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Collaboration Is the Key to Success in CME: Takeaways From MAACME 2019

Applying tools shared at MAACME 2019.

i3 Health staff attended the 9th annual conference of the Mid-Atlantic Alliance for Continuing Medical Education (MAACME) last week in Harrisburg, PA. This year's conference featured interactive sessions facilitated by experienced CME thought leaders. Topics included updates from the ACCME, grant funding, best practices for needs assessments, evolving technology in education, and much more!

This small-scale conference leaves a big impact for those in attendance. MAACME is a great place for us to reconnect with our CME colleagues and form new connections with people in our industry. These relationships help support us through the year as we navigate challenges and explore avenues for partnership. We particularly enjoyed this year's conference because of the high level of audience engagement during each of the sessions. The various speakers did a great job incorporating small group discussions, gamification of key learning concepts, and case-based learning. Through these interactive sessions, we were able to dive deep into the content with our colleagues and learn from our collective experiences.

Here are 4 key takeaways from this year's conference:

  1. Steve Singer, PhD, Vice President of Education and Outreach at ACCME, shared his insights into the importance of CME: CME professionals significantly contribute to creating learning health systems, in which internal data and experience are systematically integrated with external evidence, which is then put into practice. As a result, patients get higher quality, safer, more efficient care, and health care delivery organizations become better places to work
  2. During the CME 101 session, we discussed the importance of understanding our learners. When developing educational activities, it's important to evaluate what motivates your learners. A helpful suggestion: use positive peer data to emphasize the value of the education. The data should communicate to the learner, "Everyone else knows this, do you?"
  3. We enjoyed taking part in a lively debate on gaps versus needs and best practices for needs assessment. During this break out session, Ruwaida Vakil, MSc, emphasized that a true professional practice gap identifies how the gap affects patients. A patient-centric educational gap will also help connect the dots between the gap, needs, and activity outcomes
  4. Patient centricity was also a key discussion point in the Grants 101 session, facilitated by Celgene and AstraZeneca. Commercial supporters emphasized the need for education providers to demonstrate understanding of the patient journey and all of the specialties and processes involved. Aligning educational gaps, instructional methods, and outcomes measures while maintaining patient centricity allows supporters to demonstrate the activity value to their key stakeholders

An overarching theme of these sessions, and the most important takeaway, is that our success as an industry is dependent on collaboration among CME providers. Such collaboration is unique in CME because by helping each other succeed in providing high-quality education to health care professionals, the result is better health care for all. A special thanks to the MAACME organizers for their efforts in making this year's conference a success!


Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (2019). About Learning Health Systems. Available at: https://www.ahrq.gov

Berry FC, Howell LB & Zarzycki R (2019). CME 101: The Nitty-Gritty of Accredited Continuing Medical Education and Adult Education. Presented at: MAACME 2019 Annual Conference.

Mason P & Biles K (2019). Grant Funding 101. Presented at: MAACME 2019 Annual Conference.

Singer S (2019). Updates From the ACCME. Presented at: MAACME 2019 Annual Conference.

Vakil R (2019). What Is a Gap? Presented at: MAACME 2019 Annual Conference.

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