Advancing the Value of CPD:  Aligning CPD with Systems of Healthcare for Greater Systems of Impact

SACME Annual Meeting 2023

Speakers: Suzan Celine Monette, Todd Dorman MD, and Janine Shapiro MD

Reported by:  Sophie Soklaridis, PhD

In this interesting session, the speakers outlined how CPD is the cornerstone for value creation in the healthcare system. However, admittedly, showing the value of CPD is not without its challenges. A case must be made for why we should invest in CME/CPD. Thus the question becomes, can the value of CPD be measured and quantified in a way that makes a convincing case for investing in CPD?

The speakers described how our context is shifting quickly towards the knowledge age. We have entered an era where artificial intelligence (AI) can process information for humans and turn it into knowledge. And in some cases, AI can even help make clinical decisions. In the knowledge era, we need knowledge resources to remain competitive. To remain competitive, we need to think about how we increase our intellectual capital. The three main components of intellectual capital are human, relational and organizational. Human capital refers to the skills/competences within an organization’s workforce. Relational capital refers to partners, stakeholders, patients and their families. Organizational/structural capital refers to the information systems, databases, policies, intellectual property and the culture that exists within an organization.

The speakers asked us to consider the following: In the knowledge age, what is the possible role for CPD?  CPD can play an important role for increasing human capital; it invests in knowledge and training, with the ultimate goal of improving the care delivered to patients.  A CPD office could be a key player by understanding the roles of other players (government and agencies, public health institutes, licensing authorities, academic and research schools, CPD professional societies, clients and patient organizations). CPD provides a mechanism to think about cohesiveness of key stakeholders in healthcare. Through nurturing relationships, implementing interventions and measuring key outcomes CPD initiatives can support system change. As key players, they create connections, strategic planning, build processes, and measure return on value.

So, what do we mean by value?  We explored the concept of value through two case studies. One case examined the notion of accountability. Those of us in CPD often feel like we need to justify our work. We have a responsibility to society  and this responsibility goes beyond financial reporting. We often justify our value through quantification (i.e. budget, financial report), however, there is also value in the process. This is where we need to align with the needs of our learners, patients, healthcare systems and society.  For this kind of value, we need creativity and connection. To implement a connect strategy, each of us must define who we are, create or integrate into a value chain or PDSA, manage the asset portfolio, measure and report. Let’s take a look at each case study in more detail.

Case Study 1: How do I make the case for CME and CPD?

Our speakers suggested reviewing and making the case for value every five years. CME/CPD is an asset (i.e., tactical lever) to accomplish a mission, and is a force to apply toward quality improvements. We need to demonstrate there is a value for faculty (i.e. learning, promotions) and improvement in clinical outcomes as a result of engaging in CPD/CME.

Case Study 2: How do we take care of faculty?

Our CPD mission is implementing educational activities that build and sustain faculty vitality and advance the professional development of our faculty and academic missions of teaching research clinical care and community health. It is of utmost importance that CPD offices are a source of support for addressing professional development needs along the lifespan of an individual’s career. Some initiatives could include leadership development, wellness, and research mentorship and these initiatives can be offered in a variety of ways. The pandemic has forced an evolution of CPD from in-person to diverse modalities (i.e., in-person, hybrid, hyflex, online).

Capturing the value of these initiatives through metrics will be essential for CPD office’s continued growth. Some examples include:

  • Participation rates
  • Participants’ level of satisfaction
  • Learners’ level of engagement
  • Changes in competence
  • Changes in performance
  • Learner/patient outcomes

The answer to “why CPD” is simple. Faculty and clinicians are critical assets to our healthcare institutions. If we don’t have the faculty, how are we supposed to train our next generation? CPD can be an important component to an individual’s career development. When faculty engage in CPD initiatives, they remain engaged, which in turn can enhance professional satisfaction and help faculty achieve their potential. CPD can also increase academic productivity.  And all these value outcomes help to facilitate recruitment, advancement and retention of our next leaders in CPD.

Sophie Soklaridis, PhD is a Senior Scientist, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and Associate Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Community and Family Medicine, University of Toronto.


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