The University of Alabama will be one of the first accredited providers to be surveyed after the new Standards go into effect, said panelist Linda Casebeer, PhD, associate director of the university's division of CME, in Birmingham, and associate director, Outcomes Inc. “We are one of the guinea pigs.” While UAB already asks faculty to use evidence-based content in their presentations, now on the UAB's new disclosure form, faculty will be asked to sign a statement saying that they will be clear about the type of evidence that supports their key teaching points — for instance, whether it's their professional opinion or comes from a guideline or a meta-analysis, said Casebeer, adding that most physicians already do that. “This is one of the best ways that we can ensure integrity, whatever their relationships are,” said Casebeer.

While Casebeer and other presenters said that their process for identifying and resolving conflicts of interest was very much a work in progress, Casebeer said it is important for providers to develop a policy in order to reassure staff. At UAB, “there was confusion and chaos because [staff members] thought that they had to review every piece of content.” Like other providers, UAB is using a peer-review and monitoring process to evaluate content. The monitoring process has been in place for about two months, she said. “It has settled a lot of the chaos. The worst part is for people not to know in what direction to move. Even if the policy will be revised or changed, it's important to develop it as a starting place.”