ACCME Update: PARS System and Standards of Commercial Support

The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) announced in its October newsletter the addition of more FAQs about the Program & Activity Reporting System (PARS), and provided a summary of ACCME Standards for Commercial Support Users Group Meeting. The newsletter also discussed upcoming activities and events, and other tools and tips for CME providers.

ACCME Adds More FAQs About Program & Activity Reporting System

The ACCME has added more FAQs about the Program & Activity Reporting System (PARS), a Web-based portal designed to streamline and support the collection of program and activity data from ACCME-accredited continuing medical education providers. The new FAQs, written in response to providers’ questions, address how to report Regularly Scheduled Series and give instructions for providers who are coming up for reaccreditation.

ACCME also pointed out that they will be providing live educational opportunities regarding PARS at the December ACCME workshop, and at the Alliance for CME annual conference, scheduled for January 26 – 29, 2011. There was also a reminder to CME providers that all 2010 program and activity data must be entered in PARS by March 31, 2011, to allow for the calculation of the ACCME 2010 Annual Report Data.

ACCME Hosts Standards for Commercial Support Users Group Meeting

To address the challenges presented by the evolving health care environment, the ACCME convened a “Standards for Commercial Support Users Group” meeting on September 2, 2010.  The meeting, held at the ACCME’s offices, brought together leadership from eight organizations to discuss strategies for ensuring the independence of continuing education in the health care field. The eight organizations represented were: the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, the American Osteopathic Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry, the American Dental Association, the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners, and the American Academy of Physician Assistants. The ACCME plans to hold similar meetings in the future to facilitate further strategic planning, collaboration and dialogue.

Tips and Tools

ACCME also announce placing on its web site three new interviews on the Education and Training section:

–     Planning Activities that Utilize Medical Devices: Damon Marquis, Director of Education and Member Services, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, gives an in-depth description of how his organization plans and conducts education on procedures using surgical devices while maintaining independence from commercial influence and bias.

 –     Addressing Quality and Safety Challenges: Joint Commission Perspectives (Part 1): Paul M. Schyve, MD, Senior Vice-President, The Joint Commission, explores emerging issues in hospital accreditation, including quality and safety goals and accountability measures.

–     CME Addressing Quality and Safety: Perspectives from The Joint Commission (Part 2): Paul M. Schyve, MD, Senior Vice-President, The Joint Commission, discusses how CME can play an essential role in supporting hospital accreditation requirements while improving practice and patient care.

Education and Outreach

ACCME also announced that registration is open for the final 2010 CME as a Bridge to Quality Accreditation Workshop, which will be held on December 8 –10, 2010 at the Westin Chicago River North. Click here for more information. This workshop will include two new sessions:

–       “Engagement with the Environment” is an advanced session focusing on ACCME Criteria 16 – 22, for providers seeking Accreditation with Commendation; and

–       “Next Steps for Organizations Seeking Accreditation” helps those preparing to apply for ACCME accreditation for the first time.

As noted above, a PARS kiosk will be available throughout the workshop to enable participants to gain hands-on experience.

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

The October newsletter also announced that registration is now open for the ACCME State/Territory Medical Society Conference: A Conference of Leaders, which will be held December 15-16, 2010, at the Intercontinental Chicago. The conference is designed for Recognized Accreditors and accreditation volunteers 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.

ACCME Concludes 2010 Town Halls

The ACCME announced its conclusion of the 2010 series of town-hall style meetings for different types of accredited organizations. There were five town halls, held free of charge for the following groups: publishing and education companies, government and military providers; medical specialty societies and other nonprofit providers; hospital and health care system providers; and medical school providers. The town halls drew a total of more than 630 participants, joining in person and via conference call.

Based on the discussions, the ACCME produced new educational resources, including video FAQs about Preventing Noncompliance Pitfalls and an interview series with Paul M. Schyve, MD, Senior Vice-President, The Joint Commission, described in the Tips and Tools section above. ACCME announced that it looks forward to holding its third annual series of town hall meetings in 2011.

ACCME Presents at National Task Force for CME Provider/Industry Collaboration Annual Conference

Murray Kopelow, MD, ACCME Chief Executive, gave a presentation at the 21st Annual Conference of the National Task Force on CME Provider/Industry Collaboration, held October 13 – 15 in Baltimore, MD. In his presentation, “Accreditation for Learning and Change: Supporting Effective, Efficient Health Care Delivery,” Dr. Kopelow discussed the role of CME as a strategic asset in addressing regional and national physician performance gaps and in supporting health care quality and safety initiatives.

Kate Regnier, MA, MBA, ACCME Deputy Chief Executive and COO, participated in a panel session, “Medicine’s Self-Regulation of Professionalism: Compliance with ACCME Standards for Commercial Support.” Ms. Regnier described the range of institutions, health care accreditors and legislative bodies that support the Standards for Commercial Support. She also presented data about the distribution of commercial support among accredited providers and Standards for Commercial Support compliance trends.

ACCME’s Steve Singer, PhD, Presents at National Association Medical Staff Services’ Annual Conference

Steve Singer, PhD, ACCME Director, Education and Outreach, gave a presentation at the National Association Medical Staff Services 34th Annual Conference & Exhibition, held October 2 – 6, in Orlando, FL. During his talk, “Continuing Medical Education As an Organizational Strategic Asset: Case Studies for Changing Care,” Dr. Singer explained how the Accreditation Criteria align with Maintenance of Licensure, Maintenance of Certification and hospital credentialing requirements. He discussed how CME contributes to system wide efforts to improve health care team performance and patient care, and offered participants recommendations for how to communicate CME’s value to their institutional leaders.

For CME Reference

Six cardiovascular societies from around the world have issued a statement on the use of live case demonstrations at cardiology meetings. The document was written in consultation with the ACCME. The FDA supported the document’s development and has written a companion piece, “Interventional Cardiology Live Case Presentations: Regulatory Considerations.”

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