The overall purpose of FirstHealth’s Continuing Medical Education Program is to provide educational opportunities for physicians to update their knowledge, competence, performance and improve patient outcomes when possible. The program will also support FirstHealth’s strategic plan, particularly the focus for top decile performance in clinical quality, patient safety and service.
Activities will include single offerings, serial activities and symposia, and are planned to address the assessed needs of the learners based on the North Carolina Medical Society Essentials and Standards of Accreditation. All offerings will be evaluated. FirstHealth’s overall Continuing Medical Education Program will be evaluated annually for the following: participants’ demographics, participants’ satisfaction with programming, updates in knowledge, improved competence, improved performance/practice, and outcomes.
The target group of FirstHealth of the Carolinas continuing medical education programming is primarily physicians on our medical staffs. Other interested physicians from our service area and health care professionals (e.g. nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, therapists) may make up the secondary audience. The intended target audiences will be clearly described on announcements for each educational offering.
The scope of the CME program is to provide educational programming for the medical staff of FirstHealth of the Carolinas. FirstHealth of the Carolinas, a private, not-for-profit health care network, is headquartered in Pinehurst. Its more than 5,000 employees serve 15 counties in the mid-Carolinas. Licensed for four hospitals with 610 beds and also including facilities for inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, a hospice, a palliative care program, a home care program, community outreach programs, behavioral services, fitness facilities, primary and convenient care practices, a hospitality house, EMS and critical care transport services, a non-profit insurance plan, a philanthropic foundation and a host of other services, FirstHealth demonstrates a commitment to treating the whole patient and to providing quality health care for the entire community – especially those in need. Moore Regional Hospital, FirstHealth’s flagship hospital, is an acute-care facility with 402 licensed beds. With a broad spectrum of specialties and a full range of health care services, Moore Regional continues to refine its knowledge of the most advanced technology – all for the patients it serves. FirstHealth of the Carolinas also provides services with its four other campuses located in Hoke, Montgomery, Lee and Richmond counties.
The Medical Education Committee is a medical staff committee whose goal is to ensure that the individual educational activities and the overall program comply with the North Carolina Medical Society’s Essentials and Standards of Accreditation. Committee members will serve as resources on issues relating to continuing medical education and will disclose any potential conflicts of interest. The Medical Education Committee will collaborate as needed with key stakeholders that represent the following areas: Quality, Leadership, Clinical Settings and the Community.
Programming will be free from commercial influence and/or bias by complying with the organization’s policy for commercial support and continuing medical education activities and disclosures. The Office of Continuing Medical Education’s goal is to ensure that all programming is current, scientifically rigorous, based on need, has specific learner objectives, is followed up by evaluation for effectiveness and results, and incorporates performance improvement as a routine part of the program. Maintenance of records of attendance will also be ensured. Resources for continuing medical education programming will be administered through FHC’s Office of Continuing Medical Education.
FAQ: Continuing Medical Education
Is FirstHealth an official CME provider?
Yes, FirstHealth of the Carolinas has been accredited by the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) to provide continuing medical education for physicians since 1994. In December 2017, we received reaccreditation with commendation beginning in January 2018 until December 2023. Compliance with the criteria and standards to keep this accreditation is very prescriptive and stringent.
Can all health care professionals count AMA PRA Category 1 Credit?
Officially, only physicians receive CME credit. Others will receive the form to verify their attendance, but should contact their licensing bodies to see if the AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ will be accepted. (The AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ is owned by the American Medical Association [AMA]).
Does FirstHealth maintain records for those attending CME activities?
Yes, the attendance is tracked in NetLearning, FH’s learning management system, for employees as well as participants who are not employed by FirstHealth. Employees can print their own transcripts and nonemployees can request their transcripts by contacting the Office of Continuing Medical Education at 910-715-1585.
How does FirstHealth make sure that the content of its CME programs are up to date and free of bias?
Continuing Medical Education is regulated by the ACCME (Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education) accreditation criteria. FirstHealth of the Carolinas expects that all of its CME programs will adhere to the North Carolina Medical Society’s content validation value statements: “All the recommendations involving clinical medicine in a CME activity must be based on evidence that is accepted within the profession of medicine as adequate justification for their indications and contraindications in the care of patients. All scientific research referred to, reported or used in CME in support or justification of a patient care recommendation must conform to the generally accepted standards of experimental design, data collection and analysis. Providers are not eligible for NCMS accreditation or reaccreditation if they present activities that promote recommendations, treatment or manners of practicing medicine that are not within the definition of CME, or known to have risks or dangers that outweigh the benefits or known to be ineffective in the treatment of patients.”
FirstHealth CME speakers must disclose to learners when products or procedures being discussed are off-label, unlabeled, experimental and/or investigational (not FDA approved) and any limitations on the information that is presented, such as data that are preliminary or that represent ongoing research, interim analyses, and/or unsupported opinion.
All speakers must disclose any relevant financial relationships and those conflicts must be resolved prior to the presentation. Learners will be made aware if there are relevant financial relationships, or not, prior to the program. Program planners, directors, Medical Education Committee members and anyone else in a position to control the content of the activity also have to disclose. FirstHealth has chosen not to request or accept commercial support for its programming.
Who can attend FirstHealth's CME programs?
Each program announcement has a target audience, and that usually includes “other interested health care professionals”. All members of the health care team are welcome.
What should I do if I have an idea for CME programming?
Before planning, contact the CME Coordinator for assistance at 910-715-1585 or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org
Continuing Medical Education Office
P.O. Box 3000
Pinehurst, NC 28374
Angineek Gillenwater (910) 715-1587
Mindi Kelso (910) 715-1928
Dyane Krupp (910) 715-5446