practice management

What is the Certified Pediatric Office Executive Program? A Q&A with Paul Vanchiere

The Pediatric Management Institute is a mainstay of resources for leaders in pediatrics, offering webinars on practice management, budgeting, finances, and their annual conference is the largest private pediatric practice management event of the year. PMI has also offered in conjunction with PCC a series of webinars addressing the business needs of pediatric practices affected by the pandemic. PMI has recently announced the Certified Pediatric Office Executive program, an online program for physicians, administrators, and future pediatric leaders. PCC sat down (virtually) with PMI’s founder, Paul Vanchiere, to learn more about the program.

PCC:

Diving right in, you've just opened the Certified Pediatric Office Executive course. What is this course, and who is it for?

Paul Vanchiere:

CPOE, which some people are pronouncing “see-poe,” is not only for office managers, administrators, and people interested in leadership roles in a pediatric practice, but for physicians as well. The course is designed for them to learn about what they need to know to run a successful pediatric practice.

PCC:

There are 20 courses in the program, according to the website, including budgeting and finances, interviewing new hires, and more. What courses are you most excited about sharing with admins and pediatricians?

Paul Vanchiere:

What I'm most excited about is the capability for people to learn at their own pace. Every month we're going to be adding two more courses to the catalogue. We want to be a resource so that people can learn at their own pace what they need to know. There's nothing out there in the marketplace that offers this exclusively for pediatrics.

PCC:

Is the course completely online?

Paul Vanchiere:

There are several parts. The 20 initial courses are online, learning at your own pace. Then there is a process improvement project that people will do in their office and an essay. They have a choice between two essay questions, and they submit their essay for review. Finally, there's an interview when it's all done. All of that is managed through the online system.

PCC:

Do managers or physicians need any prerequisites prior to the course? How should they prepare for the course?

Paul Vanchiere:

I think that anyone who has a basic understanding of how medical practices run should be able to learn all the material.

One course covers how to read financial statements, and it starts from the very beginning and goes to the end. Then there’s a course on how to interview people for employment at your practice. We started at a very basic level, and then we go through it. So there's really no prerequisite per se, but if someone has at least a minimal amount of experience in a medical practice, it will make it easier to retain and understand why certain things are important.

PCC:

Could you talk a little bit more about the certification that people achieve at the end of the program? What can they do with it? How long does it last? And what do you need to do to keep it?

Paul Vanchiere:

It’s a new certification. It runs for a year, and then you renew each year for a nominal annual fee. You're expected to continue with a certain number of courses, six per year, to maintain certification. We're going to put out 24 new topics a year. You're expected to watch 20 for the initial course and 6 per year to maintain certification.

So that’s continuous learning, and we track it all, we make sure people are taking the courses and the assessments and everything.

PCC:

You said that this program is suitable for more than one person at a practice?

Paul Vanchiere:

Yeah. What we're finding is that it's not just the managing physician, but other physicians within the practice are signing up for it too, in addition to the office manager and people who will one day be future leaders. This has really helped to set the stage to provide learning opportunities, and for practices to give a resource for their employees to learn more and grow in their own professional development.

What we're finding is it's usually two or three people at each practice, which we've been quite surprised by.

PCC:

I bet it's a lot easier to complete the course when you have a buddy doing it with you.

Paul Vanchiere:

Right. If you have someone else in the same practice, they can work on their process improvement project together. It really helps.

PCC:

What led you to creating this program? And why is it important for pediatric management?

Paul Vanchiere:

First, there's really nothing in the marketplace that satisfied the nuances of pediatric practice management. I've been wanting to do this for over five years. It's only been in the last eight months that we've really made an effort to bring it all together. I think that because there's nothing in the marketplace, leveraging the experience of all the speakers, and providing relevant information, is what people need. Until now, there has been no single source of all the information they need in one place. We're looking to fill that void, if you will, to provide the resources that people are looking for. 

PCC:

Who are the people behind CPOE? Who are the people grading their essays and looking at their projects?

Paul Vanchiere:

In terms of presentations, we have myself, Suzanne Madden, Tim Rushford, Chip Hart, Alex Meyer, all recognized leaders and presenters in the pediatric space. I doubt you can find many people who have delivered great content to more pediatricians than our initial lineup.

Then, each month, we will have one new faculty member giving the presentation, so it will be someone different every month for at least one of the two courses. I will be the one personally reviewing all of the essays. Well, it's really a committee that's run by me. We’ll also be reviewing the process improvement project, providing feedback, as well as the essay, and the interview.

PCC:

Great! Finally, the program is just beginning, but what do you envision the future of CPOE might look like? Do you expect to see management put it on their resumes when applying to new positions?

Paul Vanchiere:

As people complete their certifications, we will be using a system where they can share their credentials and professional networks like LinkedIn. So that's number one.

Number two, we're really confident that this provides the one-stop-shop that every pediatric practice and organization needs to make sure that the leader has the body of knowledge that they need to run a practice. And so, the potential is there one day for there to be thousands of people who will be CPOE-certified.

PCC:

Right. And I would imagine that would expand the options as well. You might do video series and other things?

Paul Vanchiere:

Correct. And we're going to dovetail with some PMI conference activity when we get back to having an in-person event. So at future PMI events, there will be networking opportunities and recognition for those who have completed the certification.

PCC:

Is there anything else you want to add for practice leaders to know about CPOE?

Paul Vanchiere:

I think that a lot of this has been a long time in the works, and it's our intent to provide the information that people need. We're always welcome to feedback. If people think that a new burning topic is coming up, let us know so that we can expand it and provide the relevant information that people need. I believe that what we have is just the beginning, and between now and the end of the year, we will be adding eight more topics, which is almost a 50% increase in the amount of material.

So hang on to your hats, because we're going to be adding a lot of material. Now is the time to sign up for CPOE so that you can move through the material before we start adding more. Now is the opportunity to get in and get the basics under so that you can stay on top of those two videos every month that we publish.

To learn more about the Certified Pediatric Office Executive (CPOE) program, watch the video above and be sure to visit PMI’s webpage here. For questions, general inquiries, or suggestions for new material coming to CPOE, Paul invites you to reach him via email at paul@pediatricsupport.com. CPOE enrollees can also submit questions through the help desk.

Allie Squires

Allie Squires is PCC's Marketing Content Writer and a transplant from upstate New York. She holds a master's in Professional Writing from NYU.