• Criterion 35—CME Related to the American Medical Association Physician’s Recognition Award (AMA PRA) (1) “Requirements for Designating New Procedures and/or (2) “Verification of Proctor Readiness” or “Verification of Physician Competence to Perform the Procedure.” This criterion places added value on CME providers’ implementation of two AMA PRA outcome designations for educational activities that are designed with the specific purpose of learning about new skills and procedures. Note: For certain providers that already offer skills-based training, this recognition will be welcome. For others, it could add a hands-on component to skills education, especially those that involve proctors. This criterion will add an incentive to implement the see-one-do-one-teach-one process that has been a bedrock of medical education.

• Criterion 36—Improvement by Individual Learners in Their Own Performance-in-Practice. This criterion goes beyond designing activities to changing performance and measuring those changes. It rewards providers that can demonstrate that individual learners have improved their performance in practice. Note: This new criterion seems to relate to new Criterion 29, but it focuses on the measurement of individual learner improvement. This criterion will be prosaic for providers that engage in remedial education for physicians. However, it is certainly a corollary to other criteria relating to individualized CME in that it provides evidence of compliance with Joint Commission requirements for health systems and hospitals. It also provides healthcare organizations with a management system to control and incentivize physician learning. Finally, it would serve to both identify performance gaps for physicians and as a means to resolve them with documentation that improvements were made.

• Criterion 37—The CME Program Contributed to Changes in Processes of Delivering Healthcare. This criterion focuses on systems-based practices that are beyond changing individual learners’ performance. It seeks to identify providers that have contributed to change in areas that could include:

-Interaction between CME and quality improvement

-The coordination of patient care

-Interprofessional collaborative practice

-Population-based care

-Enhancing patient safety

-Identifying system errors and implementing potential systems solutions

Note: This extension of and companion to existing Criterion 21 puts extra power behind the CME quality continuum in hospitals, health systems, and academic centers. This criterion would incentivize specialty society CME programs to measure the impact of education that focused on a specific area of medicine. It also would become a causal link to the implementation of clinical guidelines and the impact on quality results. Importantly, this criterion reinforces the importance of CME existing as a part of a system, rather than an individual silo. It also identifies areas of medical care that require improvement, and requires a multipart process of attacking the problem and a systemwide commitment to correcting the problem.

Steven M. Passin, FACEHP, CCMEP; Susan C. O’Brien, CCMEP; Judy M. Sweetnam, M.Ed., CCMEP; and Denise J. Doyle, CCMEP, are with Steve Passin and Associates, a CME consultancy based in based in Newtown Square, Pa.