Developing CME for MOC: A Provider Perspective

Published Date

Roxanne Bollinger, CME Manager at Lancaster General Hospital in PA, talks about her organization’s path to planning CME for MOC. The interview is conducted by Steve Singer, PhD, Vice President for Education and Outreach, ACCME.


>>SINGER: Hi, I'm Steve Singer. I'm the Vice President for Education and Outreach at the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education. Today, we're going to talk to Roxanne Bolinger, who's the CME Manager at Lancaster General Health. We're going to talk about CME for MOC. Hi Roxanne.

>>BOLINGER: Good morning, how are you?

>>SINGER: Thanks for joining us.

>>BOLINGER: Thank you.

>>SINGER: We're going to talk today about the new collaboration, relatively new collaboration, between the ACCME system and a number of certifying boards. So we began with the American Board of Internal Medicine. We have now started working with the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Anesthesiology. And the general purpose behind our collaboration with these boards has been to help simplify and harmonize the expectations for participating in Maintenance of Certification or MOC for board-certified physicians. And a key part of that is helping you, as a CME provider, to bring the accredited CME that you've already been doing, that your physicians have already been participating in, and with hopefully an easy process, turn that into MOC that they can use for those professional requirements. So, I'd like to start by talking about how you approached this opportunity, and sort of what you found. So, let's start at the beginning.

>>BOLINGER: Okay. I was first made aware of it maybe a year or so ago, and really knew nothing about this whole process, I have to tell you. I didn't know anything about Maintenance of Certification, so I just listened to all the video conferences and tried to really make myself an MOC expert, and I say that very loosely because I really didn't know much, but I learned as much as I could, and when I heard Dr. McMahon really talk about the benefits, I thought, this is something I should really investigate. It's something that we can improve our own program and provide something to our physicians, and as you said, without burdening our physicians with extra work. We're already doing the work, so let's figure out a way to make it accredited for MOC. So I learned about it, and then I went to our physician leadership and said, "Here's what they're offering. Here's what we can do. Do you want to do it?" And they said, "Yes, absolutely. Love the idea." Then we had to take a step back and understand, what about our own resources? I have a very small shop, it's myself and point five person, so I had to understand, really, what does this entail? And we looked at it and we said, "Well, I think we can do this, I really do." So that's where we were.

>>SINGER: Okay. So what was... You mentioned that you talked to your physician leadership. What was the opportunity that they saw? Like what specifically did they see that would be of benefit?

>>BOLINGER: They saw the idea that we were providing a service to them, and that they could get the points that they would have to get otherwise, so they liked that idea that by going to a CME educational event that they could get their MOC, sort of two birds with one stone kind of situation.

>>SINGER: The Boards, using the American Board of Internal Medicine as an example, came to the process with some requirements about what they wanted to see as a measure of quality in the education that was being provided, and we found that those requirements and our requirements are pretty much the same. Did you find like... As you took on this process to sort of understand how the collaboration would work, and then we can talk about the fact that there's some information that you have to enter into the Program Activity Reporting System or PARS, how did that process of sort of onboarding go?

>>BOLINGER: Yeah, we didn't see that there was any extra really onerous things that we had to do, other than we were already doing in planning a CME event. We did have to collect the ABIM number of the physicians and their birth date. That was a little extra ask that we had to make for the physicians.

>>SINGER: Okay. And the purpose behind that was so then you could, through the program, through PARS, be able to add the participation data because that is sort of communicating behind the scenes to ABIM in order to deliver the MOC points to those physicians.

>>BOLINGER: Right, right.

>>SINGER: Okay. So anything else? What about evaluation strategies or...

>>BOLINGER: Right, well, we already did an evaluation, but then we added a post-test to our live event, which was actually really a great add-on, which we could have done a post-test anyway for our CME event, but somehow say, "Well, this is a requirement now." But the post-test added this whole interactive feature that... We're doing a per Department of Medicine grand round, so the last, say, 10 minutes of our one-hour grand rounds, we say, "Okay, everybody, now we're going to have this conversation, do like a post-test." And we do it very collaboratively, so even folks that do not need ABIM credits, so say we have some nurse practitioners, they stick around. They say, "Hey, this is a great way to have a conversation." So the course director's up there, and then the presenter, and there's a conversation going on with the audience.

>>SINGER: So tell me more of this interesting event. So you said that there's a post-test and does the presenter ask questions, or how is it structured?

>>BOLINGER: Yeah, it's a tag team between the course director and the presenter, where they'll... We put the questions up on a PowerPoint so it's easy for everyone to see, and we talk about it, and we talk it through. Through the group, we collaboratively come up with the correct answer that they learned throughout the session.

>>SINGER: Okay, and then you're able to sort of know that the group is participating in that evaluation and that you find some impact of the education through watching.

>>BOLINGER: Yeah, we just, from a standpoint of the accreditation, we provide them with a little post-test sheet and they answer the questions and then they sign it and we have a variety of ways to ensure that we meet the rules. But really the benefit I see is sort of the interactive feature of the whole thing. It really has elevated our grand rounds and we are really happy with it.

>>SINGER: It's great to hear that these approaches are helping to improve the program and bring more participation to the program. You have plans to implement in other activities?

>>BOLINGER: Right. Well, the word got out throughout our institution and other course directors and other attendees said, "Hey, I see you are doing that for the Department of Medicine, what about this event? What about our journal clubs for cardiology? Can't we do that because it's a journal club anyway and there is a lot of discussion going on," and so we have implemented it. We have taken it slowly. We don't want to sort of open the door up but we're looking at what events really make sense and then we are also doing it for some one-off events where we feel that it really would elevate those events.

>>SINGER: Just to wrap up, what about administrative things? Because I know that there's, you mentioned tracking people's diplomate numbers. Are there other administrative things that providers should be aware of as they undertake this?

>>BOLINGER: Well, there is of course the PARS upload which we have done, we haven't found to be onerous really at all. I mean we don't have a huge shop so we do it individually. We upload for each event and it really hasn't been a difficulty. Once in a while, we'll get an error, okay we don't have the right birth date or something like that, but it can be resolved very easily. And we've gotten communication from ACCME saying, "Oh well, you need to have this bit of information," so we've just rectified it so that's worked out very easily and so far, so good. We're pretty happy with it.

>>SINGER: That's great. So any final advice to other CME providers who might be sort of shy to take this on or...

>>BOLINGER: I mean I would say really look into it because again I keep coming back to this but it's this interactive feature that you can do for a CME event that doesn't have MOC but somehow sanctioning and saying, "Well, you need to do this, you need to have this evaluation piece," or what we call it a post-test at the end has really made the event itself so much more interesting and I think much more educational for the attendees.

>>SINGER: Great. Great. Thanks for joining us.

>>BOLINGER: Thank you very much.