Modifications to Joint Accreditation Criteria and New Option for Commendation

By Kurt Snyder, JD

Providers interested in Joint Accreditation take notice! On June 11, 2019, modifications to the Joint Accreditation Criteria were announced along with a new option for commendation. These modifications are effective June 1, 2020, and parallel many of the advancements we have seen from ACCME with their criteria. This also means that, starting next year, Joint Accreditation applicants will have to seek commendation to secure six years of accreditation.

In addition to these changes, some minor changes were made to the core criteria. You can learn more about Joint Accreditation and these changes at http://www.jointaccredtation.org.

Like ACCME, Joint Accreditation has adopted a menu structure.  Specifically, to achieve commendation, providers need to demonstrate compliance with JAC 1–12 and any seven of the 13 commendation criteria. For your convenience, the criteria and rationale for each are listed below. You will see that many of them are similar to the criteria required of ACCME with the noteable difference that the criteria are focused on IPCE.

Criteria 13. The provider engages patients as planners and teachers in accredited IPCE and/or CE.

Rationale: Accredited continuing education (CE) is enhanced when it incorporates the interests of the people who are served by the healthcare system. This can be achieved when patients and/or public representatives are engaged in the planning and delivery of CE. This criterion recognizes providers that incorporate patient and/or public representatives as planners and teachers in the accredited program.

Critical Elements: Includes planners who are patients and/or public representatives; AND Includes teachers who are patients and/or public representatives.

Criteria 14. The provider engages students of the health professions as planners and teachers in accredited IPCE and/or CE.

Rationale: This criterion recognizes providers for building bridges across the healthcare education continuum and for creating an environment that encourages students of the health professions and practicing healthcare professionals to work together to fulfill their commitment to lifelong learning. For the purpose of this criterion, students refers to students of any of the health professions, across the continuum of healthcare education, including professional schools and graduate education.

Critical Elements: Includes planners who are students of the health professions; and includes teachers who are students of the health professions.

Criteria 15. The provider supports the continuous professional development of its own education team.

Rationale: The participation of IPCE professionals in their own continuous professional development (CPD) supports improvements in their CE programs and advances the IPCE profession. This criterion recognizes providers that enable their IPCE team to participate in CPD in domains relevant to the IPCE enterprise. The IPCE team are those individuals regularly involved in the planning and development of IPCE/CE activities, as determined by the provider.

Critical Elements: Creates an IPCE-related continuous professional development plan for all members of its IPCE team; and learning plan is based on needs assessment of the team; and learning plan includes some activities external to the provider; and dedicates time and resources for the IPCE team to engage in the plan.

Criteria 16. The provider engages in research and scholarship related to accredited IPCE and/or CE and disseminates findings through presentation or publication.

Rationale: Engagement by jointly accredited providers in the scholarly pursuit of research related to the effectiveness of and best practices in IPCE and/or CE supports the success of the enterprise. Participation in research includes developing and supporting innovative approaches, studying them, and disseminating the findings.

Critical Elements:  Conducts scholarly pursuit relevant to IPCE and/or CE; and submits, presents or publishes a poster, abstract or manuscript to or in a peer-reviewed forum.

Criteria 17. The provider integrates the use of health and/or practice data of its own learners in the planning and presentation of accredited IPCE and/or CE.

Rationale:  The collection, analysis and synthesis of health and practice data/information derived from the care of patients can contribute to patient safety, practice improvement and quality improvement. Health and practice data can be gleaned from a variety of sources; some examples include electronic health records, public health records, prescribing datasets and registries. This criterion will recognize providers that use these data to teach about health informatics and improving the quality and safety of care.

Critical Elements:  Teaches about collection, analysis or synthesis of health/practice data; and uses health/practice data to teach about healthcare improvement.

Criteria 18. The provider identifies and addresses factors beyond clinical care (e.g., social determinants) that affect the health of patients and integrates those factors into accredited IPCE and/or CE.

Rationale:  This criterion recognizes providers for expanding their IPCE and CE programs beyond clinical care education to address factors affecting the health of populations. Some examples of these factors include health behaviors; economic, social and environmental conditions; healthcare and payer systems; access to care; health disparities; or the population’s physical environment.

Critical Elements:  Teaches strategies that learners can use to achieve improvements in population health.

Criteria 19. The provider collaborates with other organizations to address population health issues.

Rationale:  Collaboration among people and organizations builds stronger, more empowered systems. This criterion recognizes providers that apply this principle by building collaborations with other organizations that enhance the effectiveness of the IPCE program in addressing community/population health issues.

Critical Elements:  Creates or continues collaborations with one or more healthcare or community organization(s); and demonstrates that the collaborations augment the provider’s ability to address population health issues.

Criteria 20. The provider designs accredited IPCE and/or CE (that includes direct observation and formative feedback) to optimize communication skills of learners.

Rationale: Communication skills are essential for professional practice. Communication skills include verbal, nonverbal, listening and writing skills. Some examples are communications with patients, families and teams; and presentation, leadership, teaching and organizational skills. This criterion recognizes providers that help learners become more self-aware of their communication skills and offer IPCE/CE to improve those skills.

Critical Elements:  Provides IPCE/CE to improve communication skills; and includes an evaluation of observed (e.g., in person or video) communication skills; and provides formative feedback to the learner about communication skills.

Criteria 21. The provider designs accredited IPCE and/or CE (that includes direct observation and formative feedback) to optimize technical and procedural skills of learners.

Rationale: Technical and procedural skills are essential to many aspects of professional practice, and need to be learned, updated, reinforced and reassessed. Some examples of these skills are operative skill, device use, procedures, physical examination, specimen preparation, resuscitation and critical incident management. This criterion recognizes providers that offer IPCE/CE to help learners gain, retain or improve technical and/or procedural skills.

Critical Elements:  Provides IPCE/CE addressing technical and or/procedural skills; and includes an evaluation of observed (e.g., in person or video) technical or procedural skill; and provides formative feedback to the learner about technical or procedural skill.

Criteria 22. The provider creates and facilitates the implementation of individualized learning plans.

Rationale:  This criterion recognizes providers that develop individualized educational planning for the learner and/or healthcare team; customize an existing curriculum for the learner/team; track learners/teams through a curriculum; or work with learners/teams to create a self-directed learning plan where the learner/team assesses their own gaps and selects content to address those gaps. The personalized education needs to be designed to close the individual/team’s professional practice gaps over time.

Critical Elements: Tracks the repeated engagement of the learner/team with a longitudinal curriculum/plan over weeks or months; and provides individualized feedback to the learner/team to close practice gaps.

Criteria 23. The provider demonstrates improvement in the performance of healthcare teams as a result of its overall IPCE program.

Rationale: Research has shown that accredited IPCE can be an effective tool for improving healthcare teams’ performance in practice. This criterion recognizes providers that can demonstrate the impact of their IPCE program on the performance of teams.

Critical Elements:  Measures performance changes of teams; and demonstrates improvements in the performance of teams.

Criteria 24. The provider demonstrates healthcare quality improvement achieved through the involvement of its overall IPCE program.

Rationale:  IPCE has an essential role in healthcare quality improvement. This criterion recognizes providers that demonstrate that their IPCE program contributes to improvements in processes of care or system performance.

Critical Elements:  Collaborates in the process of healthcare quality improvement; and demonstrates improvement in healthcare quality.

Criteria 25. The provider demonstrates the positive impact of its overall IPCE program on patients or their communities.

Rationale: Our shared goal is to improve the health of patients and their families. This criterion recognizes providers that demonstrate that the IPCE program contributed to improvements in health-related outcomes for patients or their communities.

Critical Elements: Collaborates in the process of improving patient or community health; and demonstrates improvement in patient or community outcomes.

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