Residency

Book Excerpt: The Program Information Form Made Simple: A Guide to Completing the ACGME PIF

Residency Program Insider, August 26, 2008

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The following is an adapted excerpt from The Program Information Form Made Simple: A Guide to Completing the ACGME PIF by Jeri L. Whitten, C-TAGME, published by HCPro, Inc. The section explains the importance of preparing the residents for their meeting with the site visitor.

The ACGME issues many citations based on the information that residents give the site visitor during their interview, that is, discrepancies between resident-provided information and the PIF. Typically, citations occur because of one of the following two reasons:

  • The residents do not confirm information contained in the PIF
  • The residents provide answers contrary to what is written in the PIF

One month before the site visit, sit down with the residents who will meet with the site visitor, and review the PIF with them. It is essential that the residents are aware of and agree with the document’s content. Residents may not always understand the nuance of program management, the details of RRC requirements, and the process of how the program administers and meets them. Consider this time a great opportunity for discussing these topics with the residents.

Additionally, the program director should clarify any questions the residents have about the PIF’s content. Residents should have a crystal-clear understanding of your responses and the rationale behind each one.

Never coach residents on how they should answer questions posed by the site visitor. However, it is incumbent upon the program director to ensure that the residents understand the following points:

  • How the accreditation process works
  • What role the PIF plays in the accreditation process
  • What role the site visitor plays in the process
  • What happens to the PIF after the site visitor leaves
  • The kinds of questions the site visitor may ask the residents
  • The content of the PIF

This is also an opportunity to remind the residents where, when, and in what format—a hard copy or an electronical copy— they receive the following documents:

  • Goals and objectives
  • Duties and responsibilities
  • Policies and procedures

Caution residents that their interview with the site visitor is not the forum to air personal gripes about the program. Encourage them to answer the site visitor’s questions completely and honestly, but ask them to think about the questions before answering.

For more information about this book, please click here.



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