AKH Inc. works with many accredited and non-accredited organizations to design, market and offer quality programming.
AKH Inc. brings to our co- and joint-sponsors over 50 years of combined healthcare education experience, knowledge of various and changing accreditation regulations, experience in content development and project management, skill in course design, development and implementation, and knowledge of commercial support guidelines.
With AKH’s multiple accreditation status, we are able to provide a variety of continuing education options. AKH joins with our educational partners to ensure that the educational activities meet the needs of the target audience, are grounded in clinical evidence, and are free of commercial bias – making education of healthcare professionals the foremost priority.
AKH Inc. requires identification of conflict of interest and initiation of its resolution during the planning phase of program production. Regardless of whether or not there is direct commercial support for the CME/CE activity, all individuals who are in a position to control or direct the content of an activity (faculty, medical writer, key planning committee members) sponsored by AKH are required to disclose to AKH any personal financial relationships with the manufacturer(s) of any commercial product(s) and/or provider(s) of commercial services discussed in an educational presentation, and with any commercial supporters of the activity in place in the 12 months preceding the activity. Potential faculty members who refuse to disclose financial relationships will not be contracted for faculty services and will not be involved as a planning committee member. Once identified, AKH will initiate their Resolving Conflict of Interest Algorithm, which includes 3 levels of resolution. Level 1 must include faculty signature of an attestation affirming that their relationship(s) will in no way prevent them from making a fair and balanced presentation of data and clinical recommendations or one without commercial bias. Level 2 may include topic restriction or modification, faculty advisement on content expectations and level of evidence requirements, selection of other faculty for recommendations, or peer review by AKH CME Committee. Level 3 may include an independent review of content against predetermined criteria ensuring that evidence supports recommendations. For enduring materials, disclosures will be published with the faculty biography at the beginning of the program.
AKH enters into joint-sponsorship agreements with other organizations or facilities as a full member of the planning committee. An AKH professional is available to advise and assist in all stages of the course planning. AKH retains the responsibility for assurance that all accreditation standards are met. A formal written Educational Partner Agreement is enacted to cover all activities in joint-sponsorship within a specified period of time. A formal written Continuing Education agreement is developed for each jointly held activity. When AKH enters into an agreement with a non-accredited provider, this Educational Partner Agreement will include the following areas in which AKH Inc. will retain final authority:
- Selection of faculty
- Resolution of conflicts of interest
- Selection of program title
- Approval of all promotional material
- Approval of course materials (handouts, videos, etc.)
- Amount of continuing education credit to be awarded, and the manner in which it may be earned.
- Approval of course designs including needs assessments, objectives, content, time frame, learning activities, and evaluation instruments.
In addition to the above, AKH retains authority for all administrative duties to include:
- Record keeping
- Certificate issuance
- Faculty guidance
- Fair balance and non-commercialization
- Evaluation summaries
- Communication to joint-sponsor, prior to and following each program
- Complaint management
Should AKH enter into an agreement to joint-sponsor continuing education with another accredited provider; the joint-sponsorship agreement will delineate division of responsibility for standards compliance. AKH and the other accredited provider will be jointly responsible for assuring this compliance.
Note: When AKH enters into an agreement with another ACCME accredited provider to jointly produce a CME activity, a Co-sponsorship agreement will be enacted.
AKH’s educational activities are designed for the adult learner. An assessment of the target audience’s educational needs is the starting point for any continuing education activity. AKH encourages the use of a variety of needs assessment methods.
AKH professionals will work with joint-sponsors to ensure that the design and program content meets the needs of the target audience and achieves the stated objectives. AKH professionals can provide joint-sponsors with suggestions and examples of appropriate active learning exercises.
As an accredited provider, AKH validates the clinical content of CE activities. Specifically, CE content must be objectively selected and presented. Both favorable and unfavorable information about products must be fairly represented, and there must be a balanced discussion of the prevailing body of scientific information on the products and disease management issues discussed. Alternative treatment options must be meaningfully and fairly presented. Treatment recommendations must be based on the best available evidence and the source and quality of the evidence identified. Discussion of products must include contraindications or safety considerations and be designed to overcome the under use, overuse, or misuse of products. Therapeutic options must be identified by generic names. If it is necessary to use a trade name, then those of several companies must be used.
CE activities must not promote recommendations, treatment or manners of professional practice that are not within the profession’s definition of CE, or known to have risks or dangers that outweigh the benefits or are known to be ineffective in the treatment of patients. Only at the request of AKH may commercial supporters provide approved faculty with results of scientific research conducted by the commercial company. A detailed outline of the presentation and supporting research design/results must be presented to AKH prior to approval of the activity.
Marketing of CE Activities
AKH reviews all marketing plans and documents prior to production for compliance with accrediting body requirements.
AKH professionals will provide joint-sponsors with the proper wording and logos for programs' applicable approval statements.
Issuing Statement of Credit
Statements of credit are issued by AKH Inc. or through their approved designees. No blank statements of credit will be issued. Duplicate statements of credit may be requested.
AKH professionals work with joint-sponsors and advise on outcome measurement. AKH supports the concept that continuing education should improve patient outcomes and incorporates it into their activities' planning and evaluation.