February 4, 2019

Transforming the Clinical Learning Environment: The ACGME’s Commitment to Collaborative Action

As part of its ongoing efforts to improve all facets of graduate medical education (GME), the ACGME plays a central role in two initiatives of far-reaching importance to clinicians, health care organizations, and patients. These initiatives made substantial progress in 2018, and are poised to continue to contribute to health care excellence in 2019.

Pursuing Excellence
In response to opportunities identified through the ACGME's Clinical Learning Environment Review (CLER) Program site visits and noted practice patterns in the literature, the ACGME established Pursuing Excellence in Clinical Learning Environments (Pursuing Excellence). With the support of partnering organizations in health care quality and education, Pursuing Excellence is promoting transformative improvements in the clinical learning environments of ACGME-accredited institutions.

The initial two components of Pursuing Excellence—Pathway Innovators and Pathway Leaders—are well underway. Teams of Pathway Innovators are focusing on positioning GME to be viewed as of strategic value, understanding that transformational change in the clinical learning environment will require partnership between GME and institutional leaders.

The first collaborative Pathway Leaders’ goal is to contribute to individual and collective learning by developing a framework and plan for engaging all residents and fellows in patient safety during their first 12 months of clinical training and education. More recently, nine Sponsoring Institutions in the Pathway Leaders second Collaborative have begun their work on quality improvement focused on eliminating health care disparities.

ACGME and the Clinical Learning Environment Community
The ACGME is leading the way within the broader clinical learning environment community as well. The National Collaborative for Improving the Clinical Learning Environment (NCICLE), of which ACGME is a member, brings together more than 30 major health care organizations working to improve the educational experience and patient care outcomes within clinical learning environments. NCICLE developed a patient safety guide to prepare new clinicians, which has served as a reference for the Pursuing Excellence Patient Safety Collaborative.

This week NCICLE released The Role of the Clinical Learning Environment in Preparing New Clinicians to Engage in Quality Improvement Efforts to Eliminate Health Care Disparities, which serves as a foundational resource for the newest Pathway Leaders Collaborative. This guide provides a framework for health care leaders interested in taking a systems-level approach to engage new clinicians in eliminating health care disparities.

Learn about the Latest
The 2019 ACGME Annual Educational Conference will showcase the work of these vitally important efforts. The nine institutions that have created immersive patient safety learning programs using the NCICLE framework will share innovative approaches to event investigation serving as a catalyst to deeper learning about systems improvement at the conference.

  • Sites will present posters Friday during the Poster Reception. Conference participants will be able to browse the posters and discuss them with the authors.
  • At a Sunset Session on Friday at 5:15 – Successful Practices for Engaging Residents and Fellows in Patient Safety – attendees can learn details of these institutions’ development of patient safety programs for residents and fellows.
  • Among a variety of sessions of interest on Saturday morning is SES076 Interprofessional Collaboration: Essential to Clinical Learning Environments of the Future, which will describe the journey of eight organizations to frame the concept of an interprofessional learning environment that aligns with hospital and medical center needs.

The 2019 ACGME Annual Educational Conference offers an exceptional array of learning opportunities, covering a wide range of topics in GME. Online registration for the conference is open through February 8, 2019. We hope you will join us in Orlando as we continue to work together to improve the clinical learning environment for all.