ACCME Data Report Shows Increasing Growth and Diversity in Accredited Continuing Medical Education

Numbers of Educational Events and Clinician Interactions Reach Ten-Year High

Chicago, IL 

The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME®) is pleased to release the ACCME Data Report: Growth and Diversity in Continuing Medical Education–2017. The report includes data from a community of more than 1,800 accredited continuing medical education (CME) providers that offer clinicians and teams an array of educational resources to promote high-quality, safe, and effective care for patients. 

Key Takeaways – A Vibrant, Growing Community  

  • Approximately 1,800 accredited CME providers offered close to 163,000 educational activities in 2017. 

  • This education comprised more than 1 million hours of instruction and included 28 million interactions with healthcare professionals. 

  • Since 2016, the number of educational events have increased 3%, hours of instruction increased by 4%, and interactions with clinicians grew 4%. 

  • The data represents the highest numbers accredited CME providers have reported during the past 10 years: the number of activities, hours of instruction, and interactions have increased, despite some consolidation among CME providers. 

  • Over the past decade, the number of interactions with physician learners has grown 37% and the number of interactions with other learners (nonphysician healthcare professionals such as nurses, physician assistants, and pharmacists) increased nearly 90%. 

Accredited CME providers represent a range of organizations from national physician membership organizations to rural hospitals. The ACCME recently began accrediting organizations outside the US and this report includes their data as well. The geographic distribution and diversity of CME providers means that clinicians and teams have access to education where they live and work that addresses local, national, and international healthcare priorities. 

“As the CEO of ACCME — and a physician — I’m excited about the growing engagement of clinicians in accredited CME. I thank our educators for the work they do every day to deliver high–quality CME that provides immediate and long-term benefits to patients, families, caregivers, and all of our communities,” said Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc, President and CEO, ACCME

Hear more from Dr. McMahon about the report in this brief video. 

New This Year 

  • “Other” activity type: This data report includes “other” in the list of activity types. This new data point is a result of the alignment between the American Medical Association (AMA) and ACCME, designed to give accredited providers the freedom and flexibility to employ innovative approaches to education. When submitting data, providers choose “other” for blended, new, or other approaches that do not fall into one of the established format categories. 

  • Quartile data: In response to requests from accredited CME providers, this data report includes a series of tables with quartile data broken down by provider type, enabling providers to benchmark themselves against their colleagues and gain a better understanding of where they fit in the CME community. 

ACCME Data Report and Supplementary Resources 

Media Inquiries  

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The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME®) is a nonprofit organization based in Chicago, responsible for accrediting institutions that offer continuing medical education (CME) and for recognizing state medical societies as accreditors of local CME programs.  

The ACCME sets standards for CME that reflect the values of the educator community and aim to accelerate learning, inspire change, and champion improvement in healthcare. These standards ensure that accredited CME is designed to be relevant to clinicians’ needs, evidence-based, evaluated for its effectiveness, and independent of commercial influence. Through participation in accredited CME, clinicians and teams drive improvement in their practice and optimize the care, health, and wellness of their patients. 

Accredited CME facilitates engagement with physicians and healthcare teams where they live, learn, and work. There are approximately 1,800 accredited CME providers within the ACCME System, across the country and internationally, representing a range of organizations including medical schools, hospitals/health systems, government/military agencies, specialty societies, and insurance/managed-care companies. Accredited providers offer about 163,000 activities each year, comprising more than one million hours of instruction and including more than 28 million interactions with physicians and other healthcare professionals.

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