Annual program review assessment strategies

Residency Program Insider, October 10, 2006

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Annual program review assessment strategies

When you go through your annual program review, be sure to consult your designated institution official (DIO), graduate medical education committee (GMEC), national program directors association, and specialty society for their ideas.

Many specialty program director organizations and an increasing number of program coordinator groups have listservs and organized meetings. These resources can provide you with ideas of measures that you should consider and additional documentation strategies.

The institutional GMEC should develop a list of quality indicators, with substantive input from faculty and residents, against which to produce comparative measures of all programs.

Send a copy of the minutes of your annual review to your DIO to help him or her ensure the institution is playing its part in supporting your program. The DIO is charged with ensuring your program is in compliance with RRC requirements and that you are carrying out the annual program review as part of your requirement for evaluation. Sharing the report provides the DIO with evidence of your commitment to compliance and improvement. It also informs the DIO of how he or she can be your advocate in leveraging needed resources.

Another valuable resource from which you can borrow assessment strategies when carrying out your annual program review is your specialty board's maintenance recertification standards.

Most physicians must undergo a process of maintenance recertification over a cycle of every six to 10 years depending on the specialty. Many of the measures boards expect physicians to demonstrate to maintain certification-professionalism, quality of patient care, interpersonal communication skills, etc.-require an assessment tool. Consider using or adapting this tool in your residency.

Your annual program review should also encourage you to take a good look at the data you have available and identify additional data needs. During your review you will likely identify many questions you simply weren't able to answer because there were no data from which you could derive an answer. Think about what information you wish the program had captured during the year-information that would have benefited the review and contributed to the overall success of the program. Develop a plan to capture that information in the future so that it is available when it comes time for your next review.

All the best,

Kathryn Andolsek, MD, MPH

Associate director of graduate medical education
Duke University Medical School
Durham, NC.

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