Providers frequently ask us whether or not a knowledge-based activity is fair and in compliance with ACCME’s requirements. They ask us this because in the mission statement, in Criterion 2, we talk about changes in competence, performance and patient outcomes; but when we talk about needs, we ask people to look at what knowledge or competence or performance problems underlies the need. And that confuses people.
ACCME wants providers to be measuring the impact , to be setting its goals and objectives in the mission statement, and to be measuring its impact in Criteria 11 and 12 in terms of knowledge in action — competence, which is the strategy, the person's ability, or performance or patient outcomes. We want you to hope and aspire to change competence, performance and patient outcomes, and we want you to be measuring whether or not you have.
Knowledge is a critical element of competence and it’s a critical element of performance and it’s a critical element of patient outcomes. And if a provider determines that there is a knowledge deficit, that underlying the performance gap is a knowledge deficit, well then of course, the provider should try and change that. But, what we want the provider to do — and they can measure a change in knowledge if they want — but we want them to go beyond that as well and measure the change in competence as a result. So, it’s: What will you differently as a result of this information that you have? Competence is knowledge in action. So, sure you can do education on knowledge that’s changing what people know — pathophysiology or molecular biology — but what we’re looking for is how the providers apply that.