ACGME Call for Applications for Pursuing Excellence Initiative

July 10, 2017

In 2016, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) announced a new initiative, Pursuing Excellence in Clinical Learning Environments (“Pursuing Excellence”) with the goal of promoting “transformative improvement” in the clinical learning environments of ACGME-accredited institutions. AACOM supports this effort and is a member of the ACGME’s Pursuing Excellence Partner Advisory Group. Through the single graduate medical education (GME) accreditation system, several institutions that were formerly only affiliated with the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) now have applied and achieved ACGME accreditation and may be interested in a new opportunity to participate in the Pursuing Excellence Pathway Leaders Patient Safety Collaborative.

Clinical Learning Environment Review Program
Pursuing Excellence grew out of the ACGME’s Clinical Learning Environment Review (CLER) Program. CLER was established in 2012 and is designed to provide U.S. teaching hospitals, medical centers, health systems and other clinical settings affiliated with ACGME-accredited institutions with periodic feedback that addresses the following six focus areas:

  • Patient safety
  • Health care quality
  • Care transitions
  • Supervision
  • Fatigue management and mitigation and duty hours
  • Professionalism

ACGME released its CLER National Report of Findings in 2016 with findings from nearly 300 CLER visits over a three-year period. A key takeaway was the degree of variability in the learning environments across sponsoring institutions. These environments varied in their approach and capacity to address patient safety, health care quality and to engage learners in these areas. They also differ in their approach to GME implementation and investment in training and continued education. The degree to which they coordinate and implement educational resources across the health care professions also varied.

Pursuing Excellence Goals & Components
To address the CLER findings, the goal of the Pursuing Excellence Initiative is to bring together leaders from hospitals, medical centers, GME programs, and other stakeholders to generate ideas and test innovative approaches to improve the quality of clinical learning environments and patient care.

The initiative has three major components: the Pathway Innovators, Pathway Leaders, and Pathway Learners. A key aspect of this initiative is promoting shared learning within and across these and other networks. To kick off this initiative, a request for proposals for “Pathway Innovators” was issued in 2016 for ACGME-accredited sponsoring institutions. The eight pathway innovators were subsequently announced in July 2016 and have embarked on a four-year effort to share progress and learn amongst each-other.

Pathway Leaders Patient Safety Collaborative Call for Applications
The Pathway Leaders component is intended to support institutions that seek to improve the quality of their learning environments by selecting one of the six CLER focus areas. The call for applications for pathway leaders in patient safety was announced in June 2017. The eight to 10 sponsoring institutions selected for this effort will embark on an 18-month journey to examine and develop ways to equip residents and physicians with the skills to engage in systems-based approaches to delivering safe, high-quality care throughout their careers. The participants will share successes with the broader community of clinical learning environment leadership. Applications for the patient safety collaborative are accepted until August 15, 2017.

View the Call for Applications for Pursuing Excellence in Clinical Learning Environments and the Pathway Leaders Patient Safety Collaborative. Learn more about Pursuing Excellence.


Vol. 1, No. 12
July 13, 2017