The quality gaps accredited CME providers must address to document compliance with Criterion 21 are different from quality gaps to be addresses within the provider’s CME program. Provider’s must clearly define the identified quality gap(s) in healthcare which their CME activities are positioned to address.


Welcome to AOE’s video blog, CME Watch.

This video blog is part of a two-part blog addressing ACCME’s accreditation criterion 21. This video will address quality gaps and required documentation for compliance with this accreditation criterion.

So, what is the difference between a quality gap and a professional practice gap? A professional practice gap, which accredited providers must identify for each continuing medical education activity that they design and implement, is a gap between current and best or better practices as it pertains to a physician’s level of knowledge, competence, and/or performance.

A quality gap in healthcare more broadly addresses gaps in healthcare excellence provided to patients and overall health of patient populations. There are strong potential links between quality gaps and professional practice gaps particularly when gaps in physician knowledge, competence, or performance are known contributors to a measured quality gap in healthcare.

In such instances, continuing medical education is positioned to address identified gaps in quality, helping to bridge current and optimal quality measures. Accredited providers must then provide examples of activities which were designed to address a divide quality gap in healthcare and it’s important to note that this is not a quality gap in that provider’s continuing medical education program. In addition, the quality measures being collected by the provider or other members of the quality improvement framework must be clearly identified.

If you have any questions related to the ACCME’s accreditation Criterion 21, or any other ACCME accreditation criteria, please don’t hesitate to contact AOE.