CAHME Standards Refinement

Anthony Stanowski, DHA, FACHE

At its meeting on June 1, 2018, the CAHME Board of Directors approved refinement of three accreditation standards for CAHME programs. These changes are summarized below, and we encourage any interested program personnel to take part in a special free webinar on July 24, 2018 at 12 noon Eastern Time to learn more.

These refinements will maintain the quality and integrity of CAHME-accreditation while also easing administrative burdens on programs and ensure that CAHME continues to adapt to the changing needs of students and programs.

These changes are effective immediately, and are summarized below:

Requirement E: 120-hours of synchronous education for accreditation has been removed.This change allows programs more flexibility in reaching students with unique needs, such as those in active military duty, those in other time zones or countries, and working students. It also shifts the focus of the standard from requiring a certain number of hours (process) toward development of critical competencies (outcomes). This is consistent with other accreditors. Finally, it allows programs that do not have 120-hours of synchronous learning to at least enter the CAHME review process, to determine how to strengthen their curriculum.  This fits in our mission of advancing the quality of graduate healthcare management education.

III C 2:  The Program will regularly evaluate the extent to which each student attains the competencies at the level targeted by the Program, and will have a process in place for communicating that information to students was changed. Programs no longer have to measure student level competency attainment at the course level.This change recognizes the fact that 77 percent of programs in the past six years have not met the standard, while the failure rate of the next highest criteria is just one-third as high. We heard from programs, too, that the data to support this standard is expensive and resource intensive to acquire. We noticed additional difficulties for MBA and MPH programs where faculty are not under control of a single program director.

A.5 The Program will ensure that graduates’ career preparedness is monitored, documented and used for continuous improvement. We have added clarifying language to this standard: “Graduate career tracking can be accomplished in multiple ways, e.g., annual surveys, periodic surveys (at least every three years), comprehensive use of an alumni directory of program graduates, active tracking via LinkedIn, robust alumni engagement in advisory board activity, etc. The primary intent of this criterion is to ensure the Program remains engaged with and actively monitors alumni to ensure graduates meet industry expectations and can secure and retain employment.”

We believe this additional language will eliminate confusion about how programs should try to meet this standard, and will improve inter-rater reliability on program evaluations.

These refinements are consistent with CAHME’s long-standing practice of reviewing our standards and modifying them as needed to ensure their relevance and effectiveness not only for accredited programs, but for the students pursing advanced education in healthcare management.

Anthony Stanowski, DHA, FACHE
President & CEO