National PA association & UMHS team up for quality-focused CME

October 22, 2015  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources

First-of-its-Kind Program Helps PAs Innovate Quality Healthcare Improvements

The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) has announced collaborations with UMHS and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to recognize PA participation in new multi-specialty programs that will award the first of many Performance Improvement Continuing Medical Education (PI-CME) credits to participating PAs.

PI-CME activities involve PAs in collecting data from their practices and implementing real-world quality improvement projects aimed to optimize efficiency and healthcare.

“PAs are leading the charge in transforming healthcare to help improve patient access and care,” said Jeffrey A. Katz, PA-C, DFAAPA, president and chair of the Board of AAPA. “Through these learning programs, PAs will actively develop new and innovative ways to deliver higher quality care more efficiently while satisfying their medical certification requirements. AAPA is proud to work in partnership with UMHS and MD Anderson, both groundbreaking institutions with exceptional reputations for patient care.”

PI-CME can take many forms. At UMHS, PAs are earning credit through projects such as the development of a diagnostic database and electronic scheduling tool that could ease decision-making for staff while improving the patient experience. Other programs available to PAs are intended to optimize the timing of prophylactic antibiotics given in cardiac surgical cases or improve urological surgery outcomes through the use of clinical pathways. 

“The University of Michigan always aims to be the ‘leader and best’ at whatever we undertake, and so we’re very excited to pave the way for a new model of continuous learning for PAs centered around quality improvement,” said Marc Moote, M.S., PA-C, the chief physician assistant for UMHS. “We have more than 270 PAs on staff, and this will enhance their ability to be change agents for improvement across the front line of our entire clinical environment. It’s a perfect fit with our health system’s longstanding focus on continuous quality improvement.”

Several PI-CME quality improvement projects are in various phases of planning at UMHS, MD Anderson, and other healthcare institutions around the nation. Each project must address at least one of the Institute of Medicine’s Quality Dimensions, which include safety, effectiveness, efficiency, equity, timeliness, and patient-centeredness.

As the sole accrediting authority for PI-CME for PAs, AAPA acknowledges that both UMHS and MD Anderson’s PI-CME programs meet specific criteria as Approved Multi-Specialty Portfolio Sponsors and are accountable to the American Board of Medical Specialties for maintaining program standards. 

In 2014, the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) implemented a new PA certification maintenance process that added two new CME categories: self-assessment and PI-CME. Among the 50 credits required for Category 1 CME, 20 must be earned via AAPA accredited Self-Assessment and/or PI-CME activities. For more information on PI-CME, visit www.aapa.org/performance-improvement-cme/

About the American Academy of Physician Assistants
AAPA is the national organization that advocates for all PAs and provides tools to improve PA practice and patient care. Founded in 1968, AAPA represents a profession of approximately 104,000 certified PAs across all medical and surgical specialties in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. territories and the uniformed services. Visit www.aapa.org to learn more. 

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