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ABIM Open-Book Assessments Will Feature Access to UpToDate®


Doctors maintaining ABIM Board Certification will soon be able to access an electronic resource they use in practice during periodic knowledge assessments.

Philadelphia, PA, September 27, 2017 – Beginning in 2018, physicians will be able to access UpToDate®—an online, evidence-based clinical decision support resource—during American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) assessments.

UpToDate will be the first online resource available during traditional MOC exams physicians take every 10 years, as well as ABIM's new, shorter MOC assessment option—called Knowledge Check-Ins—that physicians can take every two years from their home or workplace.

Physicians taking either of these assessment options will be able to access UpToDate in real time during the assessment, better reflecting how they look up clinical guidelines and evidence in practice.

Enhancing MOC with physician input

“After hearing requests for open-book exams, ABIM talked with doctors about how they practice today and what online resources they use,” said Richard J. Baron, MD, President and CEO of ABIM. “Many told us they use UpToDate to access current clinical information, so we worked to incorporate this resource into new MOC assessments. This innovation allows ABIM to be responsive to changes in medical practice while maintaining assessments with meaningful standards that doctors and patients trust.”

More than 800 doctors participated in a separate research study to help ABIM determine the feasibility and impact of incorporating electronic resources into traditional MOC exams. The results indicated that having access to resources reduced physicians' anxiety about the exam and that the open-book option actually enhanced the exam's capacity to differentiate between high and low performances. Additionally, 90 percent of physicians who participated in a survey following the study indicated that they use UpToDate in practice.

“The contemporary practice of medicine requires timely access to trusted, evidence-based information that can help inform clinical decisions,” said Peter Bonis, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Clinical Effectiveness, Wolters Kluwer. “We are pleased with the ABIM’s decision to provide access to UpToDate during MOC assessments. It will help MOC better reflect actual clinical practice.”

Plans for 2018 and beyond

UpToDate will first be incorporated into ABIM's Internal Medicine and Nephrology Knowledge Check-Ins and Internal Medicine and Nephrology traditional MOC exams in 2018. Access will continue to expand to other specialty assessments through 2018 and 2019. In the future, ABIM will continue to explore incorporating additional resources into MOC assessments.

Learn more about MOC assessment options and access to UpToDate /Up To Date on ABIM's website. 

For media inquiries, contact Erin Frantz at press@abim.org.

ABIM Board Certified Doctors Make a Difference
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 FacebookTwitter and Instagram. ABIM is a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties.