AAFP's PerformanceNavigator Honored for Novel Approach to CME

Groundbreaking Program Earns 'Innovative Format Award' From Education Alliance

March 08, 2017 12:42 pm Chris Crawford

The Academy scored major kudos during the annual conference of the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions (ACEhp) in late January, when the AAFP's Amy Mullins, M.D., and Gary Bird, Ph.D., accepted the Alliance's 2017 Innovative Format Award honoring the Academy's PerformanceNavigator CME product.  

(From left) SarahAnn Whitbeck, M.B.A., and Bob Addleton, Ed.D., present the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions' 2017 Innovative Format Award to Amy Mullins, M.D., and Gary Bird, Ph.D., for the AAFP's PerformanceNavigator CME product.

This is the first year the Alliance has presented the award, which is intended "to recognize outstanding innovation in the delivery format for a certified or non-certified education activity."

Bird, a CME senior learning strategist, told AAFP News that achieving this distinction in the innovation category is particularly rewarding because it recognizes the development of a novel mode of education delivery that resulted in improved learner outcomes.

"Winning this award will help solidify the AAFP as a national leader in medical education," he said.

Mullins, the Academy's medical director of quality improvement, said the AAFP submitted its application for the award in May 2016 and was notified of the win last November.

Story highlights
  • The AAFP has won the 2017 Innovative Format Award from the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions for its PerformanceNavigator CME product.
  • This is the first year the Alliance has presented this award, which is intended "to recognize outstanding innovation in the delivery format for a certified or noncertified education activity."
  • National in scope, PerformanceNavigator was developed to improve family physician learner performance, quality of care, and patient outcomes for one or more chronic cardiometabolic conditions.  

An article about PerformanceNavigator and its outcomes will be published in April in the ACEhp's monthly newsletter, Almanac.

"This means a large proportion of the medical education providers and professionals in North America will shortly see the Academy's achievement," Mullins said.

About PerformanceNavigator

According to Bird, PerformanceNavigator combines various elements, such as American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM)-approved Family Medicine Certification Knowledge Self-Assessment and Performance Improvement activities (previously known as Maintenance of Certification for Family Physicians [MC-FP] Self-Assessment Modules [part II] and Performance-in-Practice Modules [part IV]) and CME credit, with education that enhances clinical skill and promotes practice transformation to improve patient care.

National in scope, PerformanceNavigator was developed to improve family physician learner performance, quality of care, and patient outcomes for one or more of the following chronic cardiometabolic conditions: diabetes, hypertension or dyslipidemia.

"In total, the activity consisted of three separate online modules -- one for each disease state -- along with a single unifying live event and additional online learning," Bird said. "This activity is the first of its kind and represents a breakthrough in harmonizing learning in a blended format."

Online module registration began in June 2015, and the first PerformanceNavigator live workshop was held Nov. 4-6, 2015, in Carlsbad, Calif. The activity was eligible for AAFP Prescribed credit and AMA Physician's Recognition Award Category 1 Credit. At that time, each disease state module also was approved by the ABFM as a Performance-in-Practice Module.

"PerformanceNavigator allowed members to fulfill up to 112 hours of CME (of the 150 required as part of a three-year ABFM certification stage)," Mullins said. "PerformanceNavigator also has learners collect quality measures, which have been used for the Physician Quality Reporting System in the past and can be purposed for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) in the future." MIPS is one of two new value-based payment tracks included in CMS' Quality Payment Program.

Bird said the product's hybrid educational design allowed learners to first evaluate themselves and their practice and then develop individualized solutions to identified practice deficits through learning from faculty and peers.

"After they make a change, they re-evaluate how their plan worked out," he said. "This combination is really what makes the course stand out.

"Every practice is unique, but by learning about how they are performing and then cross-pollinating with ideas from colleagues from around the country, learners come away motivated to make meaningful, fulfilling change in their practices."

Member Response

Bird said so far, feedback from members who have participated in the PerformanceNavigator program has been excellent. He chalks that up to the fact that this nontraditional course uses an understanding of adult education principles to optimally teach skills and make them accessible for learners to use in their practices.

"For some, this is a difficult transition -- but for the vast majority, the course is more than just a 'check-box' exercise," Bird said. "By and large, learners love the interactivity and ability to teach and learn from colleagues during the workshop.

"Personally, I'm most proud of evaluations from learners who said they went into the activity skeptical but came out motivated with ideas to improve the quality of care they deliver."

Upcoming Workshop Dates

Two PerformanceNavigator workshops currently are scheduled for 2017.

Registration is open for a workshop to be held April 27-29 at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch in St. Louis, Mo. An early-bird registration discount is available through March 22.

The second workshop will be held Oct. 12-14 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando, Fla.; registration is expected to open by the end of April.

Related AAFP News Coverage
PerformanceNavigator Workshop Offers New Approach to CME
(9/1/2015)