In March, the American College of Rheumatology received Accreditation with Commendation by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). This accreditation places the ACR in the top 21% of organizations providing continuing medical education (CME) in the U.S. As a longstanding provider of CME for physicians, the ACR underwent a reaccreditation process, which included being resurveyed by the ACCME, and was awarded this highest level of accreditation—valid six years rather than four.
“Six years of Accreditation with Commendation essentially means the ACCME’s level of confidence in the quality of the ACR’s education is at the highest level possible,” explains Mark Andrejeski, the ACR’s executive vice president. “Excellence of ACR educational activities is another sign that the ACR is the top resource for certified continuing medical education in rheumatology. We place a great emphasis on providing quality CME to our members, and this accreditation is an outward sign that the ACR is reaching its goals in this area.”
ACCME accreditation seeks to assure the medical community and the public that the ACR provides physicians with relevant, effective, evidence-based CME that supports U.S. healthcare quality improvement.
The accreditation with commendation criteria speak to the place the ACR holds in the world as a CME provider that goes above and beyond the standard criteria. Accreditation with Commendation stipulates that the provider: “operates in a manner that integrates CME into the process for improving professional practice; utilizes non-educational strategies to enhance change as an adjunct to its activities/educational interventions; identifies factors outside the provider’s control that impact on patient outcomes; implements educational strategies to remove, overcome or address barriers to physician change; builds bridges with other stakeholders through collaboration and cooperation; participated within an institutional framework for quality improvement and is positioned to influence the scope and content of activities/educational interventions.”
Multiple areas of the College made it possible to meet these criteria and therefore contributed to its success as a CME provider reaccredited until 2020.
The ACCME employs a rigorous, multilevel process for evaluating institutions’ CME programs according to the high accreditation standards adopted by all seven ACCME member organizations. These organizations of medicine in the U.S. are the American Board of Medical Specialties, the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, the Association for Hospital Medical Education, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Council of Medical Specialty Societies and the Federation of State Medical Boards of the U.S. Inc.