Life Science Compliance Update

April 26, 2017

AMA and ACCME Announce Call for Comment on Proposal

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Yesterday, the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) issued a call for comment on their joint proposal to simplify and align their expectations for accredited continuing medical education (CME) activities that offer the AMA PRA Category One CreditTM. The proposal for alignment attempts to encourage innovation and flexibility in accredited CME, while continuing to ensure that activities meet educational standards and are independent of commercial influence.

The proposal is aimed at allowing accredited CME providers to introduce and blend new instructional practices and learning formats that are appropriate to their learners and the setting, provided that they abide by the seven core requirements found within the proposal. Those seven core requirements are aligned with ACCME requirements and do not represent any new rules for accredited providers. Found in the proposal, the AMA simplified and reduced its learning format requirements to provide more flexibility for CME providers.

Under the proposal, CME providers may design and deliver an activity that uses blended or new approaches to driving meaningful learning and change. For these activities, the provider can designate credits on an hour-per-credit basis using their best reasonable estimate of the time required to complete the activity.

Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc, President and CEO of ACCME, noted,

We celebrate this collaborative effort with our AMA colleagues and the opportunity to advance the evolution of CME. This proposal reflects the values of our CME providers and supports their aspirations to engage in education that makes a meaningful difference in clinician practice and patient care. We want to do everything we can to encourage innovation and experimentation in CME, so that educators are free to respond nimbly to their learners’ changing needs while staying true to core principles for educational excellence and independence. We thank accredited CME providers for their participation in this process and look forward to their feedback on our proposal and to our continued work together to drive quality in postgraduate medical education and improve care for the patients and communities we all serve.

Susan Skochelak, MD, AMA Group Vice President for Medical Education, was also pleased with the proposal, stating,

Based on the feedback we received from the CME community during listening sessions, we recognize the need to better align the AMA and ACCME’s requirements for CME accreditation and reaccreditation. We believe that our proposal will support the evolution of CME to better meet the needs of educators, physicians, and the patients they serve. We want to hear from the CME community to make sure the proposal addresses their feedback. We encourage CME providers to submit their comments to the proposal so we can continue to evolve to a more streamlined system that meets their needs. 

Following the call for comment period, the AMA and ACCME will analyze the feedback and determine whether to make modifications to the proposal and glossary. Once finalized, the resulting new process will be integrated into the existing accreditation and reaccreditation processes.

If any of our readers wish to comment on the proposal, you may do so here. Comments will be accepted through Thursday, May 25, 2017, at 5:00 pm CST. If you are unable to meet that deadline, but wish to provide constructive comments, email info@accme.org to request an extension.

April 03, 2017

ACCME President and CEO Calls for Healthcare Leaders to Leverage CME

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Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc, President and CEO of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), recently published an article in Academic Medicine, “The Leadership Case for Investing in Continuing Professional Development.”

In his article, Dr. McMahon calls upon healthcare leaders to recognize and appreciate the power and capacity of accredited CME to address many of the challenges in the healthcare environment, from clinician well-being to national imperatives for better health, better care, and lower costs. McMahon also offers principles and action steps for aligning leadership and educational strategy, while urging institutional leaders to embrace the continuing professional development of their human capital as an organizational responsibility and opportunity.

McMahon opines that CME is “an underused and low cost solution that can improve clinical performance, nurture effective collaborative teams, create meaning at work, and reduce burnout.” He believes that to optimize CME benefits, clinical leaders need to think of CME as a way to help drive change and achieve institutional goals, in concert with quality improvement efforts, patient safety, and other systems changes.

McMahon notes, “The perception of CME as only lectures in dark rooms or grand rounds with dwindling numbers of participants listening passively to an expert is increasingly anachronistic. Equally outdated is the view that CME is about rubber-stamping applications for credit. The end point of CME is not the credit that’s attained for licensing, certification, or credentials; rather, it is learning.”

A CME program that is properly utilized – with a multi-professional scope and educational expertise – can contribute to initiatives that focus on clinical and nonclinical areas alike. Some such initiatives can include quality and safety, professionalism, team communication, and process improvements. By supporting the achievement of quality and safety goals and engaging in public health priorities, CME programs can help organizations reach various strategic goals and demonstrate leadership.

He further argued that to “reap the greatest return on your institution’s investment in education, you will need to build a collaborative learning culture. We acculturate clinicians to be decisive and confident, but patient safety is compromised when confidence is not matched by ability. Promoting self-awareness as part of your institution’s culture is key to improving patient care and safety because it allows clinicians to stop if they are unsure, seek advice from a colleague or access resources, and ensure they are making the right decision at the right time.”

Additionally, “[b]reaking down silos among professions and throughout the medical education continuum, including the involvement of undergraduate and graduate medical education leadership, improves efficiency and the allocation of resources across an institution’s educational programs. An integrated learning environment that enables health care professionals, residents, and students to share conferencing space, learning management systems, and other resources will help drive team development.”

In conclusion, Dr. McMahon notes, “Healthcare leaders who recognize the strategic value of education can expect a meaningful return on their investment – not only in terms of the quality and safety of their clinicians’ work but also in the spirit and cohesiveness of the clinicians who work at the institution.”

December 02, 2016

New Report Demonstrates Effectiveness of IPCE

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On April 20, 2016, the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) convened a Leadership Summit for Jointly Accredited Providers at the ACCME’s offices in Chicago.  

The goal of the summit was to provide an opportunity for jointly accredited providers – as leaders in the continuing healthcare education community – to work collaboratively to identify organizational models that are effective in promoting and improving interprofessional collaborative practice (IPCP) through interprofessional continuing education (IPCE) and to share success stories that demonstrate the impact of their educational efforts.

A new report, crafted based on the 2016 Joint Accreditation Leadership Summit, shows how IPCE contributes to improving healthcare team collaboration and patient care. The report includes best practices, challenges, case examples, key recommendations, and data about the value and impact of IPCE.

Report Highlights

Inclusive Team

IPCE builds team collaboration across multiple professions, from chaplains to community health workers – from physicians to psychologists – from safety experts to social workers. Additionally, teamwork takes a fundamental, on-going commitment to the principles of IPCE – the secret to collaboration is to actually collaborate.

Patient-Centered Teams

IPCE also creates a safe space where all learners, including patients, have a voice. Education that includes patients as planners, teachers, and learners, motivates powerful and lasting change. The report encouraged participants to ask: how is the structure helping patients? What professions affect patient outcomes? It is important to remember that the purpose and value of the program is to support the patient.

Cultural Care, Compassionate Value

By bringing together teams, IPCE effectively builds skills that are essential for improving care for patients and communities, such as cultural competency, compassionate values, and communications. The report notes that IPCE is a philosophy and that you “have to be a true believer, keep on living it, preaching it,” encouraging leaders to “infuse your enthusiasm into the program.”

Public Health Priorities

IPCE programs partner with institutions and communities to address quality, safety, and public health concerns such as sepsis, obesity, end-of-life care, heart disease, and cancer.

Recommendations

The report also included eight recommendations for creating and sustaining a successful ICPE program: develop buy-in from leadership; support your organization’s strategic mission; build your IPCE team and model best practices; involve patients; implement a phased-in approach; focus on quality; measure outcomes; and communicate the value of IPCE.

Videos

Along with the report a series of videos was released, which feature educators describing their goals and accomplishments, what brings them joy and pride in their work, and advice for creating IPCE programs.

Comments from Leadership

All three jointly accredited provider groups support the report, with each having a representative offer comments on the report.

“This report illustrates how jointly accredited providers are working every day to make a difference. These efforts have made, and will continue to make, a substantial difference to healthcare teams and the patients they serve. Interprofessional continuing education creates empowered teams that think courageously together, solve complex problems, and see the value of their own and their colleagues’ contributions. I encourage health system leaders and other stakeholders to recognize that an investment in education is an investment in people and to think about how they can leverage the power of education to support their community of clinicians and patients.”— Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc, President and CEO, ACCME

“We are not going to change the healthcare system unless professionals in practice learn from, about, and with each other and foster that learning in the students coming up behind them. This report shows the important work being done by jointly accredited providers and documents the benefits and outcomes of their work. As accreditors, it shows us what we need to do better to support that work going forward.”—Peter H. Vlasses, PharmD, DSc (Hon), BCPS, FCCP, Executive Director, ACPE

“As evidenced by this report, our community of continuing education providers has demonstrably improved collaborative care among healthcare professionals and patient outcomes. ANCC is so proud of the enthusiasm, commitment, and dedication that shines through in their examples. We hope that the stories and strategies provide both inspiration and practical tips for educators across the healthcare professions who are striving to benefit patients by building stronger teams.” — Kathy Chappell, PhD, RN, FNAP, FAAN, Senior Vice President, Certification/Measurement, Accreditation and Research, ANCC

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