The ACCME Must Revise the Proposed New Commendation Criteria
My initial response to the proposed new commendation criteria, released January 12, 2016, was positive. I like the menu idea, and the criteria seemed in line with everything we have been discussing in the medical education world in the last 2-4 years (or longer!)
I work with reaccreditation applications and medical education programs every day. And the more I dug into the details, the more convinced I became that the ACCME is asking the impossible, at least for many of my clients.
Take Criterion 29 for example. The new criteria states, “Develops technical and procedural skills of learners.” This should be a slam-dunk for my client, SAGES. SAGES offers hands-on labs at every annual meeting, as well several enduring materials that are designed to improve (and measure) technical skills. However, when I noticed that the standard for compliance has been proposed to be > or = 10% of learners and/or activities, I did some math.
Annual Meeting attendance = 2,400
Hands On lab attendance = 92
Percentage of learners = 3.8%
So SAGES would not be in compliance with the new standard based on percentage of learners, even though SAGES invests tremendous resources and staff time into these labs. Why does SAGES offer these labs? We have determined they benefit our learners based on self-reported performance change data. In order to meet compliance, SAGES would have to hold bigger labs which would either require lower faculty:student ratios or a huge amount of resources that probably could not be procured.
What if we counted activities?
Total number of activities offered in 2014 = 111
Total number of activities that meet the critical elements of objective assessment of technical skill = 4
Percentage of activities = 3%
In order to meet compliance, SAGES would have to eliminate a large number of video education in order to bring our percentage up to 10%. This would be the only option, as the 4 activities that do meet the critical elements have cost the society millions of dollars combined.
For this reason, I urge you to comment on the proposed criteria and to demand the ACCME re-engage stakeholders from all different provider types to determine appropriate standards for compliance for these criteria.
The call for comment ends Feb 16, 2016.