We’re excited to give you a preview of our new, improved Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS). See below for key features and screenshots. Reflecting feedback from providers and other stakeholders, the new version of PARS will feature a modernized, user-friendly, streamlined interface for activity and learner reporting. Please continue to enter your activity and learner data as you usually do. Your data will be migrated into the new PARS—you will not need to reenter any data.

The new PARS will launch on November 16, 2021. To implement the transition, we need to schedule PARS downtime scheduled for Thursday, November 11, at 5 pm Central, until Tuesday, November 16, at 9 am CT. Read more about what this means for your learner and activity reporting here.

We’re making these changes based on recommendations from the CME community as well as other stakeholders. We appreciate the input we’ve received, and we’ll continue to offer opportunities for CME providers to give us feedback as we move forward.   

1

These fields will be removed:

  • Reporting Year: When entering multiyear activities, you will only need to enter them once rather than for each reporting year.
  • Competencies: You’ll no longer need to select competencies for your activities.
  • Hours of instruction: You’ll no longer need to enter hours of instruction.
  • In-kind commercial support: You’ll no longer need to identify the type of in-kind commercial support you received.
  • Simplified data-entry for repeated activities: If you offer activities with the same content more than once, you will no longer need to enter the same data multiple times. You can enter the activity once, specifying date and location for each instance, and PARS will automatically create individual activity entries. See screenshot.

2

The new PARS will offer:

  • Help when you need it: Pop-up descriptions and embedded FAQ provide guidance and clarifications, without taking you away from the PARS site.
  • A dashboard for your CME Program, enabling you to receive notifications about your program and activities, and see high level statistics on your program.
  • Expanded capability for searching and filtering within PARS and exporting the results.
  • Enhanced functionality for generating reports. 
  • Greater flexibility for sorting and downloading your activity data. 
  • The option to display any of your activities in CME Finder, not only those that are registered for MOC, MIPS, and REMS.
  • Content description: To improve the value of CME Finder, you’ll need to enter a brief description of each of your activities, such as the abstract, content outline, or learning objectives. With this information, physicians will be able to search for activities by topic. This description will be required for each activity regardless of whether you choose to display it in CME Finder. This information will increase the value of the data to stakeholders and support CME research. 
  • The ability to tag activities by commendation criteria, supporting your efforts to achieve Accreditation with Commendation. See screenshot

3

 

We’ve modified the evaluation questions to offer more options. In the current PARS, providers are asked to identify whether activities were designed and analyzed for changes in competence, performance, or patient outcomes. In the new PARS, you’ll be asked which of the following outcomes will be measured:

  • Learner Competence
  • Learner Performance
  • Patient Health
  • Community/Population Health
  • Learner Knowledge

You’ll be able to select all that apply. In addition, you’ll have the option to choose what type of measurement was used:

  • Objective, such as observation or tests
  • Subjective, such as self-reported change

We’re making these modifications to better align with outcomes models that are used in research. The modified questions continue to align with our Core Accreditation Criteria, as well as our criteria for Accreditation with Commendation. Please note that although measuring changes in knowledge alone is not sufficient for compliance with our accreditation requirements, we have included knowledge measurement as an option to align with outcomes models and support research. Our goal is to improve the value of the data for providers, researchers, and other stakeholders.

The data you enter now or have entered previously to answer the evaluation questions in PARS will be mapped to the modified questions in the new PARS — you will not need to reenter your data. The system will also map the current questions to the new questions if you continue to use the existing batch templates or web service. If you want to change how the system maps the data, you will be able to edit that information in PARS.

  • You'll have the option to enter, track, and manage physician-learner data for all your activities, not only those registered for Maintenance of Certification (MOC)/Continuing Certification. 
  • We'll provide a more streamlined process for entering learner data by implementing improved learner matching, the ability to report CME and MOC/Continuing Certification participation in the same record, and reduced data entry in the web form. 
  • Data entry via the web form: For most learners, you'll only need to enter their first name, last name, month and day of birth (not year), and state of licensure to make a match. 
  • Access to a learner matching application programming interface (API) will allow you to pre-validate learner-identification data prior to entering information about participation in CME and MOC/Continuing Certification. This process will reduce rejections by allowing you to correct the information prior to sending the completion to PARS. 
  • We'll provide a standard data-sharing permission statement as an option for you to use when seeking permission from your physician-learners to collect and report their data. 
  • When registering an activity that counts for Continuing Certification /Maintenance of Certification (MOC) for multiple certifying boards, you’ll only need to complete one attestation.
  • You’ll be able to register activities for MOC using an Excel template.
  • You’ll be able to enter the last day a learner can claim MOC credit, which is often different than the end date of the activity. This will give you more flexibility and reduce rejections of learner records.
  • More activities: CME Finder will display any current or future activities that providers choose to include. It will no longer be limited to activities that are registered for MOC, MIPS, or REMS. 
  • More search filters: Physicians will be able to quickly search by activity format, date, types of credit offered, topic, location, keyword, specialty, and other details.  
  • Personalized accounts: Physicians will be able to create a personalized account, enabling them to view their reported CME and MOC credits and generate transcripts for their state medical board, certifying board, employer, or other regulatory authority.

We’ve heard from stakeholders that an integrated, centralized data system is essential for reducing burdens on learners; better serving our accredited provider community; meeting the needs of credentialing, certifying, and licensing authorities; and increasing the value of accredited CME. Toward that end, the new PARS will give you the option to enter, track, and manage physician-learner data for all your accredited activities, not only those activities registered for MOC. 

By entering your activities prospectively, choosing to display them in CME Finder, and entering individual learner data, you’ll have the opportunity to: 

  • Increase the visibility of your CME activities; reach a wider audience of learners. 

  • Reinforce the value of your activities to learners and other stakeholders.  

  • Decrease physicians’ reporting burden — giving them more time to focus on their patients, not paperwork. 

  • Reduce your work responding to queries and certificate requests from physicians. 

  • Support regulatory authorities by providing easier access to verified CME and MOC participation data. 

We recognize that some of you have systems in place for your learners that track and report their CME participation with your organization. CME Finder is not intended to replace your systems — it is an additional option, giving physicians a centralized site where they can find and track their CME participation with all of their CME providers. 

We’ll share updates and instructions in the coming months to support your use of the new version of PARS. The success of the enhanced CME Finder in serving our stakeholder community depends on you: the more activity and learner data that you enter into the new PARS, the more useful CME Finder will be for physician-learners. We encourage you to plan ahead to make full use of these new options

  • Content description: Determine what information you will enter into the activity description field, such as the abstract, content outline, or learning objectives. 
  • Activity data: Consider how to modify your process and schedule so that you can enter your activities prospectively in PARS so that they appear in CME Finder. 
  • Learner data: We plan to expand our collaborations with certifying and licensing boards to meet their needs and to reduce burdens on physicians. By entering your learner data, you can participate in these collaborations, adding value to your CME program and physician learners. What modifications will you need to make in your own data systems or processes to take advantage of this new opportunity? 

Questions? We’re happy to help. Please reach out to info@accme.org