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ABIM Approves Seven New Quality Improvement AQI Pathway Options

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Philadelphia, PA, October 20, 2011 – For physicians maintaining board certification, quality improvement (QI) projects from seven different organizations – including health systems, medical societies and hospitals – have been approved by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) for credit in the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program through its Approved Quality Improvement (AQI) Pathway.

Research has shown that fewer than 30 percent of physicians examine their own performance data, and physicians' ability to independently self-assess and self-evaluate is poor. The AQI Pathway helps reduce the redundancy in physician reporting – giving them credit for quality improvement activities that they are already doing that meet ABIM standards.

The new AQI approved activities include:

  • American College of Chest Physicians' Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) Prophylaxis Performance Improvement Project:

    This performance improvement tool will provide participants with the ability to address the prevention of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary emboli (PE) in moderate - to high risk patient groups.

  • Providence Medical Group's Diabetes Care Improvement:

    Providence Medical Group providers will use an integrated disease registry and EMR to develop comprehensive QI plans for improving care for patients with diabetes.

  • University of Nebraska Medical Center's PROTECT™:

    This activity utilizes a combination of case-based self-assessment surveys and chart abstraction tools to collect performance data on immunization practices and vaccination rates for high-risk adults in participants' practices.

  • University of Oklahoma's Improving Care for Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease:

    Primary care clinicians will receive assistance with implementation of the National Kidney Foundation KDOQI Guidelines in the form of performance feedback, academic detailing, practical tools, quality improvement facilitation and monthly meetings with other clinicians in the project.

  • University of Wisconsin School of Medicine's MRSA:

    This performance improvement activity is designed for physicians who treat and manage patients with post-surgical skin/soft tissue infections, catheter-related bloodstream infections and/or ventilator-associated pneumonia in a hospital setting, and want to be engaged in an activity to identify and reduce CA-MRSA occurrences.

  • University of Wisconsin School of Medicine's NOW Coalition for Bipolar Disorder:

    The NOW Performance Improvement CME activity enables practicing clinicians to assess their performance, knowledge and practice infrastructure in their services for bipolar disorder and offers guidance as well as tools to bridge identified gaps.

“Many health care organizations are developing robust quality improvement programs that support physicians in their efforts to evaluate and improve patient care,” said Elizabeth Blaylock, Vice President of PIM Development at the American Board of Internal Medicine. “We want them to receive Maintenance of Certification credit for that work and the AQI Pathway acknowledges these efforts.”

QI activities from health care organizations are approved for the AQI Pathway that:

  • Focus on clinical topics related to a national priority, regional initiatives or local gaps in patient care and relevant to ABIM certified physicians;
  • Utilize nationally recognized and/or evidence-based performance measures;
  • Identify specific organizational-level and activity-level goals and objectives;
  • Incorporate robust QI resources and/or tools directly related to the program objectives;
  • Require sufficient and active participation by physicians in all stages of the activity; and
  • Include a strong infrastructure and resources to support and monitor the activity.

The components of the ABIM MOC program reflect the guidelines of the American Board of Medical Specialties and encompass the six general competencies established by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. In addition, the program includes the practice performance requirement of passing a secure examination in internal medicine or subspecialty, self-assessment of medical knowledge and holding a license in good standing. See full requirements for MOC.

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Internists and subspecialists who earn and maintain board certification from the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) differentiate themselves every day through their specialized knowledge and commitment to continual learning in service of their patients. Established as an independent nonprofit more than 80 years ago, ABIM continues to be driven by doctors who want to achieve higher standards for better care in a rapidly changing world. Visit ABIM's blog to learn more and follow ABIM on Facebook and Twitter. ABIM is a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties.