Promoting Excellence Across the Acute Care Continuum: The Kaweah Delta Medical Center CME Program

Published August 01, 2014

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Outside large urban areas, it's not easy for healthcare professionals to find top-notch continuing medical education (CME) opportunities close to home. But the experience of the CME program at Kaweah Delta Medical Center (KDMC) in Visalia, Calif., shows that with a little innovation, it can be done.

This program is notable in two ways:

  1. It follows a unique, interprofessional approach that brings together disciplines and specialties from across the Acute Care Continuum.
  2. It's jointly administered by KDMC and Vituity, which makes it a great example of collaboration between a hospital and physician group.

The following post was adapted from the poster presented at Vituity's annual conference.


The KDMC Continuing Medical Education Program was started as a collaborative effort between the hospital and Vituity. Housed within the Department of Emergency Medicine, it started as a single lecture session and now incorporates multiple sessions throughout the year, which include Emergency Medicine Grand Rounds, a Morbidity and Mortality Conference, emergency ultrasound education, and other relevant emergency medicine educational programs.

The purpose of the CME program is to provide high-quality education that will improve performance in the emergency department (ED) by incorporating up-to-date literature, discussing controversies in emergency medicine, and improving patient safety by utilizing an evidence-based approach to patient care. Measured performance indicators may include patient outcome, decreasing medical-legal risk, ED operations, and overall clinical knowledge base.

Our target audiences are providers in the ED; however, because our specialty is broad, other specialties (e.g., pediatrics, surgery, critical care, anesthesia, orthopedics, etc.) may find our sessions relevant to their practice. Because Vituity has a strong presence in the California Central Valley, eight other Vituity client hospitals are invited to our programs as well as physicians from the EM residency programs at Kern Medical Center and UCSF-Fresno. (In addition, KDMC now hosts our own EM residency program, which incorporates some of the CME program material.) Local EMS units are also invited and have been enthusiastic participants.

The foundation of the CME program is Emergency Medicine Grand Rounds. These conferences are held throughout the year based on speaker availability. We select our speakers for their dynamic teaching styles and their expertise in their respective fields. Many of our speakers are nationally and internationally recognized in their specialties and hold faculty positions at prestigious academic institutions.

Topics are identified by suggestions from the ED providers, review of past evaluations, or at the discretion of the ED Director of CME. The Model of the Clinical Practice of Emergency Medicine is also utilized to determine the education needs of emergency physicians.


The following list represents just a few of the speakers who have participated in the program. Several have enjoyed the experience so much that they've made multiple visits to KDMC.

List of speakers

** Vituity Partner

Here are just a few of the topics that have been covered in the CME program:

  • A Skeptic's Guide to the Medical Literature
  • When Dying is Your Emergency: Palliative Care in the Emergency Department
  • ED Sedation: Pearls and Pitfalls
  • Creating a Great Place to Work and to Care for Our Patients
  • Penetrating Neck Injuries
  • Mass Transfusion Protocol and Coagulopathy in Trauma
  • Case Studies in Pediatric Toxicology
  • Pediatric Trauma Management
  • Pediatric Respiratory Emergencies
  • The Extended FAST Exam and Ultrasound Guided Vascular Access
  • Alpine Search and Rescue
  • Bedside Tips and Tricks for the Critically Ill Patient
  • Managing Pericardial Tamponade in the Slowly Crashing Patient
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: Pitfalls in the Diagnosis
  • Massive GI Bleeding
  • What's New in Airway Management
  • Abdominal Pain in the Elderly

In its first four years, the program served over 700 participants from a variety of professions and disciplines and awarded nearly 1300 CME hours:

graph of cme hours awarded at kaweah delta medical center

The "other" category includes a significant number of health professions students. "The program has the added benefit of being a great recruiting tool," says former program director Fred Wu, PA-C. "It's a great way for students and other healthcare providers to get to know the hospital and Vituity in a relaxed but professional setting. It's also a great recruiting tool for future resident physicians when they come to our site and see some of the amazing speakers that will be lecturing to them."

Also included in that category are many local EMS personnel. "We reach out to all the agencies in the area when we promote our speakers," Wu says. "We definitely try to make it a benefit for the entire local medical community."

pie chart of kaweah delta cme program participants by discipline

In addition to receiving near-perfect scores from participants, the program gets excellent feedback from the wider KDMC community. "Emergency Medicine Grand Rounds has really gained a reputation across the hospital as a great thing to attend, which is really gratifying to see," says Wu.


The KDMC CME Program, jointly sponsored with Vituity, has provided world-class education to our region. It is a resource shared with the local medical community and highlights our group and hospital as regional leaders in clinical and educational excellence. It is primarily managed by the local Vituity site and promotes our presence within the hospital.

To learn more about Vituity's clinical education programs, visit our careers page.

Originally published August 1, 2014. Last updated February 19, 2019.

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