Needs Assessment Guidelines
Needs assessment is the systematic process of gathering information and using it to determine instructional solutions to close the gap between
Identification and analysis of CME needs provide the basis for developing educational objectives. The planning committee should ask the following questions:
- How prevalent is the need among the target audience?
- How many different assessment sources indicated this need?
- How significantly will the unfulfilled need hinder health care delivery?
- How directly is the need related to actual physician performance?
- How likely is it that a CME activity will improve practice behavior?
- Are sufficient resources available to effectively address this topic?
- How receptive will the target audience be to a session on this topic?
Types of needs assessment to submit with application
Inferred needs which may be derived from the following:
- New methods of diagnosis or treatment
- Availability of new medication(s) or indication(s)
- Development of new technology
- Input from experts regarding advances in medical knowledge
- Acquisition of new facilities or equipment
- Legislative, regulatory, or organizational changes effecting patient care
Verbalized needs and interests which may be derived from the following:
- Requests submitted on participants' activity evaluation forms
- Formal surveys of potential participants (mail and Internet-based)
- Informal comments
- Patient problem inventories compiled by potential participants
- Consensus of faculty members within a department or service area
Proven needs which are based on objective external data sources. These needs may be derived from the following:
- Epidemiological data
- Quality assurance/audit data
- Re-credential review
- Statistics Infection control data
- Surgical procedures statistics
- Professional society requirements
- Journal articles/literature citations
- News media
Please view the following ACCME video on understanding moving beyond the traditional needs assessment.
Quality Data and Resources
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services - U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Research and Data
- Hospital Compare - A quality tool provided by Medicare - U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
- QualityNet - Medicare Quality Improvement Community
- Hospital Performance Data - Ohio Department of Health
- Guide to Quality Health Care - Ohio Hospital Association
- Ohio KePRO - Ohio's Medicare Quality Improvement Organization
- Wright State University Libraries (must have UID and pin to access subscription services). Contact Bette Sydelko for help
- Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (must have UID and pin for free access)
- Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ) - Recommended Starter Set The Ambulatory Care Quality Alliance
- AHRQ Quality Information & Improvement
- AHRQ Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project
- ASCO/NCCN - Quality Measures: Breast and Colorectal Cancers
- Hospital Quality Alliance
- AHRQ National Quality Measures Clearinghouse
- National Committee on Quality Assurance - Statistics from Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) measures
- ACME Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement - Ambulatory care measurement sets
- Commonwealth Fund - 2006 National Scorecard on U.S. Health System Performance
- Joint Commission - Core performance measures
- National Comprehensive Cancer Network - Clinical guidelines in oncology
- AHRQ and National Quality Measures Clearinghouse - Guidelines and measures
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services — Physician Quality Reporting Initiative
- AHRQ Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Initiative
- TransforMed - Information on Practice Redesign
- Institute for Healthcare Improvement
For more information, please read Fall 2009 CME Highlights.