Sharp Continuing Medical Education Newsletter Spring 2020

The Value of CME

The fields of medicine and science never stop moving forward—and neither should physicians.

Aspiring physicians spend four years in medical school and three to five years in residency training. For the rest of their careers, physicians rely on accredited CME as one of the support systems that helps them drive improvements in practice and optimize the care, health, and wellness of patients.

Accredited CME addresses every medical specialty, covering the full range of topics important to healthcare improvement. Whether physicians work in clinical care, research, healthcare administration, executive leadership, or other areas of medicine, accredited CME is designed to be relevant to their needs, practice-based, and effective.

Participation in accredited CME helps physicians meet requirements for maintenance of licensure, maintenance of certification, credentialing, membership in professional societies, and other professional privileges.

Physicians can count on accredited CME to provide a protected space for them to learn and teach without commercial influence.

Clinicians are expected to deliver safe, effective, cost-effective, compassionate care, based on best practice and evidence. Accredited CME helps make that happen.

Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education

What’s New in CME

CME Stakeholder Survey Results

The CME Department has spent some time in the last several months evaluating how we can better support our activity chairs, planning committee members and other educational stakeholders. To better understand the types of educational resources that our stakeholders would find useful we distributed a brief survey to approximately 170 individuals from across the system. This survey was distributed in March and despite the impact of COVID-19, several stakeholders made the time to provide their input. The most impactful results from the survey were that stakeholders don’t always have a clear idea of who can be a faculty person or planner and that the stakeholders are ultimately developing education for the improvement of patient care and patient outcomes. All of the results are summarized in the available infographic and the development of educational tools and resources are currently underway.

Physician Spotlight

Hai Shao, M.D.

Physician Sleuthing Leads to Nationwide Public Notice Regarding Deadly Black Tar Heroin Outbreak

While in the Doctor’s lounge, Dr. Hai Shao made it safe for his colleagues to speak up for patient safety and was informed of two patients who suffered skin infections after injecting black tar heroin, but neither responded to the standard therapy of surgery and antibiotics. One patient had already died and the other had a poor prognosis. Another physician mentioned that he had a similar case at a nearby hospital recently.

With a questioning attitude, Dr. Shao found it very peculiar that these recent patients were dying. He has been treating these types of infections for over ten years and has witnessed first-hand that these types of infections typically resolve within a few days. Dr. Shao put in extra hours over the weekend to verify his concerns that these cases were linked by more than mere heroin use. He diligently uncovered nine cases between Sharp and Scripps Hospitals in Chula Vista. Half of the identified individuals were homeless. Seven patients had already died, but Dr. Shao found two survivors whom he interviewed. Through his research, he found that most of the patients knew each other and were somehow linked to the Otay Riverbed (congregated there, purchased heroin near there or from someone who lived in the area)

As an Epidemiologist, Dr. Shao felt a sense of ownership for reporting issues and offering solutions. Thus, he reported his findings to the County Health Department. This notification led to a warning to local hospitals and nationwide news coverage to advise the public of this potentially lethal outbreak.

If Dr. Shao did not investigate and report his suspicions, health officials would probably not have investigated this outbreak as closely, the public would remain unaware, there could have been less vigilance to contain this outbreak and more unsuspecting patients may have died.

Online Learning Spotlight

HRO Training for Physicians

This is a 10 module series that introduces key concepts of the high-reliability organization (HRO) initiative under taken by Sharp HealthCare

Coronavirus and the Heart: Case Presentation

In light of the outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This module aims to review cardiac cases, manifestations and therapies relating to COVID-19.

SRS Novel Coronavirus: Guidance for Health-care Providers 2020

In light of the outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This module aims to review existing guidelines, precautions and clinical information relating to COVID-19.

Clinical Documentation Improvement: Documentation of Sepsis

This activity is designed to provide educational curriculum to improve clinical documentation among Sharp-affiliated physicians.


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Demystifying the Accreditation Council for Continuing Education Commendation Criteria

Any organization who has earned accreditation through the ACCME has two avenues they can pursue when renewing their accreditation. Most organizations opt for the standard accreditation, but those that standout from the crowd will seek accreditation with commendation. Achieving accreditation with commendation requires the organization demonstrate they are providing education that is a step above meeting the essential criteria. The latest version of the commendation criteria (approved 2017) encourage organizations to engage in five major areas: Promoting team-based education, addressing public health priorities, enhancing skills, achieving outcomes and demonstrating educational leadership. Sharp CME is forging ahead in developing education that addresses these priorities, but we cannot achieve commendation without your help – chairs, committee members, educational leaders in other medical professions, administrators, and patients. To achieve commendation more effectively let us clarify a few myths.

Myth #1: If I invite a patient to provide their perspective as a faculty member this sufficiently meets Criterion 24 (C24), engaging patients/public in education.

FALSE: Engaging patients as faculty to ensure the patient perspective is consider during education is extremely important and highly encouraged, but it is only half the story. To comply with Criterion 24 (C24) it is important to engage patients/public in the planning of an educational activity from the beginning along with identifying potential faculty. Engaging patients/public can be achieved in a number of ways; some examples including a general patient survey or focus group to discuss their experience, engaging specific patients for specific specialty areas, engaging family members of patients who have recently received care, or requesting physician educational ideas from the public at community-focused educational events.

Myth #2: For a continuing education activity to receive accreditation for CME credit the faculty member(s) presenting the education must be a credentialed physician.

FALSE: Faculty selection is based on the learning objectives and expected outcomes established for the educational activity in conjunction with their professional expertise and ability to address the topic(s). While those experts are often in the same profession as the target audience, this is not required. Criteria within promoting team-based education (C23, C24, C25) actually encourage the use of various experts including, patients, health profession students/residents, other members of the healthcare team including physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, therapists and public health officials. Additionally, if developing team-based education remember, a range of team members in different professions/roles should engage in the planning process to ensure the development of relevant learning objectives and outcomes. Using a range of health care experts as faculty (and planners) also satisfies the C27 and C28 as it relates to addressing public health priorities. Anytime you include a student/resident as a faculty person you should ensure they are properly mentored by their preceptor/clinical instructor in the development of their content.

Myth #3: A professional practice gap and a needs assessment are not the same thing.

FALSE: The term “professional practice gap” and “needs assessment” are two terms for the same idea – the need for evidence of why education is needed, or to put it another way, the evidence that there is a difference between what learners know/do as compared to what they should know/do. This evidence can come in various forms, updated clinical guidelines, new clinical research, new technology/medications, legislative, regulatory or organizational changes impacting patient care, feedback from evaluations, survey responses, committee/leadership consensus, quality data, publicly reported metrics, internal metrics (performance targets), mortality/morbidity data, or other tracked data related to specific-procedures and/or conditions. All education should be based on some form of evidence and planners are encouraged to use tracked statistics, metrics or performance targets as part of the needs assessment (or practice gap) to improve the ability to determine the ultimate effectiveness of the education. Doing so, supports compliance with criteria associated with achieving outcomes (C36, C37, C38).

Myth #4: One list of learning objectives (LO) and expected outcomes (EO) for all learners is appropriate, whether there is one profession or several professions identified as the target audience.

FALSE: Properly designed accredited continuing education activities should reflect the identified learning objectives (LO) and expected outcomes (EO) for all target audiences. In some cases, one LO can apply to several professions or specialties, but often, different team members participating in interprofessional education will have unique learning objectives connected to their specific role on the team. As more and more education becomes team-based, activity planners must remain diligent in engaging and designing for all team members and not just the physicians in the case of CME-accredited education. This process leads to compliance with C23, engaging interprofessional teams.

Myth #5: To be accredited, education is designed to fit one of these activity types: courses (in-person or webinar), online content, performance improvement (PI CME), or a regularly scheduled series (RSS).

FALSE: These are only a few of the permitted activity types. There are other types including journal-based CME, manuscript review, and something termed “other”. I want to focus on the “other” activity type, but if you want to learn more please visit the ACCME website. “Other” is a relatively new category added in recognition of the growing number of innovative and creative educational opportunities that providers are offering that do not fit elsewhere. This means if you have an idea for education, but it seems non-traditional or uses a combination of formats it can (and should) be accredited under the activity type “other”, assuming it meets all other criteria. This is a real opportunity to think outside the box in how education is developed and then consumed. These educational activities lead to compliance with demonstrating educational leadership, C35.

If you want to learn more about the ACCME Commendation Criteria, please review the available resources:

ACCME Commendation Criteria

Commendation Criteria Wheel

Have a question or an idea? Email us at cme@sharp.com.


Created with images by chi liu - "untitled image" • Andrew Neel - "Woman working by a window"