I went to this week’s ACEhp Industry Summit and learned something. I learned something about perception. I learned something about judging people based on their occupations. I learned something about being a cynic.
I went to this week’s ACEhp Industry Summit meeting and heard people employed by pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers talk passionately about improving the quality of healthcare in America. There was no talk about products or logos or marketing. There was talk about quality improvement, quality measures, and utilizing the continuing education of health care providers to improve the unacceptably low percentage of citizens receiving standard levels of care in this country. This talk despite the fact that we continue to put more and more regulations in place to further stigmatize the industry dollars vital to achieve this goal and potentially add to the increasing wariness with which the public views commercially supported CME.
I heard people talking who cared. They cared about health, they cared about education, and they cared about the people they were speaking to. The cynic in me would normally add “…and they cared about their bottom line.” That may be so, but even more than that, they cared about making a difference.
We have our fair share of opponents to the use of industry funds for continuing education of health care providers and they have their reasons for believing as they do. I wish there was some way I could have transported all the anti-commercial support advocates to this morning’s provider/industry panel session on supporting QI educational initiatives and had them hear what I heard. Maybe it wouldn’t have done any good, or maybe, like me, they would have learned something they weren’t expecting.