ACCME Adds New Tools to Program & Reporting System, Events and Updates

This month, the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) announced in its September newsletter a number of recent activities, including new tools for the Program & Activity Reporting System (PARS) and Revisions to the Compendium of Accreditation Decisions.

ACCME Adds New Tool to Program & Activity Reporting System; Offers More Educational Resources

ACCME has added a new function to the Program & Activity Reporting System (PARS) in response to accredited providers’ requests. PARS is a Web-based portal designed to streamline and support the collection of program and activity data from ACCME-accredited continuing medical education providers. Providers now have the option to download a copy of the data they have entered into PARS. This service assists providers in confirming the accuracy of the data they have entered and enhances their ability to use the data in PARS for their internal record-keeping purposes.

To access this function, login to PARS, click on the Activities tab, and click on the Download All Activities tab on the left navigation bar. In addition, ACCME will continue providing educational resources about PARS, including opportunities for training at the December workshop. The ACCME also plans to provide more education at the Alliance for CME annual conference, January 26 – 29, 2011. There is also a new Web Tutorial on the ACCME Education and Training Web Page called “Tab-delimited Batch Upload: Bringing Bulk Activity Data into PARS.” This is a step-by-step guide for importing activity data.

ACCME reminded accredited providers to begin using PARS as soon as possible, and that all 2010 program and activity data must be entered by March 31, 2011, to allow for the calculation of the ACCME 2010 Annual Report Data.

ACCME Revises Compendium of Accreditation Decisions

The ACCME has updated its compendium of case examples drawn from the accreditation review process. Accreditation Findings Based on the 2006 Accreditation Criteria now includes examples from the six cohorts of providers that were evaluated from November 2008 through July 2010. The compendium includes actual examples of provider practices that were found either compliant or noncompliant with the Criteria, as well as ACCME explanatory comments. The goal of the compendium is to enable providers to learn from each other and understand how the ACCME evaluates compliance.

ACCME Updates Provider Lists to Reflect July 2010 Accreditation Decisions

The ACCME has updated the provider lists on its Web site to reflect the accreditation and reaccreditation decisions that were ratified during the July Board of Directors meeting. The decisions included the following: 14 providers received Accreditation with Commendation, which confers a six-year term of accreditation, 31 providers received Accreditation, two providers were placed on Probation, and seven initial applicants received Provisional Accreditation.

The ACCME also made its first Recognition decision based on the Markers of Equivalency. Adopted by the ACCME in 2008 through a collaborative process with Recognized Accreditors, the Markers of Equivalency help ensure that accreditation decisions are consistent at the state and national levels.

Tools and Tips

ACCME posted three new video FAQs with Murray Kopelow, MD, ACCME Chief Executive, on the Education and Training section of our Web site.

   Handling Confidential Information in the Planning of CME Activities


   Monitoring Regularly Scheduled Series (RSS) for Compliance with ACCME Criteria


   The Role of Commercial Interest Employees in CME

Education and Outreach

In mid-September, ACCME Deputy Chief Executive Kate Regnier conducted a town hall at the Mid-Atlantic Alliance for CME Inaugural Meeting, held at the Pennsylvania Medical Society in Harrisburg. She discussed the ACCME’s expectations regarding compliance with the Accreditation Criteria, presented data about compliance and accreditation decisions, highlighted the common areas of noncompliance and answered participants’ questions. The conference attracted 80 participants from across the region.

ACCME Events

The 2010 CME as a Bridge to Quality Accreditation Workshop will be held one more time in 2010, from December 8 –10, 2010, at the Westin Chicago River North. Registration is now open. Two new sessions have been added to the 2010 Accreditation Workshop. “Engagement with the Environment” is an advanced session focusing on ACCME Criteria 16 – 22, for providers seeking Accreditation with Commendation. “Next Steps for Organizations Seeking Accreditation” helps those preparing to apply for ACCME accreditation for the first time. The Accreditation Workshop offers participants the opportunity to work closely with ACCME staff, which will also include information about how to use PARS.

Registration is now open for the Nevada regional workshop, scheduled for October 18 in Las Vegas. This will be the last of the four 2010 ACCME Regional Forums: Building Leadership, Building Value, produced by the ACCME to support state accreditors and state-accredited providers. The workshops help participants develop strategic and tactical approaches for positioning their CME programs as valued assets in their health care organizations.

The ACCME State/Territory Medical Society Conference will be held December 15-16, 2010, at the Intercontinental Chicago. Designed for Recognized Accreditors, this conference offers the opportunity for participants and ACCME staff to engage in strategic planning for the intrastate accreditation system. The conference will also include education and discussion about implementing the Markers of Equivalency and methods for improving accreditation programs. Registration information will be posted soon on the ACCME website and distributed to Recognized Accreditors.

Reminders and Reference

The Pennsylvania Medical Society has released a video, “The Shifting Paradigm in CME,” featuring physician leaders and CME professionals discussing the challenges and opportunities presented by the ACCME Criteria and the focus on improving physician competence, performance and patient outcomes. ACCME also reminded providers to take the survey on Promoting CME’s Value.

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