Accreditation Council for CME Approved for PCORI Engagement Award for Project on Patient-Centered Continuing Education for Health Professionals

Initiative Aims to Advance the Role of Patients as Partners in Continuing Education for Clinicians and Teams

Chicago, IL 

The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME®) has been approved for an award through the Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Awards program, an initiative of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). The funds will support “Learning Together: Engaging Patients in Professional Development of Physicians and Healthcare Teams.”  

The “Learning Together” initiative includes the development and delivery of live and online resources designed to advance the role of patients as partners in continuing education (CE): 

  • A “Learning Together” track at the ACCME 2019 Annual Meeting including sessions on patient-centered research, collaborating with patients in CE, and faculty development for patients and educators 

  • A report featuring case studies, strategies, and recommendations for patient engagement in CE 

  • Video Interviews with patient partners and CE professionals sharing their experiences 

  • An online course as a resource for CE professionals, patients, and other stakeholders  

With the development of the “Learning Together” initiative, the ACCME modeled the inclusion of patients as partners in education. Patients participated in planning and implementing the initiative and will serve as speakers at sessions and participants in video interviews. 

The initiative builds on ACCME’s efforts to support the inclusion of patients in CE for clinicians and teams. In its Menu of Criteria for Accreditation with Commendation, the ACCME includes a criterion that recognizes accredited organizations that incorporate patients as planners and faculty in educational programming. This criterion is included because accredited CE is enhanced when it incorporates the interests of the people who are served by the healthcare system.  

Leadership Comments 

“This conference was selected for Engagement Award funding because it will bring together patients and other stakeholders to explore critical issues related to comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) and communicate PCORI-funded research findings to key stakeholders. We look forward to working with the ACCME throughout the course of their 12-month project.”—Jean Slutsky, PA, MSPH, Chief Engagement and Dissemination Officer, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) 

“We are honored to receive a Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award. We know that healthcare is increasingly practiced in teams—and that patients need to be recognized and respected as part of the team. To build meaningful inclusion of patients in the care environment, we need to also focus on the learning environment. With this award, we can design and deliver resources that will help us create a CE community that not only aims to improve patient care, but strives toward that goal with patients as partners.”—Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc, President and CEO, Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME)  

“Learning Together: Engaging Patients in Professional Development of Physicians and Healthcare Teams,” is part of a portfolio of projects that PCORI has funded to help develop a community of patients and other stakeholders equipped to participate as partners in comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) and disseminate PCORI-funded study results.  Through the Engagement Award Program, PCORI is creating an expansive network of individuals, communities and organizations interested in and able to participate in, share, and use patient-centered CER. 

The ACCME project and the other projects approved for funding by the PCORI Engagement Award Program were selected through a highly competitive review process in which applications were assessed for their ability to meet PCORI’s engagement goals and objectives, as well as program criteria. For more information about PCORI’s funding to support engagement efforts, visit the Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Awards webpage.   


Engaging Patients in CME: A Closer Look at Criterion 24: Tips and tools about including patients as planners and faculty in education for clinicians and teams, including: 



PCORI is an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010 to fund comparative effectiveness research that will provide patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with the evidence needed to make better-informed health and healthcare decisions. PCORI is committed to seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work. 


The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME®) is a nonprofit organization based in Chicago, responsible for accrediting organizations 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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