The role of continuing medical education in health care quality improvement.

Date of Award


Document Type



Caspersen School of Graduate Studies

Degree Name

Doctor of Medical Humanities


The rapid changes in research and technology occurring every day in the medical field make it difficult for physicians to stay current with the latest medical information. If heath care systems want to offer patients the best quality health care, they must support an educational process that enables physicians to become lifelong learners. This dissertation explored how the Continuing Medical Education(CME) program at Meridian Health, a five-hospital system consisting of a large teaching hospital and four community-based hospitals, evolved to establish a link between the hospitals' quality improvement and safety issues and the Meridian Health CME program. The project studied how incorporation of the 2006 Accrediting Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) criteria helped to provide a foundation for improved educational interventions that better related to the needs of the physicians and the Meridian Health system. It demonstrated how collaboration with involved stakeholders resulted in changing physicians' clinical practice to impact the delivery of health care. Research projects conducted at Meridian Health provided evidence to demonstrate that CME educational activities based on quality improvement and safety issues resulted in more meaningful educational experiences for physicians. The narrative provided evidence that Meridian Health is using CME as a strategic resource to strengthen its educational program and improve collaboration with internal and external groups working on similar initiatives to support the organizational framework of Meridian Health. It created many opportunities for future research projects at Meridian Health that can assist in providing educational interventions that will effectively change physician behaviors, improve organizational framework, and offer health care that will positively impact patient outcomes.