Sunday, July 17, 2011

Keeping Busy

Ah, summertime; time to lay back and relax.  Well, kind of.  Actually for both CMPT and the Program Office, this is our big time for Acting and Planning.  Summer is when our PDSA cycle tends to end and start.

For example, our CMPT business cycle starts in May and ends in April.  Our last send-out for the year is in February, and our first is in May.  So the summer is our time for Management Review and for making our go-forward plans, keeping in mind that our reporting time comes around with our regular Annual Meeting in October.  For the Program Office, our course runs from January to June, which means that we have June and July and maybe August to do our evaluations and planning so that we can start to implement change in September so that we will be ready to go in January.

For CMPT we have some significant considerations on the table, but clearly the biggest one is our decision to join the international collaboration of EQA providers under the banner of Health Metrix.  This has been a long time in coming. We first started discussions with the group nearly 10 years ago.  Today there are too many good reasons to join and no good reasons to hold back.  First off, CMPT has already worked with many of the programs that participate in the collaboration in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, so this is not a situation where we (or they) are working with unknown entities.  Second, for a long time CMPT has worked as a stand-alone organization, which provides both benefits and risks.  Being part of a collaboration of like-interested programs provides some opportunities for common purchasing and research and development programs that can impact on revenues, on expenses, and academic pursuit.     

On the other side CMPT brings a lot to the collaboration, including our commitments to innovation and clinical relevancy and education.  Even within a collaboration where individual programs have choice, I think that we can put forward a compelling argument for our style of clinically oriented proficiency testing. 
So we are looking forward to participating as our linkages within the Health Metrix collaboration matures.

With respect to the Program Office, we completed another very successful year.  This has been a very eventful year with having our eighth year of the course, plus the creation of our first research collaboration, plus the Quality Weekend Workshop.  That has kept us very busy.

As usual, the comments and critiques from the course participants are available at  There are two going forward messages to us.  First, it has been pointed out again that the course in very intensive.  It has been strongly suggested that we recommend participants to begin reading some of the background materials before the course actually starts. 
I think this is an excellent idea, and I will introduce that idea at our faculty meeting this week.  The second one may be a little harder.  During the progress of the course some minor changes got introduced which resulted in a necessity for purposes of fairness to make some minor changes to the grading formula.  Some of the participants saw this less in terms of accommodation, and more as a breach of commitment.  I can see that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.  As much as I am a strong supporter of Phillip Crosby and DIRFT (do it right the first time) a commitment to quality understand that sometimes deviations happen and when they do, there is a requirement for review of the events that lead to the problem, and an open and transparent speedy solution, and a process to avoid repetition.  That is what we have implemented. 

Finally, I have some key changes that I will propose at our annual faculty meeting which will create even more value in the course.      More on this next week.  So much for the lazy hazy days of summer.   

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