• Outcome Project;
  • practice-based learning;
  • residency;
  • quality;
  • Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education

The Outcome Project is a long-term initiative by which the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) is increasing emphasis on educational outcomes in the evaluation of residency programs. The ACGME initiated the Outcome Project to “ensure and improve the quality of graduate medical education.” In order to assist program directors in emergency medicine (EM) to begin complying with components of the ACGME Outcome Project, the Council of Residency Directors in Emergency Medicine (CORD-EM) convened a consensus conference in March 2002 in conjunction with several other EM organizations. The working group for the competency of Practice-based Learning and Improvement (PBL) defined the components of PBL as: 1) analyze and assess practice experience and perform practice-based improvement; 2) locate, appraise, and utilize scientific evidence related to the patient's health problems and the larger population from which they are drawn; 3) apply knowledge of study design and statistical methods to critically appraise the medical literature; 4) utilize information technology to enhance personal education and improve patient care; and 5) facilitate the learning of students, colleagues, and other health care professionals in EM principles and practice. Establishing resident portfolios is a preferred method to chronicle resident competence in PBL. Traditional global evaluation of resident performance is de-emphasized. Checklist evaluation is appropriate for assessing any competency that can be broken down into specific behaviors or actions. 360-degree evaluation may be used to assess teamwork, communication skills, management skills, and clinical decision making. Chart-stimulated recall and record review are additional evaluation methods that can be used to assess resident competency in PBL. Simulations and models, such as computer-based scenarios, may be ideal for low-frequency but critical procedures.