THI Continuing Medical Education (CME): A Tradition of Excellence

On February 2, 2022, Texas Heart Institute (THI) had its periodic Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) accreditation interview with surveyors. THI’s Continuing Medical Education (CME) Office Director Elaine Allbritton masterfully navigated the thorough review of THI’s professional medical educational programming.

The educational programs facilitated by THI’s Office of CME are an integral part of THI’s mission. “Our continuing medical education programs uphold the three pillars of THI’s mission to deliver the future of cardiovascular health through exceptional patient care, discovery, and a commitment to learning,” said Dr. Joseph G. Rogers, THI President & CEO.

The current accreditation term is July 2016 to July 2022. However, as part of the reaccreditation process, the CME team has been hard at work since the fall of 2020, auditing five years of program data. In addition, they spent the summer of 2021 writing a detailed self-study report that is a summation of all their programs, processes, and data collection. 

“Months of work come down to this one phone interview where the surveyors ask clarifying questions about a detailed self-study and activity file packet we prepare and submit ahead of time,” said Allbritton.

The process will conclude in July 2022 when THI expects to receive its accreditation decision from the ACCME. 

For over 40 years, the mission of THI’s CME program has been to provide physicians and medical professionals with comprehensive and innovative learning activities designed to increase medical knowledge and skills and, ultimately, change practice behavior to improve patient care. Through partnerships with THI doctors and surgeons on the front lines of medicine, the team develops and coordinates up-to-date live and on-demand offerings.

In addition to overseeing the continuing medical education offered by the Texas Heart Institute, THI’s Office of CME continues to partner with Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center and Common Spirit Health in accrediting CME offerings across the country. The Office also works with Baylor College of Medicine physicians, particularly those in the Department of Surgery, to accredit and produce several educational offerings. This alliance strengthens and expands the Office of CME’s scope beyond cardiology to many other clinical subspecialties.

The THI CME staff has worked together since 2011 and have a combined 48 years of experience. During the current accreditation term, THI certified 1,628 live and virtual activities. 

Notably, the team raised grant funds to underwrite virtual activities during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, pivoting to offer online CME programs within weeks of COVID safety restrictions essentially eliminating in-person meetings. 

“We are further sophisticating our learning offerings to ensure the highest quality medical education and to meaningfully impact the local and global medical community. By leveraging advanced technical skills gained during the pandemic we are strengthening our local, regional, national and global education partnerships,” said Keri Sprung, Interim Associate Vice President for Communications & Education.