Accreditation with Commendation Decisions for 3 Clients – How We Did It
Three of Vivacity Consulting clients recently received Accreditation with Commendation from the ACCME and from MAG (the ACCME state-accreditor for Georgia). Although the clients are substantially different – one is a large specialty society, one is a medium specialty society, and one is a large Children’s hospital – the strategy that we followed was similar for all three.
1. Focus on the Required Areas of Compliance First
You cannot receive Commendation unless you achieve compliance with Criteria 1-13 and the ACCME’s policies. Most importantly these days, this includes the Standards for Commercial Support. (NOTE: If you have not already improved your COI system, do so now! It should be as close to perfect as possible for your most recent activities at the minimum.)
2. Discuss Commendation Criteria Everywhere
In all three instances, we translated the criteria into plain English and then showed them around the organization. In one case, we held formal conference calls with other Department heads to discuss ways in which the society might be meeting these expectations. In another, we talked about it informally with staff and Committee members. In both instances, the Education Departments learned about endeavors that could be useful both to the Commendation criteria but also as it related to the mission of the Department. The ACCME encourages collaboration with other organizations but it turns out, obtaining commendation can happen when you improve collaboration internally.
3. Look at the Compendium
This is a no-brainer, but really study the ACCME’s examples published here. In some instances, it might spark an idea that you didn’t already have. (It is also a great idea to review these examples regularly for the mandatory criteria as well.) Reviewing these examples leads to my next point …
4. Plan Early for Commendation
It’s never too early to plan for Commendation! If you notice that your organization does something that meets an element of compliance, add it to your ACCME Reaccreditation file.
But more importantly, assess areas in which your organization might be missing the mark and determine ways that you could potentially bolster your program. It’s amazing, but the ACCME developed the Commendation criteria for a reason. It turns out that, for example, implementing non-educational strategies to foster change after an educational activity (such as sending reminder emails or Tweets about the changes that were suggested) really does make your program better and your learners more likely to make that change.
Which, in the end, is the whole point of all of this!
[The ACCME is expected to release updated Commendation Criteria in 2015. Vivacity will update this blog post, if necessary, once they do so.]