BY GEOFFREY RWABAINGI MULINDWA
Continuous medical education (CME), also known as continuous professional development (CPD) is the process by which individual health care professionals maintain and improve their knowledge, skills, attitude and behavior.
Research findings, knowledge and skills evolve every day. So it is important for professionals to keep updated.
The aim of CME/ CPD is to support better practice, and should be embraced by all health care professionals.
This includes doctors, nurses, pharmacists, laboratory technicians, physiotherapists, among others.
Continuous development has been proved to improve job performance, quality of care, organisational performance and service delivery across employment sectors with consequential reduction in costs.
In the Ugandan health care system, a minimum number of CPD credits hours are required for renewal of one’s practising licence.
At Allan Galpin Health Centre, staff members are encouraged to be on the lookout for interesting and challenging medical cases, new knowledge and skills, which can be presented to the team to discuss and share knowledge with others for better care of clients.
The exercise extends to non-clinical areas like data management, efficient ambulance operations, and safe management of medical waste. This has improved health care quality and delivery. The person in charge for CME/ CPD is expected to plan for activities for the entire quarter.
Each CME/CPD activity should be widely advertised, along with the subject of discussion, presenting team, time and venue. This enables the team to read around the subject and actively participate in the sessions.
Each session starts and ends with prayers. Sessions also include demonstration where necessary, as well as question and answer time. In this the students from the Department of Nursing have occasionally participated. They are encouraged to attend more regularly, as this forms part of their training.
The CME/ CPD sessions involve clinic audits, for example, where a patient that was challenging to manage is discussed, focusing on where mistakes were made and how these can be avoided in future. Other discussions revolve around new advances in medical care as well as the review of relevant journal articles.
Some of the topics addressed in CME sessions include:
-Vaccine storage and potency monitoring lProcurement and logistics of medical supplies
-Pneumonia, case audit
-Testicular torsion, case series
The sessions are attended by both the clinical and non-clinical staff.
Since the attendance of the staff is mandatory, we appeal to the clientele of Allan Galpin Health
Centre to be patient while these sessions take place fortnightly, on Wednesday mornings. Skeleton staff will, however, always be at hand to deal with clients. These sessions are aimed at better service delivery and therefore benefit the patients too.
The writer is Director Medical Services at Uganda Christian University