The 2006 Accreditation Criteria are about the improvement of your continuing medical education program, as well as the improvement that you’re trying to assist your learners with. Shewhart and Deming described the “Plan, Do, Study, Act” model for quality improvement years ago and imbued in the updated criteria is that model.
Criterion 11 asks you to look at your educational activities, but Criterion 12 asks you to link your whole program and the information that you have of your whole program back to your mission statement. There’s five required elements to the mission statement that ACCME has articulated. You have to tell us your purpose or why you are doing continuing medical education. You have to identify your target audience, your type of activities, the content areas that you’re trying to incorporate or intend to incorporate into continuing medical education and the all important expected results that are measured in Criterion 11.
Plan, Do, Study, Act. You plan continuing medical education and all of your continuing medical education is nested inside your program of resources and staff and support and the methods that you implement your program with. You plan your continuing education and then in Criteria 11 and 12 you begin the study of your success. You look at your activities and see the extent to which you’ve caused change. In Criterion 12, you look at your whole program and you see: Is it meeting your mission? Are you accomplishing what it is? Are you addressing the target audience, for example? Are you addressing the issues of why, the purpose of your activity and your expected results? And you say: This is where we’re strong and this is where we’re weak. Plan, Do, Study. We evaluate this program, we analyze it and in Criteria 13 and 14, you identify what’s the difference between what you’re doing and what you could be doing in your program. You create a strategic plan for what it is that you want to change about how you plan individual activities, how you plan your whole program of CME, how your program is structured from a staff example or your planning process.
In Criterion 15 you implement these changes and measure them – [Criterion] 14, you implement them, Criterion 15, you measure whether or not these things have been done and whether or not they’re effective. And that completes the circle of quality improvement of continuing medical education where you link your mission in your planning process in 11 and 12 to a whole program evaluation and then you have a strategic plan and you act to improve your continuing medical education program in C13, 14 and 15.