The UC Davis Office of Continuing Medical Education (CME) has received prestigious recognition for courses it offers to thousands of health-care professionals each year. Last month, it earned top marks with a flawless six-year reaccreditation for its exceptional training and education programs.
The CME office was awarded “Accreditation with Commendation” from the national Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). The designation is a key indicator of the program’s value, organization and excellence, and represents the highest possible level of achievement.
CME recertification is an extremely rigorous process, requiring in-depth surveyor examination of documentation, interviews and observations. The CME office had to demonstrate adherence to 19 different criteria, 30 standards, including metrics showing how CME courses are integrated into the process for improving professional practice, as well as how the program fosters educational strategies to remove, overcome or address barriers to physician change. ACCME commended the program as a “change agent for the physicians and patients you serve.”
“Obtaining quality continuing medical education during a time when advancements in health care are occurring rapidly is extremely important,” said Thomas S. Nesbitt, associate vice chancellor for Strategic Technologies and Alliances. “Recognizing the value CME brings to our own medical community and our affiliates made this reaccreditation critical. For the past few years, we’ve really focused on continuous program improvement so that CME participants see benefits in their own clinical knowledge and capabilities and also are better positioned to help improve the care teams and processes around them.”
Nesbitt, who has overseen the program since early 2003, also noted that the CME office has made some significant programmatic changes and improvements, which contributed to its most recent achievement.
Accredited CME programs like UC Davis’ are designed to offer educational activities that address the real-world practice needs of clinicians, whether in clinical care, research, health-care administration or other areas of medicine. Courses are designed to improve competence and performance by teaching strategies for translating new knowledge into action or refreshing existing expertise to strengthen better outcomes in patient care.
“One of our future goals is to make technology-enabled learning and medical education more accessible to more people,” said Aaron E. Bair, associate dean of Continuing Medical Education. “UC Davis’ CME program can be viewed not only as a strategic asset for quality improvement and patient safety imperatives at our health system, but also for health providers throughout Northern California and the clinicians who attend our courses. It’s one of the ways UC Davis is improving health for all.”
Among the criteria for reaccreditation was an assessment of UC Davis’ effectiveness in meeting national CME standards and goals. Over the past six years, the university’s CME program has offered more than 1,290 CME activities and over 12,000 hours of instruction. The variety of courses and ease of participation attracts thousands of learners every year.
“Those numbers illustrate the strength and value of our work,” Bair said. “Health-care professionals look to UC Davis’ CME program for its range of educational opportunities and skills-training excellence. And we’re looking forward to building on that success by providing additional approaches to continuing medical education.”