Please note: This Video Interview makes reference to “Joint Sponsorship;” this term had been changed to “Joint Providership” effective February 2014. For more information please see our web page on Simplification and Evolution at www.accme.org/requirements/accreditation-requirements-cme-providers/simp....
>>SINGER: Hello, I’m Steve Singer I’m the Director of Education and Outreach at the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education.
>>MURRAY: Hello, I’m Ron Murray, Associate Director of continuing medical education at the University of Virginia School of Medicine.
>>SINGER: Ron, welcome. Thanks for being here.
>>MURRAY: Thank you.
>>SINGER: Tell me a little bit about the organization that you work at and your role.
>>MURRAY: I work at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, in Charlottesville, Virginia and I am the associate director there and I have been there since 1995, and I also run our affiliates and outreach program, which basically works with communities hospitals mostly, but a number of other organizations. And we provide the framework for them to do their own type of CME for their own constituents.
>>SINGER: So, how is CME structured at University of Virginia?
>>MURRAY: Well, we have an in house system for regularly scheduled series. We have faculty members, who are in our office, who plan programs, activities, such as live conferences, enduring materials, print materials, monographs, and so on. And we have our support system in terms of our registration team, financial team, and basically our folks are dedicated to certain parts, but not exclusively, work in teams.
>>SINGER: So, tell me about the mix of programs that you do?
>>MURRAY: OK. The mix is a number of directly sponsored activities, such as something like 70 conferences every year. Our regularly scheduled series in house and lots of joint sponsorships with our affiliates and also with other entities, some of them being just one or two day conferences, some of them being add-ons to big conferences such as symposia. We also have live TV, not live TV, TV that’s produced live, then recorded.
>>SINGER: Like this.
>>MURRAY: Like this. We have print and CD ROMs and other Web based activities.
>>SINGER: So, sort of a real broad spectrum of approaches?
>>MURRAY: A mix.
>>SINGER: OK. So, you mentioned jointly sponsored activities and for people who may not be aware, there is an opportunity within the ACCME’s Criteria within our policies for an accredited CME provider to work with an organization which is not an accredited provider in order to help support the creation or implementation of CME activities. So, this is something that you’ve been doing for a while at the University of Virginia?
>>MURRAY: As long as I’ve been there and before I was there, too and I’ve been there for fifteen years.
>>SINGER: OK. So, let’s explore it together the insights and intricacies with joint sponsors. Because I would imagine that there are some things we need to know.
>>MURRAY: OK. Well, I think one of the main things I would say is that we haven’t really changed over the years is integral involvement; being involved from the very beginning of the planning of any activity with our joint sponsors. We are absolutely not a rubber stamper.
>>MURRAY: And there are situations where we get approaches from potential joint sponsors, who really just want us to rubber stamp but they’ve already got in place.
>>SINGER: OK. So, for joint sponsorship if we sort of back up a step, I guess one question for any collaboration is that there’s usually a shared goal. So, the joint sponsors that come to you, you know, with sort of the exclusion of the rubber stampers, ok, but the joint sponsors who are coming to you to try to collaborate with you or conversely those that you’re approaching to be joint sponsors can you give me some examples of the kind of you know, what’s the goal of, of collaborating, why have a joint sponsor?
>>MURRAY: Well, I think the main thing is we will want anything that we do through joint sponsorship to be in accordance with our mission, with the mission of the University of Virginia School of Medicine. And part of that is outreach, we are a rural state and part of our mandate really is to do outreach. So, much of what we do involves community hospitals, other entities within the state, but also outside. And then any other entities whatever they want to do we have to be sure it still fulfills our mission. So, that would be the number one criteria I’d say.
>>SINGER: OK. So, as an extension of trying to help the, the, your organization to meet not just an educational goal but sort of a broader strategic goal for healthcare.
>>MURRAY: Well and
>>MURRAY: and for the University as a whole not just the School of Medicine,
>>MURRAY: but the whole University has that role.
>>SINGER: OK. So, can we explore maybe one or two recent examples of joint sponsorship that you’ve engaged within sort of how, how, you know, take us through the process of how it began and what have been the fruits of those collaborations?
>>MURRAY: Sure. I think, an example I’d like to give you would be one where we worked with our community service board, which is part of the Department of Mental Health, in the state of Virginia, to develop an activity for helping physicians and other healthcare providers to help their patients to stop smoking. And this came up about from a partnership we already had with a big consortium where money was available to issue small local grants for performance improvement projects among other things. And so we talked to these folks and found out among the community-based mental health providers there was an issue in that within the in state institutions smoking was banned. A no tobacco policy. But, of course, those patients are still in the community, still had a problem and a problem that was greater than the rest of the population. So, we worked with them and provided them with a grant to actually develop an activity, which consisted of a couple of lectures on the background. And of the, the particular situation which was smoking.
>>SINGER: This was a education for mental health practitioners?
>>MURRAY: That’s correct.
>>SINGER: OK. So, we’re talking about the, the smoking, the prevalence of smoking in their patients
>>MURRAY: in their patients, correct
>>SINGER: OK. And trying to, I just want to make sure I understand,
>>SINGER: we’re trying to address sort of as inpatients sort of within facilities we can sort of address that problem directly, but in the communities it’s more difficult, so OK. As you were saying.
>>MURRAY: Right. So, we, we basically developed with them the ability to do a series of chart reviews of the patients under their care. And the level of smoking and the issues of smoking cessation. And we brought in an expert who could talk about the biochemistry of the nicotine receptors and the
>>SINGER: their addiction
>>MURRAY: yeah, of addiction and the particular issues with that patient population. And we brought in another expert to talk about motivational interviewing to help the folks to actually work with their patients to see if we could get them on the right track towards smoking cessation. And then down the line, we allowed them to do that for two or three months, and then we did another chart review and had some quite good success in terms of their ability
>>SINGER: an actual changing practice?
>>MURRAY: Change in practice, changing the level of smoking among the patients, and having them working with quit lines that some weren’t even aware of before. So, that was a fairly successful collaboration of joint sponsorship.
>>SINGER: So, as a collaboration there’s a, a true give and take of your strengths of what you could bring and their strengths; they clearly were providing you with access to a community both practitioners and probably patients that maybe were not directly part of, who you might contact and in the same sense it seemed like they gave you some gap data. In terms of both patient charts, but also of the prevalence also of the awareness of this problem
>>SINGER: and, and tell me about, it seems from your description that you’re proving them content and some educational expertise.
>>MURRAY: We did provide them access to resources and from a previous collaboration where we had a Web site with a multitude of resources. But, in fact, what we were doing was providing them with the framework through our accreditation to be able to put on local CME that was appropriate for their specific needs. We were not dictating exactly how they should do it as long as it fulfilled our mission and our criteria that we had as an accredited provider.
>>SINGER: So, you, yeah, so you had a good tool
>>MURRAY: we had an excellent tool.
>>SINGER: and something you could provide to them for their benefit.
>>SINGER: OK. So, very exciting. What about at a national level, because I know University of Virginia does programs at a national level as well. Any joint sponsorship collaborations you’d like to talk about?
>>MURRAY: Well, in fact, yes, we have, we have a joint sponsorship activity that we’ve just started now last month that involves, again, performance improvement, which we are working with an educational partner actually in another country, who’s helping us to put together a program for physicians who are involved with patients with acute coronary syndrome. And again it’s, it’s part of the PI CME format that the AMA has put out where we ask them, we identify them, recruit them, ask them to do a certain number of chart audits, provide them with a series of resources to help in fulfilling their requirement to close any gaps that are identified from the chart reviews and then do a post activity chart review. And, we also ask them on a voluntary basis to get involved in what we are going to call: Educate the Learner and Share the Learning. So, they go back to their own communities and actually put on some CME activities to their colleagues. And, hopefully, encourage them to get involved in further PI projects.
>>SINGER: Oh really, teach the teacher,
>>MURRAY: teach the teacher. Well, we’d rather say teach the learner.
>>SINGER: Teach the learner, yeah. OK. From your fifteen years of experience at University of Virginia, you know, you’ve probably seen some evolution in the way in which you’ve been working with joint sponsors and any, any nuggets to give to other providers out there as they look to evaluate the benefit that working with joint sponsors could provide for them?
>>MURRAY: I think the first thing I would say is if you’re going to work with a joint sponsor the first thing you need to do is actually meet with them. And I mean meet with them, face-to-face. And sit down.
>>SINGER: Understand who you’re working with.
>>MURRAY: understand who you’re working with. Know what your target is that you’re trying to achieve. And understand what their responsibilities and roles of each party is going to be and if possible get it in writing. I think the changes I’ve seen have been more to do with a better understand of many of the joint sponsors particularly of folks like community hospitals, who have got their own internal processes going on that they can integrate into a CME activity that they previously never even thought about, such as the integration of or implementation rather of an electronic health record and the training of the providers in that, can be a fantastic CME activity. So, talking to them face-to-face, constant communication, making sure that you’re not just leaving them on their own, but working with them.
>>SINGER: Great. Thanks, so much Ron.
>>MURRAY: OK. You’re welcome. Thank you.
This is a transcript of Insights for Managing Joint Sponsorship Relationships.
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