ONC to Negotiate Sole-Source Arrangement with ABMS to Set New Expectations for Use of Health IT Linked to MOC

In my blog post of August 8th, I asked whether aligning maintenance of certification (MOC) with meaningful use (MU) was a good thing. Well – it looks as if the Office of the National Coordinator thinks so.  This announcement on the FedBizOpps site (8/21/10) states the following:

“The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC)…intends to negotiate on a sole-source basis with the American Board of Medical Specialties Maintenance of Certification…to work with Member Boards to explore how best to advance the knowledge and skills required to use health IT to improve outcomes. The ABMS shall assist the ONC by working with the Member Boards to work towards setting new expectations regarding the use of health IT to improve clinical care. The ABMS shall explore how best to advance the knowledge and skills required to use health IT to improve outcomes via the MOC programs and develop two knowledge self-assessment modules for Part 2 MOC (knowledge and data management, use of health IT to promote patient safety) and enhance/expand web-based practice improvement modules (PIMs) for Part 4 MOC that incorporate measures that demonstrate Meaningful Use of health IT. In addition, ABMS shall augment Part 2 data management and health IT assessments with a simulation process that shall simulate the development and use of a registry in conducting quality improvement activities that can be used across all specialties. The ABMS shall also retrofit existing web-based tools and build in to future MOC offerings, links to the health information technology resources created and offered by regional extension centers and health information exchange programs.”

So, I ask again – do you think this is a good thing? Does it make sense for MOC to evaluate whether physicians can appropriately use health IT to improve clinical care & safety?  What advice would you give ABMS and the Member Boards about how and what to measure through the MOC process?

This post is the personal opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the American College of Physicians (ACP). ACP does not endorse a specific EHR brand or product and ACP makes no representations, warranties, or assurances as to the accuracy or completeness of the information provided herein.

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