The American Board of Otolaryngology is preparing to launch the final component of its maintenance of certification (MOC) program this year. In addition to the goals of lifelong learning and quality improvement, the last of this four-part program should help otolaryngologists comply with performance incentives from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Explore This IssueJanuary 2012
The program is intended to enhance the quality of care in otolaryngology, said Robert Miller, MD, MBA, executive director of the American Board of Otolaryngology (ABOto) and physician editor of ENT Today. The idea of Part IV is to tailor the education of the doctor as finely as possible, with feedback from patients and data comparisons between individual doctors and national numbers, he said.
“The two purposes of MOC are lifelong learning and quality improvement. Certainly people can read, go to lectures and other traditional CME activities that may or may not address areas that need updating,” Dr. Miller said. “But with MOC, it is really focused learning.”
Jack Gluckman, MD, chair of the ABOto’s MOC committee and professor emeritus of otolaryngology at the University of Cincinnati, said this phase of MOC is especially important. “This—of all facets of MOC—might prove to be the most helpful to the practitioner because it focuses so specifically on patient care,” he said.
Otolaryngologists certified before 2002 are not required to meet MOC requirements, but the Board encourages everyone to participate. Those participating in MOC are identified on both the American Board of Medical Specialties and ABOto websites.
The first three parts of MOC, professional standing, continuing education and self-assessment, and a cognitive exam, are in place and designed to help keep doctors on top of their game, both for their benefit and the benefit of patients. But Part IV digs deeper.
Part IV, called Performance in Practice, is based on the quality cycle: Measure data, analyze what you’ve measured, identify areas of strengths and areas needing improvement, develop an improvement plan, implement the plan and then re-measure to see how well you did.
Feedback Is Key
There are three components to Part IV: a patient survey, a peer survey and a patient registry involving data entry into an improvement module for easy comparison with national figures.
Patients will either complete the survey online or use a telephone response system. The Board will accept patient surveys completed through other acceptable organizations, such as Press Ganey, the healthcare performance improvement company.