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Performance Improvement

The purpose of the Performance Improvement (PI) requirement is to identify an improvement opportunity or a performance gap, implement a change in care delivery, and measure the impact of that change.

There are a variety of activities available to assist you in meeting your PI requirement. You may develop your own project based on identified improvement opportunities in your practice, participate in an ABFM Directed activity based on common improvement measures, or choose from a variety of alternative activities that meet your PI requirement. These activities allow you to share with ABFM the work you’re doing to improve your practice and provide better care for your patients.

Need help choosing a Performance Improvement activity?

Use the Activity Preferences in your MyABFM Portfolio to view activities that best fit your practice. Simply answer a brief questionnaire about your practice and interests to receive a targeted list of activities with greater relevance. Log in to your MyABFM Portfolio to get started.

MyABFM Portfolio


ABFM-Directed: ABFM has developed a broad range of activities based on topic areas to fit your practice setting that provide guidance for you to develop individual performance improvement interventions.

Self-Directed: Self-Directed Performance Improvement activities allow an individual and up to 9 additional physicians to report customized clinical practice improvement efforts, regardless of the scope of care that is delivered. The application process has been streamlined (averaging ~20 minutes to complete) to require only the necessary information to demonstrate the improvement cycle, measure, intervention and re-measure, and attest to the level of participation in the effort.

Resident Performance Improvement: The Residency Performance Improvement Program (ResPIP) pathway is a means for residency programs to report successful completion of performance improvement group projects developed and overseen by the program which meet ABFM certification requirements.

Learn More About ResPIP

Organizational Projects: Designed for organizations that support physicians in quality improvement efforts, or for clinical practices with more than 10 physicians, this pathway allows for approval for Organizational PI activities that will provide certification credit for any physician who is meaningfully participating, simply through attestation from the organizational sponsor.

Learn More About Organizational Projects

External Activities: ABFM has partnered with several external organizations to offer activities that satisfy your PI requirement. Visit your MyABFM Portfolio for a full list of available activities!

MyABFM Portfolio

Meaningful Participation in Performance Improvement

Upon submission of a Performance Improvement activity, your work will be reviewed for meaningful participation. ABFM defines meaningful participation as identifying a gap in care or clinical processes, gathering baseline data for the chosen improvement measure, implementing an intervention to improve the measure, and analyzing post-intervention data to assess the level of improvement.

Clinically Inactive Self-Designation

To accommodate physicians who do not have direct patient care responsibilities (clinically inactive), ABFM offers an exemption from meeting the Performance Improvement requirement. If you are clinically inactive, you are still required to meet the certification point requirement, which can be achieved through additional self-assessment activities.

You may self-designate your clinical status in your MyABFM Portfolio. This status will be visible in the Find a Physician and Physician Verification sections of the ABFM website to inform the public and credentialing entities of your current patient care responsibilities.

If you have a career change, you can always update your clinical status in your MyABFM Portfolio. It is not necessary to update your clinical status for a vacation or other short-term leave of absence, but a career change may necessitate an update. A change from clinically inactive to clinically active requires the completion of a Performance Improvement activity within one year to maintain this status.