Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Changes to U.S. Medical Licensing Examination

The U.S. Medical Licensing Examination is changing for 2014-2016. Click Here to learn more.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Maintenance of Certification for Licensure and Credentialing

From the American College of Physicians:

"As the national organization for internal medicine specialists and subspecialists, the American College of Physicians (ACP) has a stated mission “to enhance the quality and effectiveness of health care by fostering excellence and professionalism in the practice of medicine.” In supporting this mission, ACP recognizes the importance of certification and the professional responsibility of physicians for maintaining competence and for continuous professional development throughout their career.
Although ACP therefore encourages participation in the American Board of Internal Medicine’s Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program, it also understands the limitations of applying the current MOC process as the sole criterion to identify and recognize competence and quality of care provided by internal medicine specialists and subspecialists in their highly diverse professional roles and activities. As a result, ACP does not support using participation in MOC as an absolute prerequisite for state licensure, hospital credentialing, or insurer credentialing. Instead, decisions about licensure and credentialing should be based on the physician’s performance in his or her practice setting and a broader set of criteria for assessing competence, professionalism, commitment to continuous professional development, and quality of care provided. By understanding that a wide variety of attributes contribute to a physician’s competence and quality of care, ACP stresses that the physician’s demonstrated performance for providing high quality, compassionate care and his or her commitment to continuous professional development should be the primary determinants for licensure and credentialing. Participation in MOC can be one factor providing evidence of quality and commitment to continuous professional development, but it is not the only one."

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Patient Safety at the Heart of the Joint Commission's New Hospital Accreditation Chapter

The Joint Commission announces publication of the new “Patient Safety Systems” chapter in the 2015 Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Hospitals. The purpose of the chapter is to inform and educate hospital leaders about the importance and structure of an integrated patient-centered system that aims to improve quality of care and patient safety. There are no new requirements in the Patient Safety Systems chapter. Instead, the standards are culled from existing chapters including Leadership, Rights and Responsibilities of the Patient, Performance Improvement, Medication Management and Environment of Care. The standards will continue to be published in their respective chapters as well as in the Patient Safety Systems chapter. During on-site surveys, the standards will be scored in their originating chapter.
To underscore the importance of a patient-centered safety system, The Joint Commission will make this new chapter available online indefinitely for customers and non-customers alike.
“For the first time, The Joint Commission is providing a standards chapter on our website because this information is so important that we want everyone to have access to it. A solid foundation for patient safety is a safety culture. For leaders, our hope is they will study this chapter and use it as a tool to build or improve their safety culture program,” says Ana Pujols McKee, M.D., executive vice president and chief medical officer, The Joint Commission. “Developing a culture of safety starts at the top of the chain of command, and then works its way through the layers of management and employees to build trust which is an essential ingredient for improvement. In order for improvement to take root and spread, leaders need to be engaged and know the current state of the culture in their organization.”
The chapter is oriented to leadership because leader engagement is imperative to the trust-report-improve cycle of establishing a safety culture. The standards are intended to assist leaders in creating a culture of safety that equates to an environment where staff and leaders work together to eliminate complacency, promote collective mindfulness, treat one another with respect and learn from patient safety events.
The chapter has three guiding principles:
  • Aligning existing Joint Commission standards with daily work in order to engage patients and staff throughout the health care system, at all times, on reducing harm.
  • Assisting health care organizations with advancing knowledge, skills and competence of staff and patients by recommending methods that will improve quality and safety processes.
  • Encouraging and recommending proactive methods and models of quality and patient safety that will increase accountability, trust and knowledge while reducing the impact of fear and blame.
The chapter is included only in the hospital accreditation manual; however, other health care settings may benefit from applying the patient safety strategies discussed in the chapter. Read the new chapter

Elizabeth Eaken Zhani
Media Relations Manager, The Joint Commission

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

"Medical Training Gets a Second Life"

A report by Health Leaders Media details how instructors at the University of Michigan School of Nursing are using an online virtual world called Second Life to help students develop communication and leadership skills. Students can log in from anywhere with an internet connection and train in scenarios they may otherwise never see in a traditional training setting. For more information, view the article HERE.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Social Media and Medicine: The New "Instagram for Doctors"

According to the BBC, a new social media app has been developed which allows doctors to share pictures of their patients for medical and educational purposes. The app, called Figure 1, is already available in North America, Ireland and the United Kingdom and joins services like UpToDate and DynaMed in the emerging market of social media for physicians and healthcare professionals. In the article from the BBC, Dr. Josh Landy, the founder of Figure 1, is quoted as responding to patient privacy concerns by stating, "We do not possess any personal medical data at all... We are not an organization that delivers healthcare." While anyone can download the app, only physicians and other healthcare practitioners whose credentials have been verified can post photos or provide commentary on other posted photos. For a full discussion of this new app, please read the BBC article HERE.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Hospital Leaders Brief Congress on Importance of CME

From AHA and AAMC:

"At an AHA- and Association of American Medical Colleges-sponsored briefing on Tuesday, October 7, on Capitol Hill, hospital leaders shared with congressional staff the important role that Medicare funding for graduate medical education plays in helping teaching hospitals train the next generation of health care providers. “We need to train a workforce today that will meet the needs of the population of our country,” said Thomas Burke, M.D., executive vice president for the MD Anderson Cancer Network®, which is part of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Burke also is a member of the AHA Board of Trustees. Hospital leaders from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic and Oregon Health & Science University also described how direct and indirect GME payments are critical to supporting their efforts to provide highly-specialized services to patients in rural and urban communities. For more on GME and teaching hospitals, including why the AHA supports the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2013 (S. 577), read today’s AHAStat blog post."

Monday, October 6, 2014

California Ballot Measure Calls for Drug Testing for Doctors

A measure which will appear on California's ballot during this November's election - Proposition 46 - would require drug testing for doctors at random or "after a patient suffers an 'adverse event,' which encompasses a long list of complications including developing a more serious ulcer while in the hospital and death from a medication error." If passed, California would become the first state in the nation with such a drug testing policy for physicians. Read more HERE.