ABSTRACT: Integrating quality improvement into continuing medical education activities within a community hospital system
The integration of the Mercy Health System’s quality improvement (QI) and continuing medical educational (CME) activities is described. With the implementation of computerized medical data, the opportunities for QI-focused CME are growing. The authors reviewed their regularly scheduled series and special CME programs to assess their impact on quality care processes. Clinical improvements were affected by combining national guidelines and advancements with local clinical data and interactions with physicians within interdisciplinary as well as specialty conferences. Case-based, multidisciplinary conferences lent themselves to this process to a greater extent than didactic conferences. The latter also could lead to QI when the topics were focused on specific quality initiatives that often are part of a national QI initiative. Although the authors consider these efforts to be at an intermediate stage of development, they have observed several QI/patient safety process improvements.