New model requires proof of quality

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ACCME revamped its accreditation model, giving providers until 2008 to comply. While the model exhorts them to start plotting changes to the way they plan and deliver activities, a lack of specificity makes that challenging.

The model ties accreditation to medical practice by requiring providers demonstrate that their activities improve quality, from an efficacy and safety standpoint—a similar model is being adopted by those who fund education.

“As always, the manner of implementation is the decision of the leadership of each provider,” said Murray Kopelow, MD, ACCME chief executive. By assessing how they facilitate change in competence, performance or patient outcomes, providers can begin implementation, he added.

The general consensus from MECCs, specialty societies, medical schools and large associations is that the model moves CME in the right direction. “Most of us have been working really hard to get toward performance improvement and really documenting that from our CME,” said Nancy Davis, PhD, director, division of CME, American Academy of Family Physicians. “This is going to be the stimulus to get all providers thinking along those lines.”

But, she added, ambiguity is a hurdle. “That's one of the challenges to know what ACCME has in mind with the guidelines: Just knowing what the expectation is.”

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