TMA Accreditation Connection: July 2012

 Latest Decisions of Accreditation with Commendation  

At its June 2012 meeting, the Committee on Continuing Education awarded Accreditation with Commendation to Knapp Medical Center, Weslaco; Seton Healthcare Family, Austin; and The University of Texas at Austin University Health Services. Congratulations to these organizations!

The committee is proud to report that 33 percent of the 55 TMA-accredited providers reviewed under the Updated Accreditation Criteria, received Accreditation with Commendation. The Texas Medical Association currently accredits 64 organizations.

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 PARS Follow-up  

The majority of TMA-accredited providers participated in Program & Activity Reporting System (PARS) training in May and June. As discussed in the training sessions, PARS is now the system of record for provider contact information and CME activity data. The SMS Online System on ACCME's website is no longer open to TMA-accredited providers. If there is historical annual report data you need to access, please contact Billie Dalrymple in the TMA CME office at (800) 880-1300, ext. 1446, or (512)-370-1446, or email Also, in answer to several inquiries, the SMS Online System is still available on ACCME's website because some state accreditation systems have not yet transitioned to PARS, but it is closed to all states that have elected to use PARS

If you have not already done so, please access PARS using your e-mail address and provider identification number to request a password. The system allows up to five users for each provider, and each user will have his/her unique password. Once the contact information is established, please begin adding your organization's activity data. You must enter all information about your2012 activities into PARS by the end of the year. ACCME's resources for using PARS are excellent. They include FAQs and the following videos:

Finally, if you need assistance with PARS, please contact Billie Dalrymple in the TMA CME office. Do not contact ACCME; they will direct you to TMA. Also, if no representative from your organization participated in PARS training, please contact the TMA CME office for a consultation.

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 CME Conference Highlights  

Some 161 attendees gathered in Austin for the recent 2012 Texas CME Conference sponsored by TMA and the Texas Alliance for CME. The conference focused on the value of CME for physicians, organizations, and the public. Todd Dorman, MD, associate dean and director of the Office of CME at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, delivered the Mark Gregg Inaugural Distinguished Lecture on the Value of CME. Dr. Dorman challenged CME professionals to establish strategies to communicate CME as a value center within the organization, including the outcomes and benefits realized by the organization as a result of CME's contributions.

Michael Fordis, MD, of Baylor College of Medicine, and Bob Addleton, EdD, of The Physicians' Institute for Excellence in Medicine, led sessions on helping CME professionals understand the language of quality and design CME that supports physician quality initiatives. Dr. Fordis shared the resources available from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) and Dr. Addleton explained the importance of using performance improvement tools in CME and led a hands-on workshop on developing a performance improvement educational activity using the AMA Performance Improvement model.

All CME providers have struggled at some point in time with measuring outcomes of CME activities as required by the accreditation standards, specifically did you measure a change in competence, performance, or patient outcomes. Gayla Bruner, MSN, RN, Director of CME at Memorial Hermann Hospital System and a member of TMA's Subcommittee on Accreditation, spoke to conference participants in a session entitled Outcomes in Activity Evaluation: Mysterious or Old Hat? Ms. Bruner provided strategies for measuring change as a result of CME and using the outcomes to support the value of CME for the organization.

To further demonstrate the strategies offered by Ms. Bruner, Anne Perch of the Methodist Hospital System in Houston, and Veronica Mason of The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, participated in a skit to plan a CME activity and devise evaluation processes to show value of the education.

Multiple breakout sessions during the conference reinforced the value of CME and offered best practices in CME, including Disclosure from Start to Finish, E-Learning, and Accreditation with Commendation. The conference also offered a CME basics course, a mentor/mentee program, and multiple exhibits with products of interest to CME providers. If no representative of your organization was able to attend the conference, the syllabus with all conference materials is available for $25 from the TMA CME office.

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 Evolving CME Accreditation System  

The Accreditation Council for CME (ACCME) Board of Directors' strategic planning in 2011 on the future of the ACCME system identified three strategic imperatives:

  1. Foster ACCME leadership and engagement;
  2. Evolve and simplify the accreditation standards, process, and system; and
  3. Explore and build a more diversified portfolio of ACCME products and services.

Since state accreditation systems must have standards and policies equivalent to the ACCME system, it is important that TMA-accredited providers are aware of this national initiative. Please view a recent video explaining CME's future, especially as it pertains to the second imperative listed above. Also, if you have not yet subscribed to ACCME's electronic newsletter, you can sign up here.

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