The Power of Partnerships: Collaborating to Address Local Needs in National CME Programming
Track: Lightning Round
Continuing medication education (CME) aims to help healthcare practitioners (HCPs), patients, and caregivers accelerate the conversion of evidence into practice, with the ultimate goal of improving patient outcomes and quality of life. To successfully extend our education to the patient and caregiver, Med Learning Group (MLG) sees great value in developing CME in true collaboration with medical societies, patient advocacy groups, local faculty, and innovative technology companies that help develop educational activities that not only pass on the latest evidence-based treatment modalities but also address quality of life and the most pressing day-to-day needs of patients and caregivers. Moreover, such partnerships can help CME providers identify and address local challenges and barriers to care from the HCP, patient and caregiver perspectives. Furthermore, working in such collaborative settings helps align CME with the National Quality Strategy, which calls for more “public and private collaborations within the health care community with the goal of reducing preventable harm.”
For this proposed session, MLG would use its DETECT Initiative, a large-scale, multi-faceted educational series in Alzheimer’s disease with more than 8,800 participants thus far, to demonstrate how CME providers and supporters can rely on partnerships to help address patient/caregiver needs and local challenges in their CME programs. Further, by working with other stakeholders in the healthcare industry, CME can create a space for collaboration among HCPs, patients, caregivers, and patient support groups, which is of utmost importance in terms of our national coordination of care priorities and benchmarks.
In particular, MLG would discuss how, with an enthusiastic partnership in the national Alzheimer’s Association, the Alzheimer’s Association’s local chapters participate in each DETECT meeting, where a local representative provides a keynote address that describes local resources for patients and caregivers. The Association also sets up an informational booth at each meeting to share their content, resources, and general information with the treating community. As Jennifer Schlesinger of the Alzheimer’s Association, who presented at a recent educational program in Los Angeles, CA, stated, “The caregiver perspective is extremely important, but unfortunately, far too often overlooked. We are happy to help support any and all MLG efforts to incorporate the caregiver perspective in physician education.”
Moreover, MLG would discuss how to partner with local faculty to identify and address locally-based barriers and challenges within the educational content. The DETECT Initiative includes 51 3D Geo-Map Summits led by two national experts as well as a local physician involved in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. This combination allows MLG to bring in national thought leaders for the core content as well as local experts and caregivers to provide the local/regional perspective in caring for this population. To further ingratiate the importance of the education, the Summits are followed by online Roving Reporter activities that include the local perspective as well as Grand Rounds sessions at local hospitals. In this Industry Summit session, MLG would use DETECT as a case study to demonstrate to participants how to find local faculty, incorporate them into the national programming, and structure the initiative in a way that addresses both national and regional educational needs.
In addition, MLG would review how its partnerships with a variety of media companies have led to the development of innovative learning tools for both the HCPs participating in DETECT and their patients and their patients’ caregivers. For example, MLG worked with Comcast Productions to develop 3D animations of the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease and anti-amyloid strategies that are interspersed throughout the educational content. These animations ensure for interactive sessions by engaging the learners as images literally leap off the screen toward them. Our research and outcomes thus far also demonstrate that these 3D animations also enhance comprehension and facilitate recall. Moreover, these animations are available on the DETECT Mobile App/Website that we created to kick off this initiative. Through the app, HCPs can show patients and caregivers the 3D videos to help them better understand the disease and engage them in informed treatment decision making. This App also includes HCP Clinical Care Tool Kits - both patient and provider focused - that offer information on the diagnosis, symptoms, comorbidities, disease management, and treatment options regarding Alzheimer’s disease. Together, these tools demonstrate how working with technological savvy companies can help CME providers deliver educational tools that lead to more patient/caregiver-centric care.
Overall, given the success and uniqueness of this initiative, MLG seeks to engage participants in in an interactive session where they will learn how to leverage a variety of partnerships to contribute to meeting a variety of CME goals, including developing education that addresses the needs of HCPs as well as the patient and their support teams; focusing on evidence-based care as well as overall quality of life; taking into consideration local barriers and challenges and offering strategies to address them; and employing innovative technology to enhance participant engagement comprehension and recall. In so doing, CME can become a forum for collaboration among stakeholders involved in the management of a particular disease state.