You’re ready to seek Accreditation with Commendation? Congratulations! While the procedure itself can be intimidating, understanding the process for organizations with joint accreditation seeking commendation can be a simple process. In this post, we will walk you through the process of applying for accreditation with commendation and offer tips on how to streamline preparation for review.
Joint Accreditation Criteria Primer: The Basics
If you’re an old pro then feel free to skip this section and head to the next, feel free to skip this section and head to the next where we cover the ACCME’s updates to Accreditation with Commendation criteria effective June 2020. Need a quick review? Here are the basic criterion that you’ll need to know:
What is Joint Accreditation?
The ACCME’s Joint Accreditation option may be confused with Joint Providership, but they involve different sets of criteria and benefits.
Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing EducationTM permits CME providers to gain accreditation for medical, nursing, optometry, pharmacy, and social work educational programming through a single application process under a unified accreditation criteria. This allows CME providers to award education, continuing education, or interprofessional continuing education credit (IPCE) for multiple healthcare professions without having to follow a separate accreditation process for each profession.
Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education is a collaboration of the:
- Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME)
- Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)
- American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
- American Academy of PAs (AAPA)
- American Psychological Association (APA)
- Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry’s Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (ARBO/COPE)
- Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB)
How Could Joint Accreditation Help My Organization Achieve Commendation?
As a CME director, one of your biggest challenges is adjusting the breadth of your program’s content to meet the needs of an ever-diversifying audience of healthcare professionals. That may include:
- Developing content to help new nurses adjust to changes in training requirements for nurses involved in long-term nursing home care;
- Providing specialty training in high-demand topics such as opioid regulations for pharmacists;
- CME preparation for potential changes in treatment regulations for optometrists;
- Offering short online courses detailing new state-specific telehealth regulations for psychologists.
In achieving Joint Accreditation you are fulfilling a critical component of your CME mission—broadening the range of educational options for a wider portion of the healthcare community—while gathering important data on educational outcomes that can be used to improve the overall quality of CME you provide.
The qualification process for Joint Accreditation — requiring creativity in curricular design, collaboration among stakeholders (such as students and educators), and a constant assessment of professional practice gaps and educational intervention strategies — mirrors the application path for Accreditation with Commendation.
While standards are exceedingly high for Accreditation with Commendation, they are not unattainable, and Joint Accreditation is an excellent advantage in the application process.
Wait—Are You in Joint Accreditation Compliance? A Checklist
Before we get to updates for 2020 to Joint Accreditation compliance criteria, let’s take a quick quiz to make sure you are aware of current criterion and their applications.
- We have created a mission statement that presents an educational approach that is focused on creating demonstrable improvements in desirable professional attributes, skills, knowledge, or patient outcomes for a healthcare team as a whole. (Criterion 1)
- My organization has a proven method for collecting and analyzing program efficacy data that is comprehensive, outcomes-focused, and cross-referenced with our stated CME mission, covering the entire timeline of CME activities during the Accreditation period. (Criterion 2)
- We have extensive documentation showing our planning, development, launch, and benchmarking process for all program design and implementation activities, with reporting that shows a clear path towards outcomes improvement over time. (Criterion 3)
- We use data to design CE activities that are directly related to professional practice gaps experienced by healthcare teams or team members identified through research, self-reports, or internal data. (Criterion 4)
- Our program creates CE activities that have clear educational outcomes as their goal, and which can be measured and analyzed for impact over time. (Criterion 5).
- My CE program presents relevant content that is timely and connected to current or potential professional practice needs. (Criterion 6)
- Our CE offerings are engaging and matched in content, scope, and method of delivery to the setting, educational goals, and unique needs of the audience of our program. (Criterion 7)
- We develop activities and educational interventions to create specific educational outcomes in the form of desirable professional attributes for the healthcare team as a whole, with respect to all aspects of teamwork, professional duties, and collaboration. (Criterion 8)
- Our organization creates programming and educational content that is consistently independent of commercial interests (ACCME Standards for Commercial Support: Standards to Ensure Independence in CME ActivitiesSM), including (Criterion 9a-9d):
- “Identification, resolution, and disclosure of relevant financial relationships of all individuals who control the content of the continuing education activity.
- Appropriate management of commercial support (if applicable).
- Maintenance of the separation of promotion from education (if applicable).
- Promotion of improvements in health care and NOT proprietary interests of a commercial interest.”
- We provide extensive support through creative means (such as notifications) to learners to ensure ongoing engagement, knowledge retention, and demonstrable positive outcomes in addition to educational interventions. (Criterion 10)
- We research and identify external elements that may impact the quality of patient outcomes. (Criterion 11)
- We develop specific educational content and programming to enable the healthcare team to employ strategies surmount barriers to improvements in patient outcomes. (Criterion 12)
- We use a comprehensive dataset as a basis for analysis of the changes in the healthcare team’s educational outcomes (including desirable professional attribute enhancement, practice gaps, and the quality of patient outcomes) over time as a result of CE programming. (Criterion 13)
While it may be tempting, don’t become discouraged if you are not answering “Yes” to each question with full confidence. Compliance is not perfection, it is a process. Using the right data analytics and learning management system (preferably through a single platform) you can perfect your compliance over time.
A Step-by-Step Review of Revisions to Joint Accreditation and ACCME Accreditation with Commendation Criteria Effective in 2020
CME providers accredited by the ACCME can achieve Accreditation with Commendation, which is an acknowledgment of exceptional educational achievement and which grants a six-year accreditation term. Per the ACCME:
- To achieve commendation, providers must comply with Criteria 1-13 and choose one of the following two options. Providers that are receiving accreditation decisions through November 2019 have the choice of using either…
- Option A: Commendation Criteria (C16-C22) or
- Option B: Menu of Commendation Criteria (C23-C38) to seek Accreditation with Commendation.
Providers that will receive accreditation decisions after November 2019 must use Option B: Menu of Commendation Criteria (C23-C38) to seek Accreditation with Commendation.
The Biggest Changes in Commendation Criteria Requirements and How They Will Impact Your Organization
Criterion 23-38 represent a significant change in what the ACCME requires to achieve Accreditation with Commendation.
For your organization, this will require:
- A mastery of program data, encompassing learner demographics, feedback, and educational outcomes over time;
- The ability to pull insights from anywhere along the program timeline;
- The capability to create detailed reports and data visualizations presenting a compelling narrative on educational improvements;
- The capacity for easy communication and collaboration between learners, external organizations, and CME program management on educational strategy and content;
- The use of strategies and educational tools that demonstrate a willingness to innovate to enhance learner and patient results;
- The ability to track and demonstrate patient outcome improvement over time using professional analytics tools;
- A comprehensive system for CME quality assurance that includes all ACCME compliance requirements and data submissions.
Are You Ready for 2020? A Checklist
- Can you easily access all of your program data, regardless of where it exists on your timeline?
- Is it easy for you to generate detailed data visualizations documenting educational outcomes over time?
- Can you present elegant reports that include extensive data easily using customized templates?
- Are PARS-compliant data submissions automated?
- Is it simple to find specific learners or courses in your current learning management system to highlight positive educational results for a report?
- Is data collection “clean” –automated and drawn directly from the source without the need to manually update information?
If you can’t answer “Yes” to each question, it’s likely that you may face administrative and operational challenges in 2020.
Why is It Nearly Impossible to Achieve Commendation for Most CME Providers? Not with the Right Technology Partner.
If you choose a technology platform that offers integrated LMS and data analytics services, you can easily streamline preparations for your Accreditation with Commendation application. With EthosCE as your technology partner you gain access to:
- A robust data analytics suite that automates data visualizations, reporting, and PARS-submissions
- Curriculum tools that make innovation simple, ranging from video to animation integrations
- An all-in-one CME management platform featuring automated administrative tasks, classroom management, and on-demand digital publishing.
EthosCE believes CME technology solutions should be designed to improve healthcare professionals’ user experience, comply with ACCME guidelines, reduce administrative costs, and demonstrate measurable outcomes.
To learn how EthosCE can help you achieve commendation, request a free 1-on-1 demo with one of our specialists today.