On May 11, the ACR leadership approved a revised strategic plan for 2007–2009 that will guide the College’s work and determine the path the organization will take. The plan has a direct effect on the way the organization serves its members because ACR committees develop and implement programs and services based on the priorities it outlines.
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Explore This IssueAugust 2007
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In February, the ACR Board of Directors, standing committee chairs, and several invited guests met to define the College’s direction for the next two years. The result was a plan with greater emphasis on meeting the needs of all ACR members in the current rheumatology environment. Notable revisions were made in nearly all areas including:
Practice Support: The new plan includes strategies to help increase practice efficiency, with a particular emphasis on practitioners’ business needs. In light of the plan, the ACR board recently approved a restructure of the ACR’s regional advisory services which will improve communication between local rheumatology organizations and the ACR so that the ACR can more quickly identify and respond to members’ needs on a local level.
Research: Improving the health of the academic research enterprise was added as a critical issue. Research was identified in the workforce study as an area declining in manpower and lagging behind other areas of rheumatology in terms of compensation, and the ACR has affirmed its commitment to develop strategies to address this area. New initiatives over the next few years will aim to attract more qualified candidates to academic research and improve networking and mentoring opportunities.
Quality Standards: Added at the last strategic planning session in 2004, the goal to promote high quality of care for people with or at risk for rheumatic disease was substantially revised this year. A strong emphasis was placed on developing and implementing a schedule for the regular update of treatment guidelines that rheumatologists can use in their practice.
Drug safety was also added to the quality standards goal. The ACR has already created the structure to respond to safety concerns for rheumatic disease therapies; however, adding it to the plan better defines this priority.
Advocacy: The ACR’s advocacy efforts have increased substantially over the last several years. This year’s revisions include improved communication to members about advocacy efforts. As a result, members will become more engaged in the advocacy process and the ACR’s advocacy priorities will better align with member needs.
Education: This area was expanded to include recertification and quality implementation. Members now have access to various ACR products and services to help them recertify; some of these products can also help implement quality-of-care initiatives. Emphasis on maintaining the ACR’s journals as the premier rheumatology journals was also added.
Workforce: The ACR’s workforce study helped identify the challenges rheumatology will face over the next several years. With demand for rheumatology care expected to exceed supply in the near future, the ACR is working to increase the number of qualified professionals attracted to the field.
The Image and Organization goals were also revised to better facilitate communication with members and ensure the necessary organizational capabilities and resources to support the ACR’s mission.
To view the revised ACR Strategic Plan 2007–2009, go to www.rheumatology.org and click on “About the ACR.”