Regularly Scheduled Series (RSS)
Regularly Scheduled Series (RSSs) are live activities planned as a succession of multiple, ongoing sessions offered on a periodic basis (e.g, weekly, bimonthly, monthly, or quarterly). An RSS is primarily planned by and presented to the accredited organization’s professional staff and generally targets the same audience over the whole series. Examples include grand rounds, tumor boards, case conferences, and morbidity and mortality conferences.
Ready to get started?
The first step to starting an RSS is to fill out an application form. Contact DCPD using the link below to request an application link during the annual RSS application cycle.
The cycle usually runs from mid-April to mid-June.
Planning a RSS Activity
Submitting an Application
- Any Baylor College of Medicine faculty member who is interested in establishing a new regularly scheduled series (RSS) should consult his or her department chair, division head, or section chief to determine whether the series meets the educational mission of the administrative unit and whether it overlaps any existing educational programs.
- If the RSS is sanctioned for development, the faculty member should contact the Division of Continuing Professional Development to begin the application process.
Because planning of an RSS is the responsibility of the RSS Director and the Planning Committee, it is important that they all be identified during the conceptualization of the series. Together, they will select the most appropriate educational format, identify the target audience, characterize the professional practice gaps that exist between current and best practices in the RSS specialty area, and formulate the objectives that will address the practice gaps.
Helpful Questions for Identifying Educational Needs and Practice Gaps:
- Has the administrative unit identified any areas for improvement by quality data, reports, committee actions, or other initiatives?
- What are the key issues or obstacles to patient care encountered in daily practice of the specialty?
- What kinds of clinical situations are the most difficult to manage or resolve? What factors contribute to these situations?
- How can this RSS help address and improve or eliminate these problems and challenges?
Division of Education, American College of Surgeons.
Tips for Writing Learning Objectives available at: https://www.facs.org/-/media/files/education/cme/tips_for_writing_learning_objectives.ashx. Last accessed: January 25, 2022.
- Grand Rounds
These formal meetings are typically held on a weekly basis and present clinical problems in medicine or disseminate new research information. The educational methods vary but usually include lectures, case presentations, literature reviews, panel discussions, and interactive formats. The learning objectives must be specific to the topic of each grand rounds session.
- Case Conferences
The purpose of case conferences is to improve the competency and performance of clinicians and other healthcare providers and do so often by presenting or reviewing cases accompanied by discussions around decision-making regarding diagnosis, treatment, management, referral, follow-up or other issues. Ultimately, the goal is to enhance the health of patients, disseminate new medical knowledge, and translate research findings into effective healthcare delivery in a specialty area. Case conferences are usually held on a weekly basis and usually have global objectives.
- Tumor Boards
Tumor boards provide a forum for a multidisciplinary team of specialized physicians and other healthcare providers to review complex cancer cases. In addition to case presentations, the educational methods might include panel discussions and decision-making processes. Tumor boards are usually held on a monthly or bimonthly basis and have global objectives.
- Morbidity and Mortality Reviews
Morbidity and mortality reviews provide a venue to identify areas in patient care that need improvement and to promote professionalism, ethical integrity, and transparency in exploring patient care, safety, near misses, medical errors or related areas. These reviews are usually held on a monthly basis and require a specific set of learning objectives which might include:
- Improve case-based medical knowledge applicable to patient care, such as abnormal anatomic structures, unusual presentations of common conditions, and typical and novel complications of treatment.
- Analyze the systemic issues contributing to medical errors or treatment complications.
- Contribute to the institutional quality improvement effort to reduce complications and preventable adverse events.
- Apply increased knowledge and skills to improve collaborative, interprofessional care and patient outcomes.
The application cycle begins in early April and extends through late June. Only one application needs to be submitted for each existing RSS every academic year.
The DCPD will notify all existing RSS Directors and RSS Coordinators by email at the beginning of the cycle. If a department wishes to establish a new RSS, the planned RSS Director should contact the Division of Continuing Professional Development to begin the application process.
The notification email will provide a link to the appropriate electronic application form. Depending upon when an RSS was last formally approved, the link will direct the user to a new or a renewal application form.
A copy of the annual Outcomes Assessment for the series will be attached to the notification email so it may be used to inform the application process for existing RSSs.
A new RSS application form is more complex than a renewal RSS application form.
A new RSS application requires detailed information, such as:
- A description of the primary target audience.
- A list of the Medical Specialty Boards related to the series.
- A list of the educational needs of the learners.
- A description of how the overall activity plans to address the educational needs that underlie the professional practice gaps of the learners.
- Bibliographic citations for supporting references or data sources.
- At least three global learning objectives for the series.
- A short description of the quality or process improvement gap.
- A learning objective intended to address the process improvement gap.
Other documents are also required:
- Disclosure Form: Must be completed by the RSS Director and all the Planning Committee members. The RSS Coordinator does not need to complete this form.
- RSS Director Compliance Agreement: Must be completed by the RSS Director, the RSS Co-Director (if named), and the Proxy (if named).
- Supporting References: At least two references or data sources must be submitted in pdf format.
A renewal application does not require this level of detail. Essentially, it is a means to update information regarding the RSS Director, the Planning Committee members, and the RSS Coordinator. The Disclosure Form and the RSS Director Compliance Agreement must also be updated and submitted with the renewal application.
Any Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) physician faculty member can serve as the RSS Director but should have expertise in the targeted specialty area. The RSS Director:
- Establishes the Planning Committee and designates the RSS Coordinator in collaboration with the administrative unit.
- Spearheads the planning process and oversees the completion of the RSS application.
- Once the RSS is implemented, collaborates with the Planning Committee to identify appropriate speakers for the RSS sessions throughout the academic year and mitigates any financial relationships with ineligible companies those speakers may have.
- Assures that the series maintains compliance with the requirements of Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education and the American Medical Association and with applicable BCM institutional policies and procedures.
If the RSS Director has financial relationships with ineligible companies, he or she should identify a proxy from among the Planning Committee members during the RSS planning stage. The proxy should be a physician faculty member and should not have any financial relationships. He or she will be responsible for mitigating any financial relationships of other Planning Committee members and any financial relationships of the speakers and faculty for all the RSS sessions throughout the academic year.
All regularly scheduled series (RSSs) are required to have a minimum of 4 Planning Committee members that should include:
- The RSS Director.
- Two faculty members or other healthcare professionals who are representative of the target audience.
- A resident physician, a fellow, or a student in the healthcare professions. The rationale for including a student is to build bridges across the healthcare education continuum and to create an environment that encourages lifelong learning.
- The RSS, the Director may wish to include a nurse, other allied health professions, a patient, or others on the planning committee.
The rationale for including a student is to build bridges across the healthcare education continuum and to create an environment that encourages lifelong learning.
The RSS, the Director may wish to include a nurse, other allied health professions, a patient, or others on the planning committee.
The Planning Committee serves the vital role of organizing and overseeing the RSS activity by:
- Identifying the professional practice gaps that exist between current and best practices in the specialty field covered by the RSS activity.
- Determining the educational content that will address the professional practice gaps.
- Choosing the most appropriate educational format, learning objectives, and educational outcomes for the RSS.
- Selecting the topics and speakers for the RSS throughout the academic year.
The RSS Coordinator provides administrative and operational support to the RSS Director by:
- Helping to complete the RSS application form and uploading the required documentation.
- Once the series application is approved and setup in the DCPD database, creating or gathering the required documentation for each RSS session and uploads it into Box for DCPD review and approval.
- Each academic year, conducting evaluations of at least two series sessions.
The DCPD RSS manager will review each application for completeness.
If any information or documentation is missing, the DCPD RSS manager will notify the RSS Director and the RSS Coordinator and ask them to provide it. Incomplete submissions will delay the review process and postpone approval of the application.
Sometimes edits are made to shorten descriptions and to clarify learning objectives within the application. These edits will be submitted to the RSS Director for his or her review and approval.
- The application must be completed fully.
- All required documents must be submitted.
- The RSS Director or proxy must mitigate all the financial relationships that the Planning Committee members have with ineligible companies.
The DCPD RSS manager in the Baylor College of Medicine Division of Continuing Professional Development will send an email letter to the RSS Director to notify him or her that the application has been approved or which adjustments need to be made in order to gain approval.
Developing Activity Components and Implementing Activity
- CME Basics for Regularly Scheduled Series (RSS) at https://cpd.education.bcm.edu/content/cme-basics-regularly-scheduled-series-rss.
- Regularly Scheduled Series Activities Policies and Procedures can be found in the RSS Coordinator’s Toolkit for each series.
Simultaneously with your application submission, you may request an activity financial agreement quote.
The price for each CME activity may vary due to activity type and additional add-on services. Contact the DCPD at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss course details and activity quote. Provide the following information in your email:
- Activity Title
- Activity Date(s)
- Type of Activity (Live, Enduring, or Regularly Scheduled Series). See Activity Types table for additional information.
- Desired credit types. See the available credit types for additional information. Multiple types of credit may be selected for the activity.
- Requested add-on services. See the Add-On Services table.
Included vs. Add-On Services: RSS
- Minimum requirement: two sessions.
- Preference: at least one session per quarter.
- Each series will be provided an electronic Coordinator’s Toolkit in Box (Secure Cloud document management platform) by the DCPD that contains the templates of the documents required for each session. These templates are unique to each series and contain information excerpted from the new or renewal application submitted for the series in the current academic year.
- Required session documents:
Our recommendation is to request that the presenter provide a draft (does not need to be a final version) 5 days in advance of the session so that it may be reviewed with the COI disclosure, disclosure slide, announcement flyer, and recording agreement (if applicable) at the time of submission.
- For additional information, see training Module 3A in CME Basics for Regularly Scheduled Series (RSS).
- Documents should be uploaded into a session-specific folder in Box at least 5 days before the session.
- If documents are submitted less than 24 hours before the session start time, your session may not be approved for CME credit.
For additional information, see training Module 3B in CME Basics for Regularly Scheduled Series (RSS).
Text the dedicated phone number (713-903-7277) and enter the session-specific event ID code.
- Two evaluations are required each academic year.
- Deadline is March 31.
- Evaluation Survey Form and Evaluation Summary Spreadsheet can be found in the series-specific RSS Coordinator’s Toolkit for session documents.
- For additional information, see training Module 3C in CME Basics for Regularly Scheduled Series (RSS).
A copy of the annual Outcomes Assessment for the series will be provided by the DCPD to inform the annual application process for existing RSSs.