Message from the CEO
Making a Difference
Upcoming Educational Opportunities
Registration Now Open for April 2016 CME as a Bridge to Quality™ Accreditation Workshop
Collaboration and Engagement
ACCME Participates in Meetings with Colleague Accreditor Organizations
We’re Hiring: ACCME Announces Position Openings
Awards, Achievements, and Best Practices
Accredited CME Providers: Share Your Awards and Achievements
CME Works! Share Your Best-Practices—Call for Submissions
For Your Reference
“CME That Counts for MOC: A Collaboration of ABIM and ACCME,” Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc, and Richard J. Baron, MD, Alliance Almanac
“Acquisition, Analysis, and Sharing of Data in 2015 and Beyond: A Survey of the Landscape,” Journal of the American Heart Association
“QCHP Hosts Annual International Academy for CPD Accreditation Meet,” Gulf Times
“How to Huddle: Teaching Teamwork Skills to Improve Patient Safety,” A Video and Resources, Healthcare Innovation in Practice
“Continuing To Learn: UConn Keeps Doctors Up-To-Date,” Hartford Courant
“Assessing Progress on Institute of Medicine Report The Future of Nursing,” Institute of Medicine
In Case You Missed It
Video Interview Series: Building Interprofessional Communication and Leadership through CME; Obama Administration Announces Public and Private Sector Efforts to Address Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin Use
Message from the CEO
In describing why she works in CME, one of our volunteers said, "I need to make a difference in the lives of others.” As 2015 draws to a close, I reflect on the accomplishments of our continuing education (CE) community and thank you for the work you are doing every day to make a difference and improve the health of our nation.
The diversity of our community enables CME to be flexible, nimble, and responsive to healthcare needs on the local, regional, national, and international level. Our data shows that CME providers in the ACCME System offer more than 147,000 educational activities each year, comprising more than one million hours of instruction and including more than 25 million interactions with physicians and other healthcare professionals.
Our community is responding to public health imperatives. In support of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) for Extended-Release and Long-Acting Opioid Analgesics, 82 accredited CME providers reported 449 REMS-compliant activities educating more than 70,000 learners. This is just one example of the leadership, collaboration, and expertise that CME providers bring to healthcare quality and safety initiatives. Two-thirds of accredited CME programs integrate CME into the process for improving professional practice and participate within an institutional or system framework for quality improvement.
In our interactions with stakeholders, we’ve heard that a high priority is to facilitate the alignment of continuing professional development systems and to simplify the integration of Maintenance of Certification (MOC) and CME. The collaboration between the ACCME and American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) is a terrific opportunity to make a real and meaningful difference to physicians. There are now more than 500 activities registered in PARS for ABIM’s MOC program and this week we opened PARS for submission of participant data.
Throughout my career, my passion for education has sustained my passion for medicine—as a physician and educator and now as the ACCME’s CEO, I’ve seen the power of education to drive quality in our profession and in healthcare. In my interactions with the CE community across the country, I’ve seen your commitment to helping overcome the gargantuan challenges facing healthcare. I celebrate your dedication and achievements, and look forward to continuing to work together as we advance CME’s role in the changing health environment and improve care for the patients we serve.
Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season.
Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc
President and Chief Executive Officer
Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education
We are pleased to announce the following updates to support accredited providers’ engagement with CME that Counts for the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program.
Effective December 15, 2015
CME providers can now submit participant data in the ACCME Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS) for ABIM’s MOC program. Accredited providers are required to submit participant data for each activity registered as meeting ABIM’s Medical Knowledge Assessment Recognition Program requirements via PARS. We thank the CME providers who participated in the beta testing of the PARS Participant Management Interface. Testers submitted valuable feedback, which we have used to improve the process and to produce educational and training materials for the CME provider community.
Important points, timelines, and resources are listed below, including an invitation to join our webinar on January 7, 2016, from 12:30 pm–2:00 pm Central.
Important Points and Timelines
- For activities that participants completed in 2015, CME providers will need to submit participant data by December 31, 2015. Please note: Some ABIM Board Certified physicians may need to complete MOC requirements by December 31, 2015. In order for the CME activities to count toward those requirements, ABIM will need to receive completion data by December 31, 2015. However, recognizing that CME providers may not be prepared to submit completion information by the end of the year, ABIM has implemented a grace period through the first week of January for the submission and processing of year-end participant completion data. During the grace period, ABIM will not change any physician’s status on the ABIM website to avoid penalizing physicians who may have completed a CME activity by December 31, 2015. However, ABIM’s MOC requirements for physicians have not changed and physicians still need to meet those requirements by December 31. ABIM will still accept completion information for activities completed in 2015 after December 31, 2015 and the MOC points earned for those activities will continue to count toward the MOC requirements currently in place.
- For activities that participants completed in 2014 only, CME providers will need to submit participation data by June 30, 2016.
- CME providers working with ABIM prior to the ABIM-ACCME partnership launched on September 30: Any activity for which you have a unique alpha-numeric ABIM module code and are currently using the old ABIM web service, you may continue to submit participant completion data through the ABIM web service. However, beginning in 2017, ABIM will discontinue use of its web service and all participant completion data must be submitted through PARS.
- Submission methods include web services (see more information below), batch upload, and manual data entry.
- Provisional validation process: When you submit participant completion data, PARS will verify the participant’s ABIM ID and birth date, and if verified, will transmit the record to ABIM for validation. You will be able to see that PARS has changed the status of the participant record from “submitted” to “accepted.” If any participant records are rejected during the validation process, the ACCME will be notified, and we will contact providers to address the issue. We implemented this provisional validation process to expedite the process of physicians receiving credits during the initial implementation phase. The process will be changed in the near future so that the status of the participant record will be changed to “accepted” only after the ABIM completes its validation process.
Join our Webinar: Submitting Participant Data in PARS for ABIM’s MOC Program
The ACCME and ABIM will host a webinar on January 7, 2016, from 12:30 pm–2:00 pm Central time to review the process for submitting participant data for ABIM’s MOC program in PARS and to answer your questions. This webinar is open to all accredited providers in the ACCME System as well as to other stakeholders who are participating in this process. Space is limited and we suggest that you sign up in advance. Please feel free to review the new FAQs about submitting participant data in preparation for the webinar. We also invite you to submit your questions in advance.
Participant Management Resources
- Submitting Participant Data in PARS for ABIM’s MOC Program: A step-by-step tutorial for CME providers.
- Ask ACCME about Submitting Participant Data in PARS
- ACCME PARS Tab Delimited Participant Upload Instructions
- ACCME PARS Learners Tab Delimited Template
- XML Learner Reports: A zip file containing a description of the XML file format to be used for submitting participant completion data for activities registered for ABIM's MOC program, a sample XML file, and technical files. This file is useful to support both implementation of the web services (see below) and XML batch upload file development.
We have implemented web services that will enable your software applications, such as learning management systems, to submit activity and participant completion data directly to PARS. The goal of these services is to reduce the need for CME provider staff to use manual data entry or batch upload methods. To use these web services, your developers will need to make modifications to your software.
Resources for Web Services
The following resources provide guidance for your IT professionals:
- ACCME PARS Web Services: This guide describes how to modify CME providers’ software/learning management systems to allow them to communicate directly with PARS. Please note this guide has been updated since we published the pre-release guide earlier this month.
- XML Learner Reports: A zip file containing a description of the XML file format to be used for submitting participant completion data for activities registered for ABIM's MOC program, a sample XML file, and technical files. This file is useful to support both implementation of the web services and XML batch upload file development.
- Testing site: A test site is available as a tool to aid in the development and testing of software designed to use these web services. If you're interested in using the test site, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
CME Community Engagement
There are now more than 500 activities registered in PARS for ABIM’s MOC program. We are encouraged by the CME community’s high level of engagement and we look forward to continuing to work together with you to facilitate the integration of MOC and CME for the benefit of our community of physician learners.
We are providing you with this update only to bring it to your attention—there is no requirement for you to pursue the option of registering CME activities for ABIM’s MOC program.
The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME®) announces that Victor I. Reus, MD, and Todd Dorman, MD, were elected 2016 Chair and Vice Chair of the ACCME.
Dr. Reus is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, and former Director and Vice Chair of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, as well as former Chair of the Residency Review Committee for Psychiatry of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
Dr. Dorman is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Anesthesiology and holds a Certificate of Special Qualifications in Critical Care Medicine. He is the Senior Associate Dean for Education Coordination and the Associate Dean for Continuing Medical Education for the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
Read more about the Board leadership in our news release.
Upcoming Educational Activities
Registration is now open for the ACCME's 2016 CME as a Bridge to Quality™ Accreditation Workshop scheduled for April 14–15 in Chicago. As we have done in previous years, we will hold "Self-Study for Accreditation" sessions in conjunction with each workshop. Early next year, we will send more information to providers about registering for the self-study sessions.
Designed for all levels, from CME novices to masters, the Accreditation Workshops offer participants the opportunity to work closely with ACCME staff, national CME leaders, and colleagues to learn practical strategies for complying with accreditation requirements and positioning CME as a Bridge to Quality within their organizations.
More information on the April workshop is available here. Another workshop will be held August 4–5, 2016; information on the August workshop is available here. Registration for the August 2016 workshop will open in spring 2016. If you have questions please contact Melody Latham, Coordinator of Education and Outreach, at email@example.com.
NEW for the April 2016 Workshop — CME that Counts for ABIM MOC: At this two-hour session, staff from the ACCME and American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) will discuss the integration of Maintenance of Certification (MOC) and accredited CME, explore strategies for advancing CME in support of MOC, explain how to register CME activities and submit participant data for ABIM’s MOC program in PARS, and answer your questions about the ABIM’s Medical Knowledge Assessment Recognition Program requirements. For more information about the ACCME and ABIM collaboration, visit CME that Counts for ABIM MOC.
Feedback from August 2015 Workshop Participants
- “Dr. McMahon's presentations changed my perspective on the impact my job has toward the end result of better patient care. I will view my CME tasks as being world-changing.”
- “The very first session for new CME learners was most helpful to me. It provided a comprehensive overview that made me feel ready to dive in.”
- “It was helpful to talk with my peers at other organizations about challenges and best practices. I came away with a lot of really good ideas and strategies that will help me going forward.”
Collaboration and Engagement
The ACCME participated in the following events to support the ongoing collaboration of colleague accreditors in the healthcare education community and the alignment of medical education across the continuum.
- Kate Regnier, MA, MBA, Executive Vice President, ACCME, participated as a guest panelist at 40 Years Later: Current and Future Opportunities and Challenges, an invitational conference convened by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). Ms. Regnier discussed how accredited CME supports public health initiatives and the importance of interprofessional continuing education (IPCE) in improving patient care.
- Ms. Regnier also attended the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) New Initiative Kick-Off Meeting, which announced the launch of Pursuing Excellence in Clinical Learning Environments, a four-year initiative designed to “promote transformative improvement within the clinical learning environments of ACGME-accredited Sponsoring Institutions and their residency and fellowship programs,” according to the news release. The initiative includes partnerships with 21 national healthcare and education organizations, including the ACCME.
The ACCME is continuing to enhance its services to the CME community in support of its strategic goals. Toward that end, we have several positions available for interested, dedicated individuals who would like to join our staff. Detailed position descriptions and qualification requirements for each opening as well as application information are available on our careers webpage.
- Coordinator of Accreditation and Recognition: As part of the ACCME Accreditation and Recognition team, the Coordinator provides support for approximately 1,900 accredited CME providers and 40 state medical societies recognized as accreditors by the ACCME.
- Data and Information Analyst: The Analyst supports the maintenance, use, and continuous improvement of ACCME’s proprietary software applications including the Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS) as well as other software used in the workplace.
- Communications Specialist: The Specialist supports the management of digital communication strategies designed to promote the value of accredited CME and assists with the development, implementation, and ongoing improvement of social media strategies.
Multimedia Developer: As part of the Education and Outreach team, the Multimedia Developer manages the development and production of multimedia projects that support the ACCME’s strategic goals of improving educational resources for CME providers and promoting the value of accredited CME to multiple stakeholders. The developer oversees projects from concept to execution, collaborating closely with ACCME teams.
Awards, Achievements, and Best Practices
If your CME program has received an award or recognition for your achievements, we want to help to spread the word. To further our goal of advocating for CME and supporting your efforts to communicate the value of your work, we will publicize your achievements on our website and in our newsletter. Send the information to Tamar Hosansky at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ve heard from our community of CME providers that it would be helpful for the ACCME to facilitate sharing of best practices. Beginning in 2016, we will post brief, best-practice videos (three to five minutes in length) produced by accredited CME providers following our guidelines. Videos will focus on sharing practical strategies and perspectives for planning and implementing effective CME. Here are a few suggested questions the videos could address—these are suggestions only; we invite you to identify which of your best practices would be most helpful to share with your colleagues.
- How does my CME program engage large groups in active learning?
- How does my CME program facilitate performance change?
- What’s the best way to build an effective CME committee?
- What approaches work best to support personalized learning?
- What is a really effective evaluation question or tool?
- How can social media support learning?
- What are effective ways to recruit physician champions?
- How did my program begin to integrate CME with Quality Improvement?
We welcome your ideas. Participation is open to all accredited providers in the ACCME System. If you are interested in participating, please email Melody Latham, Coordinator of Education and Outreach, at email@example.com with a brief description of the best practice that you will feature in your proposed video. If we accept your submission, we will contact you to discuss the next steps and provide you with video production format requirements.
- “CME That Counts for MOC: A Collaboration of ABIM and ACCME,” by Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc, President and CEO, ACCME; and Richard J. Baron, MD, President and CEO, American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), appears in the November issue of the Almanac, the newsletter of the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions (ACEhp). The article describes how the ABIM/ACCME collaboration enables accredited CME providers to offer more activities with Maintenance of Certification (MOC) credit to internists and subspecialists. The Almanac is available to ACEhp members only.
- “Acquisition, Analysis, and Sharing of Data in 2015 and Beyond: A Survey of the Landscape,”, a conference report from the American Heart Association (AHA) Data Summit 2015, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, explores issues related to the acquisition, analysis, and sharing of data in the field of cardiovascular and stroke science. Steve Singer, PhD, Vice President for Education and Outreach, ACCME, participated in the summit and contributed a section to the report “Addressing Workforce Challenges with Continuing Education,” which describes the role of CE in addressing big data issues. “With [more than] 1 million hours of instruction delivered annually, accredited CE providers (including the AHA) have the reach, expertise, and resources to be strategic partners for health systems, institutions, care teams, and individual health professionals by facilitating the integration of new technologies into continuing professional development,” Dr. Singer wrote.
- “QCHP Hosts Annual International Academy for CPD Accreditation Meet,” Gulf Times, reports on the annual meeting of the International Academy for CPD Accreditation, hosted by the Qatar Council for Healthcare Practitioners. The meeting focused on international collaboration among CME and continuing professional development (CPD) accreditation systems. The International Academy for CPD accreditation was founded in 2013 by the ACCME and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada to provide a high-level forum for CPD/CME accreditation system leaders from around the world to explore and learn from each other’s accreditation systems.
- “How to Huddle: Teaching Teamwork Skills to Improve Patient Safety,” a video produced by Healthcare Innovation in Practice, showcases how the Veterans Health Administration’s Primary Care Clinics implemented a model, Patient Aligned Care Teams, that teaches, practices, and coaches teamwork in hospitals and clinics. The video shows how huddles—brief, routine, face-to-face team meetings—can improve team functioning and patient care. Additional resources about huddles are available here.
- “Continuing To Learn: UConn Keeps Doctors Up-To-Date,” Hartford Courant, reports on the CME program at the UConn School of Medicine, focusing on the shift toward a system of lifelong learning in the medical professions and the role of CME as “an indispensable element” of healthcare training. The article describes the ACCME’s role in overseeing standards that focus on physician competence and performance and impact on patient outcomes.
- “Assessing Progress on Institute of Medicine Report The Future of Nursing,” Institute of Medicine (IOM), analyzes the impact of the 2010 IOM report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. This new assessment recommends increasing interprofessional collaboration and lifelong learning, and describes Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education™ as one of the efforts promoting interprofessional learning. “Joint Accreditation allows organizations to develop innovative programs to further build the competency of clinicians working in healthcare teams,” the report states.