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ACCME Kicks Off 2018 with Year-in-Review Report

The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education is doubling down on its efforts to drive meaningful change in post-graduate healthcare education.

The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education recently released its first-ever year-in-review report of highlights from ACCME and the CME community in 2017. Called Transforming Continuing Medical Education Together: 2017 Highlights from the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (download PDF), it outlines ways in which ACCME and accredited CME providers are using education to help healthcare professionals adapt to the changing world of healthcare, including:

• Launching the inaugural ACCME Meeting. Held in Chicago last spring, around 400 participants worked with faculty in group exercises, case study discussions, and reflection opportunities to explore CME’s role in advancing healthcare practice and patient care. In addition to its existing programs, including an accreditation workshop held in Chicago in August each year, ACCME plans to launch the ACCME Academy, an online learning management system that will offer self-directed learning plans and resources, in 2018. ACCME staff also will continue to participate in other events around the country and the world.

• Evolving Accreditation with Commendation criteria. CME providers are now implementing the new 16-criteria menu ACCME released in 2016. The goal, according to the report, “is to encourage and reward accredited CME providers for implementing best practices in pedagogy, engagement, evaluation, and change management, and for focusing on generating meaningful outcomes.”

• Bringing more visibility to CME. The ACCME launched a new logo, tagline, and color palette in 2017, along with new marks CME providers can use to showcase their accreditation status, including a mark for those who have achieved Accreditation with Commendation. ACCME also moved its offices to co-locate with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. ACCME and ACGME’s Coordinating Committee is still working, “to identify opportunities and strategies for creating a seamless and effective learning environment across the continuum of medical education, and to support the development of each clinician as a lifelong learner who delivers optimal care to patients,” according to the report. 

• Improving PARS. ACCME’s Program and Activity Reporting System, or PARS, now is available online, and includes an interface jointly accredited providers can use to report all of their activities, including those for nurses, pharmacists, physicians, and teams of HCPs.

• Collaborating for clarity. The American Medical Association and ACCME worked together to simplify both bodies’ expectations for CME activities that are certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit.

ACCME will continue to collaborate with certifying boards to streamline the Maintenance of Certification process by enabling providers to register activities that count for MOC through PARS. So far, the report says, more than 350 accredited CME providers have registered more than 14,000 activities that qualify for MOC for the American Board of Anesthesiology, the American Board of Internal Medicine, and the American Board of Pediatrics. Expanding its collaboration with ABIM, providers now can register activities that count for ABIM Practice Assessments MOC points as well as ABIM Medical Knowledge MOC points. ACCME and ABIM's collaborative efforts earned the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Profession’s 2017 Award for Outstanding Educational Collaboration in January.

ACCME’s collaboration with nursing and pharmacy accreditors, the Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education, continues to evolve, says the report. In 2017, those who provide jointly accredited activities under the program now have a credit mark they can use to identify activities as jointly accredited and designed for teams of healthcare providers.

Contributing to national public health initiatives. In 2017, ACCME held meetings, wrote letters, and provided testimony to government agencies on how CME can support public health initiatives. For example, to help address the opioid epidemic, ACCME issues reports based on data submitted to PARS about Food and Drug Administration Extended-Release/Long-Acting Opioid Analgesics Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy–compliant CE activities.

“The CME community has much to be proud of,” says ACCME President and CEO Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc. “We look forward to continuing our work together, as we fulfill our shared aspiration to enhance education, drive improvements in clinician and team performance, and—most important—to optimize care for the patients we all serve.”

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