If all communications have failed and you have nearly lost hope, don’t hesitate to remind your faculty that all actions (or lack thereof) have consequences. You laid out your expectations during the planning phases that all faculty honoraria, travel expenses, and participation were contingent on their agreement to fulfill their responsibilities. There may be a time when you have to remind Dr. Eight Days a Week that a lack of a disclosure form means he can’t participate in the activity. These measures are a last resort, but can be effective when no other options remain.

You may need to remind a faculty member of the scrutiny that the CME enterprise has received in recent years. Nobody wants a negative headline about his institution or actions in The New York Times. You can remind a problem faculty member that part of your job is to mitigate all possible risks. Reiterate the possible effects of lack of compliance and don’t
mince words. After all, the news media won’t.

With each CME project, a pre-activity meeting or conference call can help communicate any last-minute needs to the faculty. Remind faculty that the ACCME requires accredited providers to monitor for bias in certified activities. Inform faculty members that you are on site to assist, ensure compliance, and collect evaluation information from participants who rate the program for bias, fair balance, and scientific objectivity.

For live meetings, we recommend asking a small number of anonymous attendees to serve as “CME proctors.” These proctors fill out a more detailed evaluation form addressing bias, evidence, and other external audit criteria. When faculty members are reminded that “your peers’ eyes are on you,” it can do wonders for their focus on compliance.

If, despite all your efforts, things go awry, take charge. You are the CME expert. We learned of one CME coordinator who brilliantly dealt with a CME activity in which the faculty member began delivering a promotional discussion. Taking the appropriate role of an on-site monitor, she respectfully interrupted the lecture, noted that she was from the accredited provider, and reminded all learners that the certified CME activity they were attending was developed to ensure that all discussion remained fair, balanced, scientifically objective, and free from bias. She thanked the faculty and audience for keeping this in mind as the session progressed. The faculty member agreed and moved forward in a more compliant manner.

While you will rarely have to employ all the techniques we noted for any one faculty member, the combination of different methods enhances faculty management. Through advance planning, clear and effective communication, and reliance on all available resources perhaps we can turn a Nowhere Man, a Dr. Eight Days a Week, or Sergeant Pepper into a successful faculty member who is “Here, There, and Everywhere” in all the right ways.

Amanda Glazar, PhD, CCMEP is director of adult learning and outcomes at Global Education Group. Reach her at aglazar@globaleducationgroup.com. Allison Kickel, CCMEP is director of program management at Global Education Group. Reach her at akickel@globaleducationgroup.com.

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