Continuous Professional Development

  • Quiz Time
  • Quiz Time
  • Quiz Time
  • Quiz Time
  • Quiz Time

Continuous Medical Education (CME)

The Office of Continuous Professional Development provides AMA PRA 1 credit for continuing medical education activities as well as APA credits for continuing education in Psychology throughout VUMC and for VUMC sponsored local and national activities.

2016-17 Program Growth

Growth in the system has been dramatic, with an increase from 4500 users and 396 activities at year end 2015 to just over just over 9,000 hours of education to 15000 unique users through 500 activities at year end 2016. This growth in activity is the result of OCPD’s focus on enhanced processes and technology innovation easing activity set up and user enrollment for clinical department activity directors.

Improved Administrative Efficiencies

Included in the VSTAR based CME system is SMS texting for practitioner attendance recording as well as event survey delivery. The automation of attendance and evaluation has significantly reduced time spent by clinical department staff. Conflict of interest disclosure and maintenance has additionally been moved online into the CME system, further reducing clinical department staff efforts.

Strategic Planning

OCPD efforts are aligned with the enterprise-wide strategic goals of Discover, Learn and Share and Amplify Innovation. For example:

  • Support was provided for the creation of Quiz Time, an additional VSTAR application designed to provide continuing education through assessment to enhance learning. Pilot studies of Quiz Time in Anesthesiology and Radiology have been highly successful and the platform has been recognized by Dr. Balser in the State of the Medical Center address as the CME innovation for 2017. OCPD has teamed with educators, health IT programmers and design experts to bring this product to the VUMC market with a larger implementation program focused on proper opiate prescribing across the enterprise. 
  • Expanding CME Activities: OCPD efforts have continued to be mindful of the growing need to provide CME to those outside of VUMC, and is collaborating with Anesthesiology to provide CME for the National Association of Practicing Anesthesiologists. OCPD has recently certified the first ECHO™ model of Tele-Health Education at Vanderbilt and is involved in furthering Tele-Health education hosted by VUMC. These CME pilots allow OCPD to design the process and infrastructure necessary to provide education across the Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network and our region.

Future Challenges

OCPD has many challenges ahead in its support of current CME efforts as well as innovations in the field.

  • New Accreditation Criteria: VUMC has maintained its Accreditation with Commendation status with the ACCME, and new accreditation criteria will require further programmatic and process development.
  • Closing Practice Gaps: The greatest challenge is incorporating and capturing learning in daily clinical practice as the key to CME success in closing practice gaps to ensure the highest value based healthcare outcomes for patients. Maintenance of certification efforts are an extension of continuing education integrated with systems process improvement, but currently these activities are undertaken separately by clinicians. OCPD continues to work with clinicians and operational systems to find ways to co-localize learning in practice with systems improvement to achieve a patient outcome consistent with the highest value in healthcare.

Quiz Time

In the Spring 2017, a diverse group convened to make Quiz Time, a smartphone application designed to personalize learning for clinicians, a reality at Vanderbilt. The "Quiz Time Rapid Development Team" was charged with designing and implementing a CME-certified pilot project.

Members included: Bonnie Miller and Donald Brady from OHSE; Don Moore, Geoffrey Fleming, and Sarah Krentz from OCPD; Matt McEvoy and Leslie Fowler from Anesthesiology; Lori Deitte and Meaghan Magarik from Radiology; Anderson Spickard, III, from Biomedical Informatics; Toufeeq Ahmed and Chander Sharma from Education Informatics; and Steve Weissenburger from the Strategy and Innovation Office.

The purpose: “Function First, Opioids Last: An Educational Intervention to Improve Opioid Prescribing in Tennessee” was to compare the pre- and post-prescribing practices of participating hospitalist and Ob/Gyn groups (acute inpatient pain).

  • 40 questions were sent over 8 weeks for a maximum of 4.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ that also met the State’s prescribing CME requirements
  • 54 learners participated, answered 1046 questions, and earned a total of 81 credits
  • Each question was vetted through several different expert authors and contained extremely thorough rationale including 1-5 pieces of recommended reading for further information on the subject

The following were among the goals achieved:

  • CME credit was awarded for engagement in a specific Quiz Time enduring material with minimal to no extra effort from the learner beyond engagement in the learning activity itself
  • Quiz Time and the online CME system were integrated in such a way that CME credit was easily pushed to a learner’s transcript with minimal to no effort from the learner

Conclusion: Ultimately, Quiz Time has the potential to impact physician behavior, which in turn will positively affect patient care.

For more information about Continuous Professional Development, please visit