Nearly 600 graduate medical education (GME) leaders and administrators gathered in Savannah last week at the 2019 Association for Hospital Medical Education (AHME) Institute. ECG enjoyed reconnecting with old acquaintances, serving as a conference sponsor and exhibitor, and developing new connections within the medical education community. Presentations and discussions at this year’s institute converged around two key themes: (1) the need for training to evolve to better prepare residents and fellows to address the country’s changing healthcare needs and (2) the importance of clearly defining the full value GME provides to an organization.
Adapting GME Curricula to Meet the Healthcare Needs of Today and the Future
GME program curricula are influenced by many factors, including ACGME and board requirements. A major theme stood out at this year’s conference—the need to ensure curricula across all specialties evolve to meet the needs of patient populations and adapt as the practice of medicine changes. GME leaders must balance accreditation requirements and delivering an educational experience that will prepare the physician workforce for healthcare needs today and in the future. During the sessions, several recurring themes were noted:
- Preparing learners to address the social determinants of health
- Improving care delivery in the context of the opioid epidemic
- Adapting to technological innovation and other healthcare disrupters
- Enhancing team-based and intra-professional training to match the care models of the future
Defining and Communicating the Value of GME
GME leaders often define and discuss program performance in terms of match rates, board pass success, accreditation status, and graduate placement. These are important metrics that help to describe the quality of the educational experience, but they may fail to communicate to hospital and health system executives the full value that GME provides to the organization. With hospital margins under more pressure than ever, C-suite executives are working to ensure investments are aligned with the needs of the organization; it is imperative, therefore, for GME leaders to develop a set of metrics that demonstrate the value residents and fellows provide.
In one AHME session, attendees were asked to brainstorm key performance indicators that can be quantified and reported to define the full value of the GME enterprise to the organization. These metrics primarily fell into four categories:
- Hospital savings from resident coverage of inpatient and call services
- Reduced recruitment expenses and a shorter onboarding period from retention of residents
- Expansion of primary care access through the resident ambulatory clinics
- Impact of resident-led QI initiatives on quality of care and patient satisfaction
We look forward to partnering with teaching hospitals, academic health systems, and their medical school counterparts to help develop solutions to these key issues and others in the coming year.