ABFM, Other Primary Care Boards Collaborate With Mayo Clinic to Recognize QI Activities

February 15, 2010 05:00 pm News Staff

The American Board of Family Medicine, or ABFM, and two other primary care boards have collaborated with the Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic to develop a program that can be used to help physicians maintain certification.

In a Jan. 27 news release(www.theabfm.org), the ABFM, the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Pediatrics announced that Mayo Clinic has been approved as a portfolio sponsor of maintenance of certification, or MOC, activities.

Mayo's physician quality improvement, or QI, programs now will be included in the three physician-certifying boards' pilot MOC Portfolio Approval Program.

As an MOC portfolio sponsor, the clinic will oversee the design and execution of a number of QI activities that are managed through an established infrastructure and overseen by a formal governance body.

In addition to managing the QI activities, Mayo will be responsible for ensuring that they meet the standards laid out by the three boards.

According to the release, each of the certifying boards requires physicians to examine their practices and make improvements. Mayo Clinic has established QI activities in its clinical setting that meet the three boards' requirements for improving performance in practice.

At this time, participation in the pilot program will be limited to family physicians, internal medicine physicians and pediatricians who practice at Mayo-affiliated programs and clinics.

As part of the program, Mayo Clinic's quality review board will evaluate Mayo physicians' participation in structured QI activities to determine if they meet the boards' MOC requirements. Among those requirements are

  • QI projects must focus on one of the Institute of Medicine's six dimensions of quality, such as making health care safer, more effective and more patient-centered;
  • participating physicians must provide direct or consultative care to patients as part of the QI project or actively participate in the process of care being addressed by the project; and
  • physicians must demonstrate active collaboration in QI project design and/or implementation, such as by participating in team meetings, data analysis or implementation training.

According to the news release, although each of the three boards has individually designated other organizations' QI products and programs as eligible for MOC credit, Mayo Clinic is the first organization whose QI activities have been recognized jointly by the three boards. Between two and four additional portfolio sponsor organizations are expected to be approved in the next three years.

"The three primary care boards are working together to develop novel programs that can be used to maintain certification, and this collaborative pilot with Mayo Clinic represents just one of our innovative projects," James Puffer, M.D., of Lexington, Ky., president and CEO of the ABFM, said in the release. "We continue to explore next-generation approaches to quality improvement, including those that interface with integrated health care systems, community-based medical groups and the individual physician's practice."

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