Continuing Medical Education Program Achieves Accreditation with Commendation

The Office of Continuing Education (OCE) at Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM) was granted Accreditation with Commendation by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), its highest level of recognition for a CME provider. This special recognition extends the OCE’s accreditation term as a provider of continuing medical education from four years to six years. Of the nearly 700 providers accredited by the ACCME, approximately 20% have achieved Accreditation with Commendation.

“This designation is particularly gratifying as a testament to the expert oversight, guidance and support of the Continuing Education Advisory Committee, chaired by Deeb Salem, MD; the hard work of the staff; and the commitment of Tufts faculty to the improvement of patient care and health care quality in all of our CME activities,” says Rosalie Phillips, OCE Director, and Co-Director of Tufts Health Care Institute (THCI).

ACCME accreditation assures the medical community and the public that TUSM provides health care professionals with relevant, effective, practice-based continuing medical education that supports health care quality improvement. The ACCME rigorously evaluates institutions' continuing medical education programs according to the stringent accreditation standards adopted by all seven ACCME member organizations: 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 US, Inc.

In order to receive Accreditation with Commendation, the OCE not only met all of ACCME’s criteria to achieve full accreditation, but also demonstrated its track record as “a strategic partner in quality initiatives” with health care providers within the Tufts community and beyond to improve health care, patient outcomes, and physician practice. For example, TUSM’s Program integrates professional practice improvement into its educational activities by focusing on specialty-specific quality metrics; promotes change and reinforces learning by using adjunct strategies, such as patient education materials, online forums, and special recognition awards; and works with other health care stakeholders in Massachusetts for collaborative quality improvement. The OCE staff and consultants, in conjunction with members of the Continuing Education Advisory Committee, also play a strong and active role in the planning, development, execution, and evaluation of CE activities, particularly in the areas of quality and performance improvement.

TUSM’s OCE was established over 30 years ago to serve the continuing education needs of Tufts-affiliated physicians. Since then, it has also become a nationally accredited provider for nursing and pharmacy audiences. The program was recently awarded Accreditation with Distinction from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. More than half of the OCE’s activities are designated for an inter-professional audience, with the goal of fostering collaboration and communication among multiple professionals on a health care team. In 2005, the functions of the OCE were merged with those of Tufts Health Care Institute (THCI). Through its strong relationship with THCI, the OCE’s distinctive competence among its peers is its expertise in evidence-based practice, systems-based practice, and quality improvement, as well as its experience in online learning.

During the 2011-2012 academic year, the OCE offered 285 CME activities that reached over 50,000 physicians and other health care professionals, including regularly scheduled series at seven Tufts-affiliated institutions, live conferences, as well as enduring web- and journal-based activities. Through a routine analysis of the value and impact of its educational activities, the OCE maintains its commitment to providing the highest quality continuing education to health care professionals.

To learn more about TUSM’s Office of Continuing Education visit: md.tufts.edu/Education/Continuing-Ed-Microsite.