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Annual Reports

Good news!  From time-to-time when you visit a website you see a ‘this site is under construction’ notice.  For the 2017 annual reporting year, you will soon see a ‘this report is under construction’ notice.  As mentioned in a previous update, the CoAEMSP has decided to take a different approach to the annual reporting and monitoring of outcomes.

As the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP) continues to strive to become more outcomes oriented in its approach to EMS education, the evaluation of identified outcomes measures becomes increasingly important.

Paramedic educational programs are required to submit an annual report that encompasses the following three (3) key metrics: retention, positive placement, and success on the credentialing written (cognitive) exam. Note that the requirement to report the success rate on the credentialing psychomotor exam has been deleted from the reporting requirement: not all states require a credentialing psychomotor exam and typically use the program final testing in lieu of a secondary evaluation.  Programs that have been in the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accreditation process for some time are aware that the monitoring of outcomes by the CoAEMSP Quality Improvement (QI) Subcommittee has developed over the past several years and programs not meeting one or more of the outcomes thresholds must submit an analysis of the issue and an action plan for correction formulated by the Program.

In an effort to continue to improve the process and the quality of the data for review, the CoAEMSP is currently developing a revised annual reporting tool, which is planned for implementation with a randomly selected group of programs for the 2017 reporting year.  Similar information will be collected but in a different database format.  A summary of the process follows:

  1. The Annual Report format used in 2016 and previous years will no longer be used.
  2. The revised format Annual Report is in the development phase and will be completed late 2017.
  3. The revised Annual Report will be pilot tested in 2018 with a group of randomly selected programs.
  4. The revised Annual Report will include data for the calendar year of 2017; therefore the submission date will be in the first or second quarter of 2018. The submission date is yet to be determined.
  5. Pilot programs must submit the Annual Report but there will be no consequences for programs not meeting one of the three thresholds.
  6. Programs that are not included in the pilot will not have to complete an Annual Report for 2017. This is a one-year only exemption from the reporting requirement.
  7. Programs in the pilot project will be asked to submit comments and suggestions, as the tool is refined before full rollout for 2018.
  8. Once the revised reporting tool is complete, a webinar will be provided to explain the report and the process involved: potentially in December or January.

A few specifics regarding the new Annual Report:

  1. Each year will be a new report and will not include data from previous years.
  2. Student data will be entered in cohorts graduating in the calendar year.
  3. Outcome thresholds will be evaluated on an annual basis: programs either meet or do not meet the threshold.
  4. Once the student data is entered, if one of the outcome thresholds is not met, a dialog box automatically appears with that information, and further information is required in the form of an analysis and action plan. This is the only information required and the previous practice of completing a Standardized Progress Report at a later date has been eliminated.
  5. Programs will no longer be evaluated on a three year average. 
  6. The third year that a program does not meet a threshold, the program will be automatically referred to one of the CoAEMSP Review Teams to evaluate the individual reports for the last three years to determine if a recommendation of probation is indicated.
  7. Over the next year the CoAEMSP will continue to evaluate the current thresholds of 70% on each measure to attempt to determine if this is indeed the best practice target.

Identified and published outcomes are not unique to Paramedic educational programs.  Nationally, the issue of outcomes has gained increased attention by the federal government and publication of outcomes is now required by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). (CHEA recognition is given to CAAHEP as an accrediting organization.) Attention to analysis of outcomes results is an important component in program development and improvement.  However, publication of outcomes is also an important fair practice issue that allows potential students and the public to make informed decisions on where to spend their educational dollars.

As of January 15, 2015, CAAHEP Standard V.A.4. in the CAAHEP Standards for Paramedic programs requires: ‘The sponsor must maintain, and make available to the public, current and consistent summary information about student/graduate achievement that includes the results of one or more of the outcomes assessments required in these Standards’. Programs must include the direct link website location of the published outcomes in their Annual Report.

To assist the public in finding your outcomes, programs must publish their latest outcomes results on the homepage of their website.

Please watch for further communication from CoAEMSP on this important project. 

 
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