In the June 2012 DIO news, the IRC clarifies two pressing questions for institutions:
Q: What effect will the NAS have on institutional site visit dates?
A: Institutional site visits will be conducted as scheduled through June 30, 2013, using the current Institutional Requirements (effective July 1, 2007, with the most recent editorial change approved July 1, 2011) and the current Institutional Review Document (IRD; effective March 2010). The period between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014 will likely include some visits still under the existing Institutional Requirements and IRD; sponsoring institutions to be visited during that year will be notified by the IRC with plenty of lead time. Most sponsoring institutions with a visit originally planned to occur after June 30, 2013 can anticipate that the institutional site visit will be subject to modification in timing and content. Institutional site visits scheduled to occur after July 1, 2014 will be “institutional self study” visits and will follow the revised Institutional Requirements, currently in development, to be posted July 1, 2013 with an effective date of July 1, 2014.
Q: What effect will the NAS have on internal reviews?
A: At present, most internal reviews should be continued until further guidance from the IRC. DIOs are not required to schedule internal reviews for “early adopter” specialties (emergency medicine, internal medicine, neurological surgery, orthopaedic surgery, pediatrics, diagnostic radiology, and urology) that have received notice of an extended date for program self-study visits. As the NAS emerges, the IRC anticipates that sponsoring institutions will increase emphasis on annual review of program outcomes and learning environments, instead of mid-cycle internal reviews. Therefore, we can anticipate a decreased emphasis on the midpoint as the only occasion for internal review. The functions accomplished by internal reviews are under discussion by the IRC to determine which quality improvement principles should be retained or expanded in the NAS.
Partners® recommends: The DIO must ensure that programs that are NOT part of the early adopter specialties do not fall through the cracks. Internal reviews for those specialties remain as scheduled until such time that they enter NAS. In order to demonstrate oversight and ensure continued compliance until the next annual review, we highly recommend that DIO's monitor and assess program compliance with past citations and all new requirements. Additionally, DIO's should review all letters of notification from the early adopters to ensure that their self-study visit has been extended well into the future and do not have an upcoming site visit date.