CLER COVID-19 site visits to be conducted in 2021

Bricker & Eckler LLP

Bricker & Eckler LLP

In response to the presence and impact of COVID-19, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) suspended all regular Clinical Learning Environment Review (CLER) Program site visits in early 2020. During the final months of 2020, ACGME started field testing a specially-designated remote site visit in order to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the clinical learning environment. 

As a result, ACGME has decided to begin conducting CLER COVID-19 site visits in 2021. These remote site visits will include questionnaires and video conferences with senior hospital leadership and GME leaders, the results of which will be compiled to educate other sponsoring institutions about ways to adapt their systems to optimize patient care in clinical learning environments during the continued COVID-19 pandemic.  It will also identify changes that are likely to be sustained over the next two years.

ACGME will not conduct CLER COVID-19 site visits at sponsoring institutions with active emergency categorization status or that have invoked one of the three permitted COVID-19 surge “passes” allowed for a CLER COVID-19 site visit. Sponsoring institutions can also submit CLER COVID-19 site visit blackout week requests intended to block scheduling of such site visits for dates when institutional leaders and staff members are unavailable. The ACGME designated institutional official (DIO) and sponsoring institution’s senior leader (i.e., CEO) of the site being visited must be available to remotely participate in an initial and exit meeting for the CLER COVID-19 site visit.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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