A Health System’s Quality Initiative Coupled with a New ABFM KSA: Alignment to Improve Care
|ᐊ March 2021 Issue||Download March 2021 [PDF 960KB]|
Beyond working with individual Diplomates serving as item writers or content experts, the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) has recently collaborated with the Wisconsin-based Interstate Postgraduate Medical Association (IPMA) to develop a new Knowledge Self-Assessment (KSA) on Palliative Care, which was deployed in the Physician Portfolio in 2020. The ABFM Board of Directors selected this topic as a new area to include in the self-assessment activities, and had prior experience working with IPMA through their sponsorship of group KSAs since 2008. IPMA engaged front-line physicians willing to help in developing the content for this new KSA, which was accomplished through the efforts of four ABFM-certified family physicians with expertise in end of life care, led by Dr. Cheri Olson. “I can't say enough positives about the process of IPMA working with ABFM on this project,” said Olson. “They were extremely supportive about something that had never been done there before—partnering with an outside organization to develop a KSA. ABFM staff were really helpful in each step of the effort to ensure a high-quality activity that all ABFM Diplomates could utilize.”
After this was completed, IPMA had an opportunity to partner with QURE HealthcareTM. QURE uses simulated patient cases and real-time feedback to measure and improve physicians’ practices. IPMA and QURE collaborated on an educational initiative that integrated the Palliative Care KSA with QURE’s interactive patient simulations used by Advocate Physician Partner primary care providers. Advocate Physician Partners is part of Advocate Aurora Health, which has 26 hospitals and more than 500 sites of care throughout the upper Midwest.
“The family physicians at Advocate Aurora said, ‘Hey, this is aligned with what we're doing,’” said Mary Ales, the Executive Director with IPMA who worked with QURE to add the Palliative Medicine KSA to QURE 's offerings of virtual clinical vignettes. “It's such a great way to combine a case-based learning that is driven by health system needs with testing, really making sure that there's a competency within the physician, and that the learning is immediately connected with improvements in practice.”
Physicians completing the education earned QI recognition from Advocate Aurora that contributed to bonus incentives. As of this writing, 100 ABFM Diplomates completed the KSA activity and 101 completed the Performance Improvement (PI) activity, with 62 physicians obtaining both KSA and PI credit toward their Certification requirements.
“The Palliative Care KSA was very well-received and impactful,” said Trever Burgon, Vice President of QURE Healthcare, noting that analysis of the project impact showed 86% of physicians said they were extremely likely to recommend the combination of QURE simulations and the KSA activity to a colleague. Burgon reported that “real-world performance also improved with the percentage of patients over 65 with a documented advanced care plan on file doubled after the project.”
“These are the kind of partners that share ABFM’s mission and vision,” said Olson about QURE and IPMA coming together with the support of ABFM to design and deliver the Palliative Care KSA for Advocate Aurora’s physicians in a way that aligned with one of their quality initiatives. “I think we can make this not be a burden for physicians but be great learning that is additive to what they do, while still meeting the recertification requirements.”
"I think we've done things right by making this relevant to physicians, by making it seamless. Nobody had to pick up the phone and do something differently," said Ales about the responses to the KSAs.