there’s more to these courses than just the credit. They can help in achieving hospital goals such as lower lengths of stay, fewer readmissions and higher quality and patient experience scores.

Find a cornucopia of CME options on the AMA Ed Hub™, where you can search by topic, source, credit amount and format.  These CME modules that can help meet your hospital’s goals.

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Physicians not only fulfill CME credit, but can also help achieve hospital goals by learning how to listen with empathy. The AMA STEPS Forward™ empathetic listening module can help. The module explains how when physicians listen with empathy, patients and their families will be more satisfied and open to hearing advice on how to proceed with care.

The practice of listening with empathy can help effectively defuse difficult situations while also forging deeper connections with patients. This can also help physicians experience greater professional satisfaction and joy in work.

Another CME module that can help you improve patient outcomes is one that outlines implementation of health coaching. This team-based approach allows physicians and their teams to help patients become active participants in their care.

Focusing only on what is wrong can lead to exclusive attention to problems and a negative atmosphere. However, taking time to focus on the positives can help physicians recognize what gives life, vitality and joy to the hospital team. Physicians can earn CME credit by completing the appreciative inquiry module—an approach to change that identifies and builds on what is already working well in an organization to foster positive transformation.

Physicians can also earn CME by learning how to create a healthy team culture in their health care organization. A hospital or practice’s culture is a set of underlying rules and beliefs that is usually unrecognized. The culture determines how everyone interacts with each other and with patients. New team members typically absorb the practice's culture without being taught.

Another option for improving the team culture is a CME module on adopting clear guidelines for identifying and fairly addressing inappropriate and disruptive behavior in the hospital setting. Physicians and other health professionals can participate in this free online module to define appropriate, inappropriate and disruptive behavior. After completion, hospitals will receive a downloadable copy of the AMA Model Medical Staff Code of Conduct that can be integrated into their own medical staff bylaws.

To achieve hospital goals, physicians can also complete performance improvement (PI) CME activities. PI CME is a process by which evidence-based performance measures and quality improvement (QI) interventions are used to help physicians identify patient care areas for improvement and change their performance.

A PI CME activity is structured as a three-stage process for a physician or group of doctors to improve performance measures. For example, physicians can complete team documentation or expanded rooming-and-discharge PI CME to achieve various hospital goals.

AMA’s STEPS Forward is an open-access platform featuring more than 50 modules that offer actionable, expert-driven strategies and insights supported by practical resources and tools. Based on best practices from the field, STEPS Forward modules empower practices to identify areas or opportunities for improvement, set meaningful and achievable goals, and implement transformative changes designed to increase operational efficiencies, elevate clinical team engagement, and improve patient care.

Several modules have been developed from the generous grant funding of the federal Transforming Clinical Practices Initiative (TCPI), an effort designed to help clinicians achieve large-scale health transformation through TCPI’s Practice Transformation Networks.

The AMA, in collaboration with TCPI, is providing technical assistance and peer-level support by way of STEPS Forward resources to enrolled practices. The AMA is also engaging the national physician community in health care transformation through network projects, change packages, success stories and training modules.