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Expanding the LCME Severe Action Decisions Analysis to Gauge the Effect of the 2002 Accreditation Standards Reformatting

January 2015 Analysis in Brief

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Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) standards guide medical education programs (MEPs) in preparing for accreditation survey visits and shape accreditation decisions. In 2002, these standards were reformatted from prose to numbered format to explicitly link standards to the self-study questions to which MEPs respond. The change clarified the information needed to demonstrate compliance. Prior research defined an LCME severe action decision (SAD) as one that grants a MEP a shortened accreditation term, places it on warning or probation status, or withdraws its accreditation. This Analysis in Brief builds on prior research by expanding the time periods of analysis to see if the finding of increased SADs following the 2002 standards reformatting continues. Results show that SADs comprised 15 percent of LCME decisions made in the first time period, and 31 percent of decisions made in the second (see Table). These results suggest that the LCME standards reformatting has improved the LCME’s ability to monitor MEPs and facilitate a program’s quality improvement and accreditation preparation efforts. The increase in SADs may be because MEPs were unaware of this improvement because their compliance with standards is assessed every eight years. As a result, in 2014, the LCME created a new standard requiring ongoing monitoring of compliance with its standards.

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