CME Outfitters, an accredited CME provider, delivers best-in-class continuing medical education to nurses, doctors, and pharmacists nationwide. Its live and web-based training programs cover new developments related to hundreds of chronic illnesses, rare diseases, and complex health conditions.
As an accredited provider that issues CE credits, CME Outfitters aims to deliver continuing education that supports the advancement of patient-centered care. This makes integrating patient stories into their curriculum critically important.
CME Outfitters’ educational process doesn’t end with a lecture or video. To measure the impact of its courses, the company administers pre- and post-tests and follows up three months after the course ends. The team looks for changes in the practitioner’s knowledge, performance, and confidence. Specifically, they assess whether a practitioner’s knowledge and practice has translated into more patient-centered care and improved outcomes.
Integrating the Patient’s Voice for Impact
As with all educational providers, CME Outfitters looks for opportunities to create teachable moments — the ones that draw attention to the patient experience and demonstrate how patient care can be improved to address real life needs.
Patient stories can influence such moments, which is why CME Outfitters has worked to integrate patients’ real-life stories into their curriculum. The company finds that when patients candidly share their experiences, it opens the provider’s eyes to patients’ day-to-day challenges and needs. Having learned more about the patient experience, CME Outfitters expects training participants to adopt a more patient-centered approach to care.
To achieve this goal, CME Outfitters needed to find knowledgeable patient leaders, across a broad range of health conditions, who could tell their own stories without relying on a scripted presentation. And they needed providers to hear from patients who have personal experience with the specific condition, not generalized portrayals.
Partnering with WEGO Health to Amplify the Patient Voice
CME Outfitters discovered WEGO Health while preparing a business presentation, which included an infographic produced by WEGO Health explaining the importance of activating patients in their own care, and how to do so effectively. Recognizing WEGO Health’s shared commitment to elevating the patient voice, CME Outfitters reached out to explore a partnership.
“In working with WEGO Health, we found a true partner,” said Jan Perez, managing partner at CME Outfitters. “They work with us at every stage of the project, from planning the particular program to setting up patient advisory boards, through providing customized recordings of patient stories.”
Over the past four years, CME Outfitters and WEGO Health have collaborated on the creation of curricula for more than a dozen conditions, including ADHD, epilepsy, migraine, and multiple sclerosis. For each project, WEGO Health screened and recruited patient leaders who have deep knowledge and personal experience with specific health conditions. Some participated actively on advisory boards for CME Outfitters as they developed their course materials. And others appeared in custom audio recordings of patient leaders, professionally produced by WEGO Health.
WEGO Health addressed CME Outfitters’ needs by tapping its network of more than 100,000 patients across hundreds of conditions. WEGO Health vetted patient leaders to make sure their knowledge, experience, and skills matched CME Outfitters’ needs, and delivered a comprehensive solution tailored for specific conditions.
Improved Clinical Knowledge and Performance Results From Integration of Patient’s Voice
Significant growth in knowledge, performance, and confidence found in healthcare providers completing MS training
CME Outfitters conducted a formal, qualitative analysis of the effect of integrating the patient voice into its multiple sclerosis (MS) training program. The company found significant improvement in knowledge, performance, and confidence among healthcare providers who completed CME Outfitters’ MS training. Its findings will be presented in a poster at the 2018 Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) Annual Meeting.
The analysis looks at the percentage of training participants who responded correctly to knowledge questions both before and after the training. CME Outfitters reported that a significantly larger number of training participants gave correct responses in the post-test. Overall, it recorded up to 178% improvement in knowledge.
As a measure of performance, training participants were asked how often they incorporated “mechanism of action” (which helps identify patients who are most likely to respond to treatment and enable more accurate dosing) in their treatment decisions. In comparing responses before the course and three-months after, the percentage of training participants who said “51% of the time and above” went from 23% to 70%.
In measuring the healthcare providers’ level of confidence identifying factors important to their patients, CME Outfitters also found significant improvement. Before the training, 19% said they were “confident” or “extremely confident.” That percentage grew to 56% at the three-month follow-up.
Seizure Action Plans for adults with epilepsy provide peace of mind and reduce costs
Seizure action plans for people with epilepsy are common among children because schools require them. Even though these action plans remain useful as the person grows, it is less and less common for adults to have such a plan in place.
One practitioner who participated in an epilepsy training was resistant to preparing seizure action plans for his adult patients. He believed it would take away valuable time from the rest of the consultation. But after hearing an epilepsy patient leader talk about the fact that not having a plan in place caused anxiety, the practitioner was persuaded to change his approach. He added a standard form to his clinical practice and now works with his patients to develop individual seizure action plans, regardless of their age.
Within two weeks of completing the training, this practitioner called CME Outfitters to report that one of his patients had a seizure at work. With that patient’s newly-written seizure action plan in place, his coworkers knew how to respond. Not only did their quick and informed action save the patient, it kept him out of the ER, avoiding a significant healthcare expense.
With a shared commitment to integrate the patient voice into continuing medical education, the partnership between CME Outfitters and WEGO Health is poised to expand. Looking ahead, the two companies plan to produce more training programs that draw upon the knowledge, experience, and needs of patients across a broader range of conditions.