Betsy White Williams (Rush University Medical Center); William Swiggart (Vanderbilt University Medical Center); Michael Williams (Wales Behavioral Assessment)
Drs. Betsy and Michael Williams have an ownership interest in the Professional Renewal Center a mental health clinic.
As CME increasingly focuses on objective measures of efficacy and medical professionals are held accountable for performance in areas less directly related to patient outcome, developing effective and implementable instruments for assessment increases in urgency. This paper reports the application of a specifically designed 360° survey to a CME activity focused on the competencies of Interpersonal Skills and Communication, Professionalism, and System-based Practice.
The CME activity, entitled The Course for Distressed Physicians, was developed by the Center for Professional Health at Vanderbilt University. The participants in the course are referred for workplace difficulties that relate to team behavior. The class is intensive, small group, and includes sessions that span 6 months.
The 360° survey was recently developed based on input from experts and a review of the literature. It was administered at the start of the CME activity, twice during the 6 months of activities time span, and again at 1-year post-activity inception.
The data from these efforts were reviewed for a number of characteristics: first, they were inspected for reasonableness; for mean effects; and the distribution of responses was reviewed for changes across class participation and follow-up.
The means and distributions appear to be consistent with expectation, and to change over time appropriately. Interestingly, the tail of the distribution appears very sensitive to behavioral change as reported by other observers. It appears that, at least for these types of activity focus, the 360° survey is a promising measure of CME efficacy in changing practice patterns.