Purpose and goals

St. Charles Health System CME department improves patient care, promotes patient safety and increases physician competency by providing quality education to its four medical staffs, and providers in surrounding Central Oregon region based upon the ABMS® and ACGME® Core Competencies for Physicians. In 2013, SCHS adopted a bold new organizational vision of improving population health: Creating America's healthiest community, together. To support this goal, the CME program meets emerging and evolving challenges by identifying the gaps between actual and best practices in evidence-based medicine. We respond to hospital/medical staff quality indicators with educational programs/information that utilize innovative and appropriate methods and technologies.

Content areas

Because of the diversity of medical practitioners in the region, we provide educational activities in multiple learning formats pertaining to a wide variety of topics. Content areas address acute in-patient needs as well as areas that focus on long-term goals for improved population health.

Target audience

Learners are primary care and specialist allopathic and osteopathic physicians; and a secondary audience is comprised of mid-level providers such as physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical pharmacists and registered nurses, all of whom can apply Category 1 CME Credit toward their individual board’s CE requirements.

Type of the activities provided

We proactively adopt new teaching methods and incorporate technology to improve effectiveness and application by learners in their medical practice. To address the barrier of physician time limitations, activities range from didactic lectures to self-directed study, and include Regularly Scheduled Series, hands on courses, regional conferences, video conferences, journal clubs, enduring materials with computer-based learning, and Internet search and learning with web-based point-of-care programs. Core competencies are addressed through problem-based learning, simulation/demonstration, and targeted case reviews.

Expected results

The CME program recognizes the challenges in establishing a direct link between education and clinical practice; therefore, the CME program contributes to the improvement of patient safety and patient outcomes by promoting best practices. We examine the effectiveness of CME activities in meeting educational needs and measure changes in competence, performance or patient outcomes as identified by gaps between actual practice and stated goals.

These improvements in patient safety and patient outcomes are measured and analyzed internally through St. Charles quality improvement mechanisms. Additionally, physician performance is compared against key performance indicators (KPIs) such as quality and patient satisfaction.