ACCME October News: Reminding Providers to Enter 2011 Activity Data

In this month’s Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) newsletter, the ACCME reminded providers of several new projects, upcoming programs, and reporting requirements.

ACCME Reminds Providers to Enter 2011 Activity Data in PARS

ACCME encouraged accredited providers to start entering 2011 activity data into the Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS) in anticipation of the year-end reporting deadline.  Providers can enter basic information about an activity before it has taken place and complete the entry after the activity.  To meet the year-end reporting deadline, providers must complete entering data for your 2011 activities and complete your 2011 program summary by March 30, 2012. (These instructions apply only to ACCME-accredited-providers, not to providers accredited by a state medical society.)

ACCME noted that it has made improvements to support provider data entry, based on provider feedback, updated the FAQs on the PARS Help Page, and produced PARS Release Notes to assist providers.

Coming Soon: ACCME’s New Web Site

The ACCME is in the process of redesigning its Web site to offer a more user-friendly resource with improved navigation, organization, content, and design. The site restructuring incorporates feedback ACCME received from users of the Web site and is part of their ongoing efforts to improve services for accredited providers, Recognized Accreditors, and other stakeholders.  ACCME plans to launch the new site in the coming months.

Revised Materials for the Joint Accreditation Process

The ACCME, the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) released revised materials regarding the joint accreditation process. Launched in 2009, the ACCME, ACPE, and ANCC joint accreditation initiative seeks to reward organizations for offering team-focused continuing education that improves patient care.

The revised materials incorporate feedback received from providers and other stakeholders during the first two years of the joint accreditation process. Among the updates, the eligibility requirements have been expanded to accommodate state-accredited providers. Organizations that are already accredited in good standing by one of the three national accrediting bodies (ACCME, ACPE, or ANCC) and one state accrediting body (an ACCME Recognized Accreditor or an ANCC Accredited Approver) and that meet the other requirements are now eligible to seek joint accreditation. Previously, providers had to be accredited in good standing by two of the three national accrediting bodies in order to be eligible.

For more information, visit our Document and Forms Library and scroll down to the section Materials for ACCME/ACPE/ANCC Joint Accreditation.  To date, five continuing education providers have received joint accreditation. For more, see this news release.

Save the Date: 2012 CME as a Bridge to Quality Accreditation Workshops

The ACCME’s 2012 CME as a Bridge to Quality Accreditation Workshops are scheduled for April 18-20 and August 15-17 in Chicago. ACCME will hold “Self-Study for Accreditation” sessions in conjunction with each workshop. They will invite providers whose next accreditation decisions are scheduled for July 2013, November 2013, and March 2014. Early next year, ACCME will send more information to providers in those decision cohorts.

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 workshop information is available here. Registration for the April workshop will open later this fall.

Recognized Accreditors: Registration Now Open for the ACCME State/Territory Medical Society Conference

Registration is now open for the ACCME State/Territory Medical Society Conference: A Conference of Leaders, scheduled for December 6-7, 2011, at the Intercontinental Chicago. Designed for Recognized Accreditors (state/territory medical societies approved by the ACCME as accreditors of local CME providers) and accreditation volunteers, this conference offers the opportunity for participants and the ACCME staff to engage in strategic discussions about the CME system’s national priorities.

The theme for this year’s conference is “Collaborating to Advance CME: Building Value, Enhancing Our Efforts.”  The conference will focus on how CME providers can support Maintenance of Certification®, Maintenance of Licensure, and health care quality improvement initiatives. Participants will identify best practices for improving accreditation programs and promoting the professional development of staff, volunteers, and intrastate providers.

The December conference will build upon discussions held at the 2011 ACCME regional forums, which brought together Recognized Accreditor staff and volunteers from 24 states to discuss the national CME environment and best practices in accreditation.  For more information and to register, click here.

ACCME Invited to US-India Higher Education Summit, CDC Editorial Summit

The ACCME was invited to participate in the first US-India Higher Education Summit, held in Washington, DC, in October. Hosted by the US and Indian governments, the summit brought together international leaders in government, business, and academia to discuss their strategic vision for building collaboration between the US and India in the area of higher education. Murray Kopelow, MD, ACCME Chief Executive, offered his perspective about how continuing professional education can contribute to this initiative. For more information, see the summit agenda and the US-India Joint Statement on Higher Education Cooperation.

The ACCME was invited to participate in the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention Editorial Summit: Advancing Public Health Globally, held in September in Atlanta. The goal of the summit was to establish a sustainable, collaborative forum to facilitate the dissemination of scientific information to health care practitioners, policymakers, and the public. Dr. Kopelow discussed how CME can support the translation of new science into physician practice and improved patient care. He is also participating in ongoing efforts to further the forum’s goals.

ACCME Presents at National Medical Association Meeting

Kate Regnier, MA, MBA, ACCME Deputy Chief Executive and COO, gave a presentation at the National Medical Association (NMA) 2011 Fall Orientation Workshop, held in September in Washington, DC. The workshop provided an orientation for the NMA’s physician program committee chairs and their staff, who are responsible for developing CME activities. Ms. Regnier described how accredited CME supports health care quality improvement and safety efforts and aligns with the American Board of Medical Specialties Maintenance of Certification® (MOC) and the Federation of State Medical Boards Maintenance of Licensure (MOL) initiatives. She gave an overview of the Accreditation Criteria and the Standards for Commercial Support, provided a simple construct for approaching the Accreditation Criteria, and described examples of compliance with the criteria for achieving Accreditation with Commendation. NMA is an ACCME-accredited provider.

ACCME Participates in State Medical Society Conferences

Throughout the year, the ACCME provides ongoing support for the intrastate accreditation system, including participation in state medical society conferences and professional development trainings for intrastate providers, CME staff, and volunteers. In October, Sandra B. Norris, MBA, 2011 Vice-Chair, ACCME Board of Directors; and Marcia K. Martin, Manager, Provider Education and Outreach, ACCME, gave presentations at the Washington State Medical Association Provider Conference. Ms. Norris gave an overview of emerging changes in the health care system, leadership opportunities for CME, and the scope of the ACCME accreditation system. Ms. Martin discussed how to simplify approaches to CME, involve physicians in driving change, and identify local opportunities for positioning CME as a valued partner in public health initiatives.

So far this year, the ACCME also has participated in or is planning to participate in conferences and trainings held by various at least 20 other State medical associations.

ACCME Supports International CPD Initiatives

Over the years, the ACCME has participated in continuing medical education/continuing professional development initiatives with a wide range of countries as part of its commitment to support collaboration in the global CME community. In September, two delegations of medical professionals from China visited the ACCME as part of their study tours to learn about the US health care and CME systems. This fall, the ACCME participated in a meeting of the European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (EACCME) held in Athens, the 3rd National CPD Accreditation Conference held in Ottawa, and a meeting of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario held in Toronto.


ACCME welcomed John Sweeney, ACCME’s new Manager, Data and Information Systems. Mr. Sweeney is managing the ACCME’s public Web site and the Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS), as well as contributing to the ACCME’s technology strategic plan.

For Your Reference

“Climate Change: It’s Not about the Weather—Continuing Medical Education and Maintenance of Certification and Licensure,” published by the Permanente Journal in the Summer 2011 issue, describes how the Accreditation Criteria support emerging continuous professional development systems such as Maintenance of Certification and Maintenance of Licensure. The article was co-authored by Carol Havens, MD, Director of Clinical Education, The Permanente Medical Group; and Jeffrey Mallin, MD, former Director of Medical Education, Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center. Dr. Havens serves on the ACCME Committee for Review and Recognition and previously served as a volunteer with the Institute for Medical Quality/California Medical Association (IMQ/CMA), an ACCME Recognized Accreditor; Dr. Mallin is a member of the ACCME Accreditation Review Committee and currently serves with IMQ/CMA.

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