PartnerCME Joint Providership Program expands learning options for medical organizations

Since 2001, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Division of Education has provided Continuing Medical Education (CME) Credit for the educational activities of more than 600 not-for-profit surgical and medical organizations outside of the ACS through the PartnerCME Joint Providership Program. Partnering organizations represent an array of specialties, including the American Surgical Association, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, the Voice Foundation, and many more. A range of learning formats are used to deliver educational content to physicians and other health care professionals.

A number of educational formats are eligible for accreditation to offer CME Credit. These include:

  • Live Meetings (virtual or in-person)
  • Live Internet Courses
  • Webcasts
  • Journals
  • Virtual and face-to- face Regularly Scheduled Series (RSS)
  • “Other” nontraditional learning opportunities
  • Test-Item Writing (coming soon)
  • Individual Point-of-Care (PoC) Learning

Recently, the ACS began offering PoC CME to support the need for real-time learning. PoC learning allows the physician learner to engage in self-directed learning on topics related to professional practice. Each PoC CME activity provides 0.5 CME credit, corresponding with 30 minutes of research, analysis, and reflection. The flexible format allows for self-paced education on relevant topics of interest, which can be linked to an individual learning plan. PoC is $25 per 0.5 CME Credit (paid directly by the individual) and individuals can complete many of these activities throughout the year. This opportunity is available for ACS Members and non-Members. To get started, click here and navigate to point-of-care.

PartnerCME charges a nominal fee to accredit educational activities for external medical and surgical organizations, academic medical centers, and hospital systems. The program’s pricing is competitive compared with other Accredited Providers, with lower rates and no additional fees per participant nor for total credits claimed. For example, grand rounds, journal clubs, tumor boards, and more can be offered quarterly ($1,500/year), monthly ($2,000/year), or weekly ($3,000/year). In addition to competitive pricing compared with other accredited providers, partnering with ACS provides several other benefits for both the organization developing and offering the educational activity and for learners.

To better support partnering organizations with providing compliant, quality educational programs, the CME Platform provides a fully web-based, user-friendly system to navigate through each step and requirement of the CME process. This unique platform was custom designed to ensure compliance with Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, American Medical Association, and ACS requirements while offering guidance, ease, and convenience for the partnering organization. It provides a systematic step-by-step process for submitting the required components, a centralized method for providing and resolving feedback, automated deadline reminders, and real-time status updates for each CME file, to help users track their progress through the CME process.

The Continuous Professional Development Accreditation (CPDA) Section in the ACS Division of Education consists of a team of CPD and CME experts who deliver high-quality, individualized customer support throughout the CME process. The CPDA Section also can provide feedback and guidance as you develop creative and effective CME activities and provides resources related to trending topics in CPD.

In addition to providing resources and support to partnering organizations, all ACS-accredited live meetings and live Internet activities are posted on the CME Live Educational Activities Calendar. The calendar provides added promotion and visibility for the partnering organization’s educational activities by allowing individuals to search by date, CME State requirements, or topic of interest for learning opportunities hosted around the world.

Another benefit of partnering with the ACS is that after participating in an ACS-accredited activity, ACS Members’ CME credit is automatically transmitted to the MyCME Portal. MyCME provides a personalized portfolio to assist ACS Members with managing their continuing education and CME Credits. Members can download, store, and print CME Certificates and transcripts, as well as electronically transmit CME Credit records to licensing and medical/surgical boards with ease.

The ACS Division of Education’s CPDA Section strives to incorporate innovation in compliance for accredited educational programs. Accreditation with ACS enhances educational activities by fostering creativity, providing robust guidance and support to partnering organizations, marketing and promoting educational offerings, and managing credit for ACS Members.

The CPDA Section ([email protected]) is eager to collaborate with organizations that may be interested in receiving low-cost CME Credit for innovative and meaningful educational activities. Encourage your organization to partner with us to provide CME Credit for an educational activity and receive the benefits of accreditation with ACS.