Self-assessment of Practice Performance: Development of the ABIM Practice Improvement Module (PIM) - American Board of Medical Specialties

The article describes how the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) develops Practice Improvement Modules (PIMs) and reviews the experiences of the first time users of the Preventative Cardiology PIM (PC-PIM). In this study, the PC-PIM serves as a self administered tool to assess the quality of practice using performance measures; also, to obtain feedback from patients. Study findings suggest opportunities to enhance PIM-like activities deployed in Maintenance of Certification (MOC) programs. Meaningful gaps in physician clinical performance were identified, including difficulty in the application of quality improvement methods to impact system change and improve performance. The authors suggest that future efforts should focus on identification of factors that could help physicians apply QI method in their practices and of educational interventions that might be beneficial. Patient surveys were useful in identifying improvement needs in practice communication and in physicians’ ability to self-assess their patients’ healthcare needs. Of note, the performance of physicians enrolled in ABIM’s MOC and participating in this study was better than that reported in recent research; several reasons are offered for the noted difference.

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