Tip of the week: Establish ongoing preparation between program accreditation cycles

Residency Program Insider, November 1, 2011

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Many residency program directors and coordinators think that once they get their site visit results and receive a three- to five-year accreditation cycle, they can take a break until their next site visit. But, in reality, programs should begin immediately preparing for their next site visit and update their documentation on an annual basis regardless of their accreditation cycle length. Although this may sound daunting, it is completely manageable if programs follow some basic planning tips.

Things to do immediately
Begin taking action on all citations. Set up a formal meeting with program leadership, including the program director, program coordinator, associate program director, rotation directors and/or chairperson, and core faculty to identify action items and program improvement plans. Consider including residents in these meetings so they can offer their insights on the action plan and see the program working on improvements.

Keep the following in mind when developing program improvement plans:

  • Set up task force committees.
  • Assign action items to associate program directors and/or chief resident(s).
  • Establish timelines that indicate when stakeholders must accomplish improvement plan milestones.
  • Monitor progress at least quarterly and hold a formal meeting to review progress. Document the minutes of the meeting and create further action plans as needed.
  • Incorporate other sources of information into program improvement efforts. Include questions directly related to the citations on annual program evaluations to determine whether residents and faculty feel that issues have been resolved.

This week’s tip is from Residency Program Alert. To read more of this article or other articles geared toward residency program leaders and coordinators, click here.

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