Improving Community Health at the Confluence of QI and CME

Write Medicine

Improving Community Health at the Confluence of QI and CME

December 12, 2022

Improving Community Health at the Confluence of QI and CME

Community health improvement and improving healthcare quality are both Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME)  Accreditation with Commendation  criteria.

In this episode of Write Medicine, Heather Clemons, MS, MBA, ATC, CHCP shared how she and her colleagues at Sharp Grossmont Hospital, Mesa, California, mobilized quality improvement (QI), a community needs assessment, and continuing medical education (CME) to improve community health and clinical care.

As Heather describes, there are many facets to QI, including clinical analytics at the system level, performance improvement CME, and patient safety, which involves specialists to determine root cause analysis—which we’ll be exploring in Season 5 of the podcast.

We discuss how diversity, equality, and equity emerged as goals for Sharp Healthcare via a combination of an employee grassroots movement, California legislation, and a health system culture underpinned by an awareness of the social determinants of health and unconscious bias or stigma.

The confluence of these factors allowed Heather and her colleagues to build a unique CME and QI process, that included:

  • Regular discussions in different formats to create a safe learning space
  • A tri-annual community needs assessment
  • An established process to validate gap analyses
  • Proactively addressing community and clinician education needs through CME

As Heather says, improving community health and clinical care involves,

meeting people where they’re at, seeing them for who they are, meeting their needs the way they need them met. And that’s different for everybody.


ERAS: Enhanced recovery after surgery protocols
ABIM: American Board of Internal Medicine
PI-CME: Performance improvement continuing medical education

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