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MEDBIQUITOUS RELEASES AMERICAN NATIONAL STANDARDS TO INCREASE ACCOUNTABILITY FOR LIFELONG LEARNING AND CONTINUING EDUCATION - New Standards Streamline Tracking of Health Professionals - CE and Its Evaluation

Baltimore, Maryland, USA, August 31, 2009. In an era of rapidly changing medical knowledge, continuing education (CE) and certification activities are essential to ensuring that clinicians maintain their competence and provide safe and effective healthcare. Two new MedBiquitous American National Standards will make it easier to hold clinicians accountable for their CE and certification while enhancing research on the efficacy of those activities.

“Continuing Education is key to improving clinician competence and patient care,” said Peter Greene, M.D., Executive Director of MedBiquitous and Chief Medical Information Officer of Johns Hopkins Medicine. “Activity Report and Medical Education Metrics will help us hold clinicians and their continuing education providers accountable for learning and improvement.”

The Activity Report, ANSI/MEDBIQ AR.10.1-2009, helps certifying boards fulfill new requirements from the American Board of Medical Specialties to document physicians’ Continuing Medical Education (CME), self assessment, and other requirements for Maintenance of Certification (MoC).  The Activity Report allows organizations to electronically compile certificate data from CE and MoC providers and reduce the administrative burden on clinicians in the process. The standard also includes special fields to support documentation of Internet Point of Care Learning as required by the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians.

The American Osteopathic Association uses the Activity Report to collect CME data from Medscape and CECity, two online CME portals. To date over 25,000 CME certificates have been transferred electronically. "The Activity Report makes it easy for our members to keep track of their progress in fulfilling CME requirements," stated Michael Zarski, JD, Chief Information Officer of the American Osteopathic Association. "That's an important component of ensuring the continued excellence of osteopathic patient care."   

“Certifying boards need to track CE and MoC activities from a variety of organizations,” said Toby Vandemark, Chair of the MedBiquitous Activity Report Working Group and former Chief Information Officer at the American Board of Pediatrics. “The Activity Report is essential to document certification requirements in such a broad and distributed environment.”

The Medical Education Metrics Standard, ANSI/MEDBIQ ME.10.1-2009, helps researchers to bring outcomes data together for better research on the extent to which CE impacts clinician knowledge and competence. Also known as MEMS, the standard allows organizations to digitally compile continuing education evaluation data across multiple systems. This in turn can give organizations a broader view of their evaluation data. Data can be compiled across providers for item validation and education outcomes research. MEMS provides a common XML format for data concerning the activity evaluated, participant reaction to the activity, knowledge assessment, and participation metrics. A related specification provides a common format for survey items, enabling items and validation data to be posted to central repositories like the Alliance for CME’s CMExchange (http://www.cmexchange.org/).

“The specification will facilitate improved understanding of educational outcomes data,” said Francis Kwakwa, Assistant Director for the Department of Data Management at the Radiological Society of North America. “That in turn could lead to improvements in the delivery of CE, and ultimately patient care.”

“The CE industry needs to do more rigorous outcomes research that scales across providers and programs,” said Linda Casebeer, Ph.D., President, Outcomes Inc. and  co-chair of the Metrics Working Group. “MEMS will be important an important tool for validating evaluation instruments and moving towards a more standardized approach to evaluation.”

The standards can be downloaded from the MedBiquitous website, http://www.medbiq.org .

About The MedBiquitous Consortium

Founded by Johns Hopkins Medicine and leading professional medical societies, the MedBiquitous Consortium is creating a technology blueprint for healthcare education. Based on XML and Web services standards, this blueprint will seamlessly supports the healthcare learner in ways that will improve patient care and simplify the administrative work associated with education and competence assessment. MedBiquitous also provides a neutral forum for educators and industry alike to exchange ideas about innovative uses of Web technologies for healthcare education and communities of practice. It is the mission of MedBiquitous to advance healthcare education through technology standards that promote professional competence, collaboration, and better patient care. For more information on MedBiquitous, please visit http://www.medbiq.org.