ACGME Releases CLER National Report of Findings 2022: COVID-19 Pandemic and Its Impact on the Clinical Learning Environment

December 14, 2022

The ACGME is pleased to present the CLER National Report of Findings 2022: The COVID-19 Pandemic and Its Impact on the Clinical Learning Environment. The ACGME’s Clinical Learning Environment Review (CLER) Program provides leaders of hospitals, medical centers, and other clinical settings with formative feedback through site visits that explore six Focus Areas: Patient Safety; Health Care Quality; Supervision; Teaming; Well-Being; and Professionalism.

This specially-commissioned, 18-month protocol assessed select aspects of the six CLER Focus Areas and explored unique areas, such as the pandemic’s effect on business and clinical operations and the subsequent impact on graduate medical education (GME). The report identifies opportunities to optimize both patient care and GME in addressing challenges that are likely to persist as clinical sites recover from the COVID-19 pandemic’s acute phases.

The protocol, which was delivered via remote technology, was administered to nearly 300 ACGME-accredited Sponsoring Institutions.

“This report highlights the extent to which COVID-19 has affected our nation’s clinical learning environments and provides insight as to where there may be opportunities over the next few years to build on the innovation that occurred within these environments while navigating disruptions from the pandemic,” said ACGME President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas J. Nasca, MD, MACP.

Additionally, the report presents detailed findings that highlight opportunities to improve education and patient care, noting increases in the use of remote technology; gaps in resident and fellow participation in patient safety event investigations; and gender-specific differences within clinical learning environments related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.  

“The pandemic has had monumental impact on our health care environment and has presented an unprecedented opportunity for learning. This report provides the first comprehensive national look at how our clinical learning environments have weathered the initial impact of this pandemic and how this experience can lead to improvements in patient care as well as ACGME-accredited graduate medical education,“ said ACGME Chief Sponsoring Institutions and Clinical Learning Environment Officer Kevin B. Weiss, MD, MPH.

For more information about the CLER Program, visit the CLER webpage.