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The University Of Massachusetts Medical School Office Of Continuing Medical Education (UMMS OCME) is an accredited provider of CME under the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education. Each year, the UMMS OCME accredits over 100 Regularly Scheduled Series (RSS). As such, our office is pleased to offer a wide variety of RSSs to practicing physicians associated with UMass Memorial Healthcare and/or the Umass Medical School. Series types include Grand Rounds, Tumor Boards, Morbidity & Mortality Presentations, Journal Clubs, etc.
RSS General Information
All Regular Scheduled Series (RSS) are expected to be planned, implemented, and evaluated in compliance with the ACCME Essential Areas and Elements, the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support, and UMMS OCME Policies and Procedures. All RSS are expected to meet the ACCME Definition of an RSS and are expected to meet the AMA definition of continuing medical education.
A course is identified as an RSS when it is planned to have 1) a series with multiple sessions that 2) occur on an ongoing basis (offered weekly, monthly, or quarterly) and 3) are primarily planned by and presented to the accredited organization’s professional staff. Examples of activities that are planned and presented as a regularly scheduled series are Grand Rounds, Tumor Boards, and M&M Conferences.
When reporting on RSS activities, each series equals one activity. The cumulative number of hours for all sessions within a series equals the number of hours for that activity. Each physician is counted as a learner for each session he/she attends in the series. (Example: Internal Medicine Grand Rounds is one activity that meets for one hour each week. That series is counted as one activity with 52 hours of instruction; if 20 physicians participated in each session, total physician participants would be 1,040 for that activity.
Initial Planning and Requirements
RSS are certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ on an annual basis. Each clinical department is expected to complete and submit an Application for Regularly Scheduled Series along with required documentation. Applications are reviewed for completeness by the UMMS OCME for approval. If approval is granted, the UMMS OCME sends a formal letter of approval to the Activity Medical Director.
The majority of RSS are conducted by faculty and local speakers. Sponsoring clinical departments make arrangements for speakers. Clinical department coordinators are responsible for obtaining all required forms (Disclosure, etc.) from speakers scheduled for RSS. The medical activity director assures that all appropriate information is disclosed to the audience.
Disclosure of Relevant Financial Relationships
All individuals with control over CME activity content must inform learners prior to the beginning of an activity whether they have relevant or no relevant financial relationship. When disclosing financial relationships to the learner, the individual’s name, the name of the commercial interest(s) and the nature of the relationship with the commercial interest must be given. When there is no relevant financial relationship, learners must be informed that no financial relationship exists. Disclosure must never include trade names or product group messages.
There are various ways that can be used to inform learners prior to the beginning of an activity whether they have relevant or no relevant financial relationship exists. Including the information in the activity syllabi, handouts, beginning of presentation on speaker slides or verbal disclosure are appropriate ways to inform learners.
When information about faculty/provider relationships is disclosed to participants verbally or in writing it is required that the activity file include verification that this disclosure to learners actually occurred at the activity. An example of the written disclosure can be put into the file or a representative of the provider (e.g. Activity Medical Director or designee) who was in attendance at the time of the verbal disclosure must attest in writing: (1) that verbal disclosure did occur based on the information contained on the completed Disclosure of Relevant Financial Relationships Form; and (2) itemize the content of the disclosed information by attaching a completed Disclosure of Relevant Financial Relationships Form.
This statement should be signed and dated by the provider representative.
Attendance and Record Keeping
The ACCME Essential Areas require documentation and record keeping.
Each CME activity file should have copies of:
- Attendee lists
- Evaluation summaries
- Activity financial reconciliation (if applicable)
- Speaker honorarium contracts (if applicable)
- Financial disclosures
- All promotional material
- Planning information
These files are to be maintained for six years.
Evaluation of RSS must be completed at every single session. Collated evaluation results should accompany individual activity files. It is important to demonstrate that evaluation data are used in planning future CME activities.
Standardized evaluation forms are provided by the Office of CME. Each evaluation form should be adjusted to meet individual activity goals and needs. If another evaluation method is used for an activity, a sample must be provided with the initial activity application.
As an accredited provider, UMMS OCME periodically reviews: (1) the extent to which our mission is being achieved by our educational activities; (2) the extent to which educational objectives are being met; (3) the quality of the instructional process; and (4) participants’ perception of enhanced professional effectiveness.
RSS will be monitored periodically by the Office of CME. A representative sample of RSS will be reviewed on an annual basis.