ACCME Data Report: Rising to the Challenge in Accredited Continuing Education – 2020

2020 ACCME Data Report We are pleased to release the ACCME Data Report: Rising to the Challenge in Accredited Continuing Education – 2020, which includes data from a community of 1,680 accredited organizations that offer physicians, other healthcare professionals, and healthcare teams an array of continuing education resources to promote high-quality, safe, and effective care for patients.  

Key Takeaways–A Resilient, Responsive Community   

Despite the unprecedented challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020, accredited providers adapted nimbly, redesigning learning environments to offer critically needed skills and support to physicians and teams. We’ve included a special section with an analysis of the scope of accredited education activities related to the pandemic. Even with severe economic losses and a reduction in the number of activities, providers retained and even increased engagement by physicians and other healthcare professional learners. This was accomplished by rapidly shifting to online and virtual learning environments. The ability to be so responsive reflects on the strength and capacity of the accredited education community.  

  • Approximately 1,680 accredited education providers offered over 170,000 educational activities in 2020.  

  • This education comprised more than 1 million hours of instruction and over 45 million interactions with healthcare professionals.  

  • Approximately half of all providers, representing all organization types, offered education addressing the pandemic; this education comprised more than 3 million learner interactions.  

  • Since 2019, the number of learner interactions increased by 22%, while the number of educational events decreased by 9%, and hours of instruction decreased by 18%.  

  • The activity types that engaged the most learners shifted in 2020 from live courses and regularly scheduled series, the dominant activity types in preceding years, to online activities.   

  • Increasingly, providers are offering blended, new, or other approaches that do not fall into one of the established activity types. These are identified as other. While the number of activities reported as other is relatively small (628), this represents an increase from the 409 other activities reported in 2019.  

  • This is the third year in a row that other learner interactions have surpassed physician interactions. (Other learners include nonphysician healthcare professionals such as nurses and pharmacists.) 

We appreciate the efforts our accredited providers made to submit this data amid an unprecedented public health crisis.  

“I recognize that the pandemic has taken a toll on our community. Many of you suffered personal illness and grieved the loss of loved ones and colleagues, while contending with enormous stress and change in work environments. As we pause and reflect on this painful time, I hope that you will take note of your ability to rise to the challenges we faced and that we continue to face. We leveraged teamwork to endure these difficult experiences and we will meet the upcoming challenges together with the same spirit of community.” –Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc, ACCME President and CEO 

ACCME Data Report and Supplementary Resources  

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