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Plan a CME Activity

As an accredited CME sponsor, the Bridgeport Hospital Office of Medical Education is responsible for assuring physicians that CME activities meet standards of education that will help physicians develop skills and increase competence needed to improve the quality of medical care offered to patients in their communities. The Office of Medical Education works closely with activity directors to plan, implement and evaluate CME activities.

1. The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education

The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) accredits organizations that offer continuing medical education, creating a framework that supports, inspires, and motivates educators to achieve their full potential. The ACCME sets standards for education that accelerate learning, change, and growth in healthcare.  These standards reflect the values of the medical community and respond to the evolving healthcare environment.  As a result, clinicians and teams can drive improvement in their practice and optimize the care, health, and wellness of their patients.      

Bridgeport hospital is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCM) to provide continuing medical education to physicians.

2. Developing a CME Program

  • All CME activities must:
    • Be designed to change one or more of the following:
      • Competence
      • Performance
      • Patient Outcomes
    • Address professional practice gaps of physicians
    • Use needs assessment data in the planning process
    • Include content that:
      • Matches learners’ scope of practice
      • Is developed in the context of desirable physician attributes
      • Is delivered in appropriate educational formats, objectives and desired results of the activity
    • Be in compliance with the ACCME’s policies for disclosure and commercial support
    • Evaluate the effectiveness of the activity in meeting the stated objectives

4. Speaker and Planner Disclosure

Since healthcare professionals serve as trusted authorities when advising patients, they must protect their learning environment from industry influence to ensure they remain true to their ethical commitments.  Many healthcare professionals have financial relationships with ineligible companies.  By identifying and mitigating financial interests, we work together to create a protected space to teach, learn, and engage in scientific discourse free from influence from organizations that may have an incentive to insert commercial bias into education.

In order to participate as a person who will be in control of the educational content of an accredited activity, planners and speakers must disclose all relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies over the past 24 months.  Ineligible companies, as defined by the ACCME, are those whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products use on or by patients. There is no minimum threshold; planners and speakers must disclose all financial relationships, regardless of relationships as relevant to the education.  All disclosures are reviewed to determine whether a financial interest is relevant to the education being provided.

By identifying and mitigating relevant financial relationships, we work together to create a protected space to learn, teach, and engage in scientific discourse free from influence from organizations that might have an incentive to insert commercial bias into education..

5. Clinical Content Validation

As an accredited provider, Bridgeport Hospital is accountable to the public for presenting clinical content that supports safe, effective patient care.  Accredited providers and activity organizers are responsible for validating the clinical content of CME activities they provide.  The expectations found below are drawn from Standard 1 of the ACCME Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education. 

  1. All recommendations for patient care in accredited continuing education must be based on current science, evidence, and clinical reasoning, while giving a fair and balanced view of diagnostic and therapeutic options.
  2. All scientific research referred to, reported, or used in accredited education in support or justification of patient care recommendations must conform to generally accepted standards of experimental design, data collection, analysis, and interpretation.
  3. Although accredited continuing education is an appropriate place to discuss, debate, and explore new and evolving topics, these need to be clearly identified as such within the program and individual presentations. It is the responsibility of accredited providers to facilitate engagement with these topics without advocation for, or promoting, practices that are not, or not yet, adequately based on current science, evidence, and clinical reasoning.
  4. Content cannot be included in accredited education if it advocates for unscientific approaches to diagnosis or therapy, or if the education promotes recommendations, treatment, or manners of healthcare that are determined to have risks or dangers that outweigh the benefits or are known to be ineffective in the treatment of patients.

6. Commercial Support and Exhibitors

  1. Bridgeport hospital develops CME activities independent of commercial interests. A commercial interest is any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients. Commercial interests cannot take the role of a joint or non-accredited sponsor and are not allowed to be involved in any of the following activities:
    1. Identification of practice gaps and needs that become the foundation of an activity
    2. Preparation or input into learning objectives
    3. Selection of presentation content
    4. Recommendation of persons to serve as faculty for an activity or any other persons that will be in a position to control the content of an activity
    5. Influence over selection of educational design of an activity
    6. Selection of vendor
    7. Selection of methods for the evaluation of an activity
    8. Request for “technical review” of content of an activity

  2. Exhibitors are permitted at Bridgeport Hospital accredited activities; however strict policies must be adhered to in order to maintain compliance with ACCME regulations.
    1. Exhibitors must abide by the ACCME Standards of Commercial Support and the YNHHS Interactions with Vendors Policy found in Elucid. 
    2. Exhibitors may not share the same space as the accredited activity.
    3. All promotion or discussion of products or services must be done in the designated exhibit space.
    4. A company may not pay directly for any part of a course (food, audiovisual expense, room rental, etc). If a commercial supporter would like to give funds to support an event, they must do so in the form of an unrestricted educational grant and retain no control over the content of the program.

  3. Vendor Interaction
    1. Vendors may seek to cultivate relationships with healthcare providers by offering gifts, entertainment and other items and/or services of value, sometimes in an attempt to induce business. For these purposes, a gift is defined as a tangible or intangible item of value without compensation, included by not limited to discounts, free or below-market value good or services, perishable and consumable good, free promotional items and invitation/tickets to events or other benefits.
    2. Vendors may not provide or fund, and workforce may not accept, meals or other types of food or drink.
    3. Invitation to host industry sponsored social events may not be accepted by any group planning a Bridgeport Hospital accredited activity. 

Learn more about The Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education

7. Zoom Conferences

  1. Use EEDS to create the activity file.
    1. All components of a live program apply to those offered through Zoom
  2. Marketing your program.
    1. In accordance with ACCME requirements, the following must be communicated to attendees before the event
      1. Title of presentation
      2. Name of speaker
      3. Objectives
      4. Speaker and planner disclosures
      5. Accreditation and Designation Statement
  3. The EEDS code may not be distributed via mass email prior to the program.  The code may only be shared with the audience via a slide created by the speaker or the sponsoring department displayed at the beginning of the conference.

According to the ACCME, as with any live activity, planners of Zoom Conferences must demonstrate compliance with all applicable ACCME accreditation requirements, including faculty disclosure and acknowledgement of any commercial support (SCS 6).

8. Enduring Materials

When a conference is recorded to be played later, it becomes an enduring material. According to the ACCME, an enduring material is a printed, recorded, or computer-presented activity that endures over a specified time and does not have a specific time or location designated for participation; rather, the participant determines whether and when to complete the activity. If educational material from a live activity is turned into an enduring material, the enduring material is considered a separate activity requiring a new application.

Departments that produce enduring materials must review each enduring material at least once every three years or more frequently if indicated by new scientific developments. While providers can review and re-release an enduring material every three years (or more frequently), the enduring material cannot be offered as an accredited activity for more than three years without some review on the part of the provider to ensure that the content is still up-to-date and accurate. That review date must be included on the enduring material, along with the original release date and a termination date.