It’s also important to understand how to use our traditional tools for needs assessment using these 2006 Updated Criteria. For many, many years we’ve stopped Docs in the hallway and said: What do you want Grand Rounds to be on? We’ve given people documents at the end of an activity and said: What do you want next year to be on? We’ve sent surveys around and said: We’re building our update for 2010. What should it be and what information should it contain? Now, at the same time, ACCME has published that providers who identify professional practice gaps and needs simply by doing surveys and looking in the literature are not getting compliance. So, how do we reconcile these two things?
Well, first of all, ACCME wants to know what information you’re finding. So, when you’re thinking about doing your CME planning and presenting it to us, remember it’s not the tool that we’re looking for — it’s the information that the tool provides. And it’s the same in looking at this traditional needs assessment information. When you ask your learners: What do you want something to be in the future? — you need to be thinking about framing the question in the context of a professional practice gap.
- What questions in practice are you having that you are not getting answers to?
- What patient problems or patient challenges do you feel that you’re not able to address appropriately or to your satisfaction?
- What patient problems are your patients saying back to you needs more attention or more follow-up?
So, you’re using a traditional tool but the questions that you’re asking, the information that you’re getting, is now in the context of a professional practice gap.
Now, the provider can explore the knowledge, competence and performance themselves or the provider can explore that with the learners. So, if a physician says: I’m not able to recognize a certain diagnosis in my practice — that’s the professional practice gap. Asking them: Well, why do you think that is? And that they might say back to you: Well, I understand the anatomy and physiology and pathophysiology completely; I just don’t know what questions to ask. You’ve got your learners telling you that it’s not a knowledge problem that underlies this gap, but it’s a
strategy problem, it’s a competence problem. And you need to listen to those and feel free to respond to those learners of yours, to design an educational activity to change competence as a result of the professional practice gap and the information that you got from your learners. So, very much acceptable to use the traditional tools — it’s how you frame the question and the information that you get back and the translation of the gap into a knowledge, competence or performance problem.