- Review the MECC’s Educational Mission
Is it compatible with your CME Mission? Does it use language consistent with educational organizations?
- Document the Separation of Education from Promotion
Decision makers for educational content are not involved in the promotional side of the organization. Does the organization share details on activity planning with their client for approval? How will the course chair and be selected and does your organization have input and approval into their selection? Ask for a company organizational chart for both sides of the organization, evidence of CE policies and procedures, and information on the physical integrity of the educational division in terms of computer servers and separate office space.
- Obtain Details about the Parent Organization
What type of organization is the parent? Does it get involved in decisions on educational content? What is the magnitude of contractual relationships between the parent, the MECC, and the commercial supporter of the activity?
- Has the MECC Ever Been Cited by the Relative to Violation of the Standards for Commercial Support?
Ask for details and evidence that the problem was permanently corrected.
- Create an Independent Content Validation Process
An internal process conducted by the MECC is like the fox guarding the henhouse. Create an independent process, or with an academic center with an established process of written documentation. The ACCME has developed a new value statement on this topic [http://www.accme.org/pdfs/Content_Validation_Value_Statements.pdf]. Content can be validated is one of several ways. You can:
- create an independent CME committee or advisory board comprised of competent physicians in your key content areas,
- use your internal scientific affairs staff with specific expertise in specialty areas,
- or contract with an academic center of excellence that has developed a panel of experts for validation of content.
What did you think of this article? Please send your comments/suggestions to Tamar Hosansky.