How I meet my CPD requirements

Prof Richard Harvey, Deputy Chair of the Committee for Continuing Professional Development

I have been a psychiatrist for the past 30 years working in a variety of public and private settings in the UK and Australia since 2003. I am currently in private practice and am the Deputy Chair of the CCPD. I view CPD as being part of my everyday work and try hard not to separate clinical work from CPD. Every patient I see offers an opportunity to learn more and to improve my practice. Integrating my thinking about CPD in this way has turned what sometimes seemed like an added burden to a positive experience that I feel helps me deliver better care.

I have been very involved with Practice Peer Review, I chair the PPR working group and have facilitated a number of PPR dyads. I also provide private supervision for a number of young psychiatrists who seem to find the opportunity to discuss their practice and share experiences helpful. I am always looking for opportunities to improve my practice and the experience for me, my patients and GPs. I am also always looking for simple ideas for quality improvement. In recent years I created a quick GP satisfaction survey (using a free online survey tool) and added a link to every letter. The feedback was positive and included lots of suggestions for keeping GPs happy and I plan to repeat this soon.

I also signed up for the AHPRA-approved patient feedback system offered by HealthShare. I receive lots of feedback from patients, and prospective patients can see my overall rating (but not patient comments). I have also implemented a number of very simple audits – always taking a random sample of 10 or so files and auditing topics such as prescribing against guidelines, consent for off-label prescribing, communication with referrers, completion of outcome measures by patients (something I am very passionate about). In every audit I learned something new (and often unexpected) and have used these learnings to adjust my practice.

The test that qualifies an improvement activity is that it forms part of a cycle of improvement (a Plan, Do, Study, Act – PDSA cycle). It is a simple concept and makes thinking about Section 3 much easier. I also strongly believe in the KISS principle (Keep It Simple pSychiatrist!).

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