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Meeting Information


June 22, 2011



Toby Vandemark, Chair; Mary Pat Aust, Sue Ann Capizzi, James Fiore, Jeannette Harmon, Don Kooker, Deb Reis, Tarang Shah

Agenda Items

1.       Review minutes of 10/6 and 5/9

Toby began the meeting with a review of the minutes of the prior meeting.  Valerie asked if there needed to be any modification of the minutes of the in person meeting May 9th since she was unable to attend.  No responses were received and the minutes were accepted as submitted. 

2.       Discuss ABIM exam reporting specification

Don continued with an overview of the ABIM exam reporting specification.  He mentioned that for joint exams each board registers its own candidates and then sends data to the administrative board which administers the exam.  The administrative board handles arrangements with vendors, test production, etc. Each board does data exchange differently and has different formats for the same exam.  Two to three years ago, the ABIM became the administrative board for the Hospice exam with twelve boards participating.  To avoid twelve different data exchanges, the ABIM was able to have all twelve boards agree on the required elements.  They identified which data elements were optional and which were required for scoring purposes in a standard format to exchange data files. The smaller boards were provided with an application that would convert the CSV files to XML.  Valerie mentioned MedBiquitous talked about the need for this kind of specification several years ago and asked which boards were currently using the format.  Don did not have a list of all the boards who were participating, but he thought about half of the boards were participating. James clarified that the Board of Surgery is using that specification for the Palliative and hospice exam. 

Valerie asked the group whether they were interested in publicizing or further developing the specification.  Don commented he would support making the changes for it to become a standard.  Currently the ABIM has three different exams, with three different versions of the programs to send data and it would be nice to have a standard in place. James mentioned the specification would have to be restructured and modified and other boards would have to commit to using it. The MedBiquitous Professional Profile standard could be used.  Valerie suggested she and Don talk offline and then come up with a proposal to submit to the Executive Committee.  Don was concerned with how to get the boards to use the standard. James asked if the ABIM had other shared exam formats.  Don mentioned ABIM’s was concerned with changing formats on people that are already currently using it.  Don explained the goal was to restructure things to provide a new format for all the boards to use and relinquish the proprietary file formats for all boards.  Valerie asked if there would be an opportunity to use something like that outside the ABMS member boards.  She asked Tarang and Mary Pat if osteopathic certification boards would need such a standard, or if nursing organizations would. Tarang mentioned that Osteopathy certification is more centralized and wouldn’t have the same need. Mary Pat replied that there is one joint exam AACN has with another nursing organization. She offered to explore that in more detail.  Valerie noted that by leveraging the Professional Profile specification we could reduce the scope of the standard significantly.  Valerie and Don will work on creating a proposal for the Executive Committee to evaluate.

3.       Discuss outreach efforts

  • ABMS
  • ABIM
  • Other organizations

Toby asked Valerie about the current implementers of the activity report standard. Valerie mentioned the implementers list on the MedBiquitous website may not be up to date.  The implementers listed are American Academy of Pediatrics, American Heart Association, American Osteopathic Association, CECity, Highwire Press and MedScape.  Valerie shared that AOA presented their implementation with Medscape at the MedBiquitous Annual Conference and reported a cost savings of $650,000. Don commented ABIM  plans to use the standard as a base submittal of third party activity for MOC credit.  Toby asked at what point would we look at version 2. Valerie commented that we are required by ANSI to either reaffirm or revise the standard within five years of release. This standard was released in August 31st of 2009; therefore, we would have five years before we have to revise the standard, ballot it and be done by 2014.  We would have to have a draft by 2013 to send to the standards committee for discussion and voting.  Toby suggested making an action item of creating a poll to see how much change is going to be necessary to make.

Valerie commented that she will be speaking with Jennifer Michael, the new CMIO at ABMS, whom Eric Holmboe referred her to, and ask for ABMS to be more involved in MedBiquitous standards development.

James commented that the Board of Surgery is interested in collecting data from surgical societies using Activity Report.  Valerie suggested promoting that association in the newsletter or a presentation at the MedBiquitous Annual Conference. Valerie was encouraged and hopeful other boards would follow their lead and collect more CME data.  James asked if the standard provided a way to mark credits as self-assessment credits.  Valerie answered there is an element called credit focus that defines the area of focus for the credit. It has 3 sub elements: description, code and number of credits and it can indicate what exact area the credit was in.  That could be used to indicate the credit is a self-assessment credit. The rest of the credit received element contents are defined by Healthcare LOM.

4.       Open discussion


Action Items

  • Valerie will create a poll and send to implementers to see how much change will be needed with the current standard and what gaps need filled
  • Valerie to follow-up with Don on proposing a new standard or exam results
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