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Next Accreditation System International (NAS-I)

Overview

Accreditation is a validation that standards are being met. ACGME-I accreditation addresses the standards for graduate medical education. Meeting these standards is a true journey away from an “old” to a “new” way of education.

When programs first start this journey, the learning curve requires that accreditation be process driven: Program Information Forms (PIFs); site visits; and Review Committee accreditation decisions at one- to three-year intervals. As programs mature and demonstrate compliance with standards, the ACGME-I understands the importance of relieving the burden of such processes. These programs transition to a different system of accreditation: the Next Accreditation System International (NAS-I).

Singapore, the first region to adopt ACGME-I accreditation, has now reached this conversion point for its ongoing programs. (Note: if new programs are added, they will undergo a process-oriented, “old” approach initially.) The NAS-I model is truly a continuous approach, in that an accreditation decision will be made on an annual basis by the Review Committee. This accreditation decision will NOT require PIFs or site visits, but rather be based on outcomes as reflected in data collection. No new data entries will be required. Instead, the annual review of data heightens the imperative for accurate, complete data submission. Further, annual review allows for resolution of previous citations promptly, as contrasted to the previous system.

The graphic shows the continuous cycle, including time of year, as well as focus of task. With this continuous accreditation model, there is now a predictable flow of necessary work that will be required of programs. The episodic flurry of activity necessary for PIF completion and the site visit is eliminated as long as the data reflect the program to be in good standing. Conversely, if data and Review Committee review identifies that a program is struggling to meet educational standards, the ACGME-I will be able to address areas requiring improvement more promptly

To summarize:

  1. The NAS-I is implemented in “mature” programs to reduce administrative burden related to maintenance of accreditation
  2. Its continuous accreditation model allows for resolution of citations more promptly and attention to programs struggling to meet requirements.
  3. The NAS-I’s emphasis on data-driven decisions heightens the need for accurate, complete data submission by programs.

Resources

Introduction to NAS-I. Singapore 13, 14 September, 2017

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