Continuing Medical Education Improves Gastroenterologists' Compliance with Inflammatory Bowel Disease Quality Measures

Dig Dis Sci. 2016 Jul;61(7):1862-9. doi: 10.1007/s10620-016-4061-1. Epub 2016 Feb 12.


Background: Low rates of compliance with quality measures for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have been reported for US gastroenterologists.

Aims: We assessed the influence of quality improvement (QI) education on compliance with physician quality reporting system (PQRS) measures for IBD and measures related to National Quality Strategy (NQS) priorities.

Methods: Forty community-based gastroenterologists participated in the QI study; 20 were assigned to educational intervention and control groups, respectively. At baseline, randomly selected charts of patients with moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis were retrospectively reviewed for the gastroenterologists' performance of 8 PQRS IBD measures and 4 NQS-related measures. The intervention group participated in a series of accredited continuing medical education (CME) activities focusing on QI. Follow-up chart reviews were conducted 6 months after the CME activities. Independent t tests were conducted to compare between-group differences in baseline-to-follow-up rates of documented compliance with each measure.

Results: The analysis included 299 baseline charts and 300 follow-up charts. The intervention group had significantly greater magnitudes of improvement than the control group for the following measures: assessment of IBD type, location, and activity (+14 %, p = 0.009); influenza vaccination (+13 %, p = 0.025); pneumococcal vaccination (+20 %, p = 0.003); testing for latent tuberculosis before anti-TNF-α therapy (+10 %, p = 0.028); assessment of hepatitis B virus status before anti-TNF-α therapy (+9 %, p = 0.010); assessment of side effects (+17 %, p = 0.048), and counseling patients about cancer risks (+13 %, p = 0.013).

Conclusions: QI-focused CME improves community-based gastroenterologists' compliance with IBD quality measures and measures aligned with NQS priorities.

Keywords: Continuing medical education; Inflammatory bowel disease; Physician quality reporting system; Quality improvement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Education, Medical, Continuing*
  • Female
  • Gastroenterology / education*
  • Gastroenterology / standards
  • Guideline Adherence / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / therapy*
  • Male
  • Medical Audit / statistics & numerical data*
  • Quality Improvement / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies