Health System Reform Policies
In 2008, the Membership of the National Board requested the development of a series of policy statements regarding health system reform. The approximately 80 Members of the NBME have participated with staff in identifying the areas of focus and in drafting the policy and background language. These policies were formally adopted by the NBME Membership in March, 2011. The rationale for this document is partly to support the goals of healthcare reform, but also to commit the NBME to promoting these goals, particularly where NBME assessment instruments can emphasize their importance. As stated in the document, health system reform offers the opportunity to improve many elements that contribute to overall health system quality and efficiency. The document urges policy makers to continue to consider specific recommendations for change that the NBME believes will improve our healthcare delivery system.
- All Americans must have access to affordable essential healthcare. The care must be patient-centered, safe, and at least equal in quality to healthcare in other developed nations. An appropriately sized and distributed health workforce must be competent to provide these services. These are required conditions to protect the health of the public.
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- Continuing efforts at healthcare reform should support the creation of a system within the professions for defining a common framework for competence, articulating minimum standards, encouraging continuous improvement, and developing common tools for measuring competence and performance for all healthcare professionals caring for patients in the United States.
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- The public expects and deserves a system of accountability that cannot be circumvented. Licensure of health professionals by states should provide that system, holding healthcare professionals accountable throughout their careers through substantive initial and periodic renewal of professional licenses.
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- Licensed clinicians must demonstrate proficiency in all domains important to effective care, including some that have been underemphasized, including: patient-centeredness, communication, prevention, and evidence-based practice.
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- Health system reform should support state health professional licensing authorities in implementing consistent minimum standards as they grant initial professional licenses. State licensing and regulatory authorities should have responsibility for monitoring and discipline of clinicians who practice in their jurisdiction.
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- Uniform standards should apply to all clinicians entitled by professional practice statutes to provide the same or similar services. Licensing bodies responsible for monitoring the quality of healthcare professionals should collaborate within each profession and across professional and geographic boundaries.
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- All healthcare professionals should demonstrate continuing proficiency through a robust system of ongoing competence assessment and measurement of practice effectiveness as a condition of continuing licensure. A system of relicensure based on uniform standards should be acceptable to all public and private stakeholders seeking competence and performance information about clinicians.
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- Ongoing reform initiatives should support longitudinal study of the formation of healthcare professionals, from undergraduate medical education through continuing professional development in practice, identifying the best means to guide the investment of scarce resources in the development of future healthcare workers.
Learn more about Policy 8 »
Download Health System Reform Policies Document