Ron Murray (University of Virginia School of Medicine); Ladi Carr (University of Virginia School of Medicine); Stephanie Bedasse (HIT Global Consulting Services Inc.); Sara Boussekri (HIT Global Consulting Services Inc.)
This educational activity is funded through an educational grant from Pfizer Inc. to the ACES Initiative, a 20 partner CME national consortium created to educate healthcare professionals to improve the diagnosis and treatment of Asthma and COPD.
The 4i-COPD program was developed to assist family physicians in improving their practice habits regarding the management of COPD as well as benchmark practice gaps across different care settings. The program demonstrated how performance improvement CME can quantitatively measure practice behaviour change in physicians.
The goal of the 4i-COPD program was to assist family physicians in improving their practice habits regarding the management of COPD as well as benchmark practice gaps across different care settings.
The online program consisted of four phases designed to help physicians 1) Identify areas for practice improvement; 2) Implement activities tailored to meet their learning needs; 3) Integrate their new skills; and 4) Involve colleagues in shared learning. Chart audits were used to assess practice behaviour in the Identify and Integrate phases. A selection of CME activities and other tools were provided to participants during the Implement phase to help foster change in behaviour.
Participants provided positive feedback regarding the 4i-COPD program. The overwhelming majority of them (94%) expressed an intent to make changes in their practice as a result of information presented in the program. With regard to barriers, participants cited patient resistance to smoking cessation counselling and lack of documentation. The program also produced an additional benefit beyond addressing the pre-identified care gaps—it uncovered needs that could be addressed in future CME programs, e.g., underestimation of disease severity and a necessity for improved documentation.
The 4i-COPD program demonstrated that performance improvement CME can quantitatively measure practice behaviour change in physicians. However, the changes brought forth by programs of this type are incremental and are impacted by the ability of physicians to influence their system as well as the willingness of patients to accept and/or adopt recommended care.