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ACCME Commendation Criteria Review: Improves Healthcare Quality

Whether you are an accredited provider such as i3 Health or you are an educational partner working with an accredited provider, it's still important to understand the criteria that underlie continuing medical education (CME) activities. This is part of a periodic series of posts looking at what each criterion means in general and what it might mean for you.

The final group of commendation criteria, Achieves Outcomes, is also the only group from which accredited providers who are trying to achieve commendation are required to pick at least one. We have already looked at the first option (Improves Performance) and seen that these are not one-size-fits-all. Programs that don't have the right access to data to demonstrate performance improvement in their learners may find it easier to meet the second option: Improves Healthcare Quality (formerly Criterion 37).

The provider demonstrates healthcare quality improvement.

The focus of this criterion is not the individual learner. Instead, it looks at the larger healthcare system and the processes of care within that system.

There are two critical elements in this criterion.

  • You need to collaborate in the process of healthcare quality improvement.
  • You need to demonstrate that the collaboration has led to some sort of improvement.

To achieve this criterion, over the course of your accreditation term, you need to participate in at least two of these healthcare quality improvement projects.

This is not the only criterion focused on collaboration. If you are already working to achieve "Collaborates Effectively," this may be the ideal criterion within the Achieves Outcomes grouping. You're already meeting the first critical element. Now you just need to show that the collaboration has been effective. And you aren't required to have two different collaborations. As long as one collaboration has two different impacts/improvements at the systemic level, you have what is required to meet this criterion. Because it relies on working in collaboration, organizations that may have difficulty meeting other Achieves Outcomes criteria may find this criterion to be the best choice when seeking commendation.

Other Posts in This Series CME Mission and Program Improvement Educational Planning and Evaluation Promotes Team-based Education Addresses Public Health Priorities Enhances Skills Demonstrates Educational Leadership Achieves Outcomes References

ACCME (2020). Accreditation Criteria. Available at: https://www.accme.org/accreditation-rules/accreditation-criteria

ACCME (2022). Improves Healthcare Quality. Available at: https://www.accme.org/accreditation-rules/accreditation-criteria/improves-healthcare-quality 

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