The mission of Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM) Office of Continuing Education (OCE) is to enhance clinician knowledge and competence; improve clinician performance; and promote lifelong learning for Tufts-affiliated physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and for other health practitioners locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. The ultimate goal of this endeavor is to improve patient care and health outcomes.
We fulfill this mission through the development of educational activities that: address gaps in knowledge, quality or performance; disseminate evidence-based knowledge and skills; employ educational methods that are suitable to the content, topic, and target audience; and are free from commercial bias or influence.
We engage in systematic analysis of the value and impact of our educational activities and strive continuously to improve the quality and effectiveness of this work.
TUSM’s continuing education activities are designed to address one or more of the ABMS/ACGME General Competencies including Medical/Clinical Knowledge, Patient Care, Professionalism, Interpersonal and Communications Skills, Practice-Based Learning and Improvement, and Systems-Based Practice. In addition, in the Program as a whole, we aim to address the IOM core competencies including practicing patient-centered care, working in interdisciplinary teams, employing evidence-based practice, applying quality improvement techniques and utilizing informatics.
Drawing on the expertise of Tufts-affiliated faculty, as well as regional, national and internationally-recognized experts, educational content addresses needs assessments and practice gaps derived from a range of sources. These include prior course evaluations, surveys of learners, specialty society guidelines, planning committees, literature reviews, and regulatory requirements, as well as hospital-and practice-based and publicly reported quality and performance data.
TUSM OCE’s educational approach for health care professionals responds to the realities of today’s health care system, including the need to:
- Systematically assess and improve quality;
- Provide cost-effective, high quality care;
- Manage care using patient-centered approaches and strategies; and
- Coordinate and deliver care through organized systems and multidisciplinary teams.
OCE educational activities and teaching resources are developed for both Tufts-affiliated and non-Tufts physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other members of the health care team at the local, regional, national and international level. Depending on the identified practice and performance gaps and educational needs, we will design our activities for inter-professional audiences.
Types of Activities
The OCE employs multiple educational formats ranging from Regularly Scheduled Series at Tufts-affiliated teaching hospitals to live courses and webcasts, Internet point-of care CME, and enduring web-based, computer-based and print educational activities. Throughout our continuing education activities, OCE strives to engage learners through interactive teaching, case-based learning, reflective exercises, and self-assessments, as appropriate.
The OCE’s overall program and individual activities are designed to improve clinician knowledge, competence, performance and/or patient health status/metrics. We routinely evaluate the educational impact of each activity by asking participants at the conclusion of the activity to reflect on what they have learned and then answer questions regarding:
- Their intent to change their behavior;
- Expected barriers and obstacles to change; and
- How they might overcome these obstacles.
In addition, OCE uses other evaluation methodologies to assess activity impact, including follow-up surveys to assess self-reported changes in clinician behavior, hospital- or practice-based QI data and publicly reported metrics.
Activity data are synthesized annually to assess the OCE program’s performance as a whole, and to identify and prioritize areas for improvement.
Continuing Pharmacy Education Goal:
- To provide educational activities to pharmacists as part of their life-long, professional learning;
- To maintain the TUSM OCE focus on inter-professional continuing education;
- To offer educational activities that are Knowledge, Application, and/or Practice-based, through multiple activity formats;
- To provide educational activities for pharmacists that are planned and implemented in accordance to ACPE standards for education and meet licensure requirements.