Continuing Professional Development awarded top accreditation honor

The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) has reaccredited USF Health’s Continuing Professional Development program (CPD) for six years with commendation — an award attained by less than 10 percent of all continuing medical education (CME) providers. The decision was based on the review of USF Health’s organizational self study report, evidence of performance-in-practice, and an accreditation site visit.

“This is one of the greatest accolades that USF Health can achieve,” said John Curran, MD, associate vice president for USF Health, professor of pediatrics, and a member of the Council of Medical Specialty Societies. “ACCME accreditation with commendation is achieved by very few academic health centers. USF’s ascent to this highest recommendation clearly demonstrates one of the touchstones announced by USF Health Senior Vice President and Dean Dr. Stephen Klasko in his strategic plan calling for national prominence for USF and the Tampa Bay community.”

Accreditation for four years is the standard status for reaccreditation applicants. Accreditation with commendation for six years is reserved for CME providers exceeding compliance in all 22 criteria that determine accreditation – a benchmark met by fewer than 10 percent of applicants.

“Our CPD program received this honor because it has surpassed expectations as an organization that fully supports physician learning and change for quality improvement,” said Associate Vice President Deborah M. Sutherland, PhD. “This recognition emphasizes the credibility of USF Health in assuring the continuing education of graduates and health professionals across the nation. It will serve as an additional catalyst for the development of new educational methods using simulation for skills development and maintenance of certification in many disciplines. The recent opening of the USF Health Simulation Center at Tampa General Hospital is tangible recognition of our leadership position in academic health education.”

The major purpose of accreditation is to ensure the quality and integrity of CME providers by promoting organizational self-assessment and improvement. ACCME accreditation demonstrates that superior CME is planned, implemented and evaluated by the accredited institutions and organizations. The rigorous peer-review process assures medical providers and the public that the CME programs and activities offered help physicians maintain or improve their practice of medicine.

Attaining the highest reaccreditation status is especially impressive because the ACCME recently added several new criteria not required in the past, said Dr. Sutherland, who led the reaccreditation team at USF Health. USF Health’s CPD program was one of the first in the initial round of reviews to receive accreditation with commendation.