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  • Opportunity in Adversity: How Challenges in Healthcare Certification Fuel Innovation

Opportunity in Adversity: How Challenges in Healthcare Certification Fuel Innovation

  • 16 May 2018
  • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) 233 N. Michigan Ave, 21st Floor Chicago, IL 60601


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Opportunity in Adversity: How Challenges in
Healthcare Certification Fuel Innovation

Corrected Date:

May 16, 2018 9:00a -12:00p CST



ABMS CNG Panel.pdf

ABOMS CNG Panel.pdf

McNaughton CNG Panel.pdf

NBCRNA CNG Panel.pdf

The landscape for evaluating continued competence is constantly changing, especially in healthcare certification. A strong movement against maintaining certification has taken hold in the medical space, with approximately a dozen states passing or considering legislation that would prohibit maintenance of certification requirements for the licensure for physicians and physician specialties. Who’s in the forefront of supporting the change? Medical practitioners. This has pushed medical and other healthcare certification boards towards a model of continuous assessment, while at the same time maintaining credential holders’ engagement. This circumstance has created opportunities for innovative assessment solutions, such as smaller, more frequent assessments, remote testing, open-book testing, enriched question feedback, and simulation, to name a few. Listen to our panelists discuss the challenges their organizations have faced, and learn how they’ve overcome those challenges and operationalized their solutions.

Whether you’re a credentialing professional in the medical space or not, please join us—you will benefit from attending!

For additional information on the legislative and regulatory attempts to limit the Maintenance of Certification requirements currently in place in the healthcare professions, please visit the ICE Government Affairs page and the ICE representation on the Right to Safe Care Coalition.


  • Karen Plaus, CEO, National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists
  • David Swanson, VP of Academic Programs and Services, ABMS
  • Erin Killeen, EVP, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Tara McNaughton, Manager of Test Development and Analysis, Measurement, Inc.

Dr. Plaus currently serves as the CEO for the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) and has been actively involved in nurse anesthesia credentialing since 1984.

Her extensive leadership experience in credentialing for nurse anesthetists includes service as a project director for computer adaptive testing, adoption of innovative item types for a national certification assessment and most recently implementation of a continued professional recertification redesign. Dr. Plaus lectures and publishes extensively on a variety of credentialing topics.


Highlights of her nurse anesthesia career include serving as a nurse anesthesia program director, clinical, and faculty roles. Dr. Plaus is the recipient of several awards for leadership and teaching, including the AANA Helen Lamb Outstanding Educator award in 2002. She was inducted in the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) in 2001.


Dr. Plaus is a passionate mentor for students and nurse anesthetists as they progress in their careers.


Dave Swanson joined the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) in 2015 as Vice President for Academic Programs and Services. In that role, he coordinates the Committees overseeing the certification and recertification processes of ABMS Member Boards. Previously, Dr Swanson was employed at the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) for 25 years and at the American Board of Internal Medicine for seven years in various assessment-related positions.


Dave has co-authored and presented hundreds of papers on assessment of medical decision making with multiple-choice tests and clinical simulations; measurement of clinical and communication skills with real and standardized patients; patterns of performance on admissions, licensure, certification, and recertification examinations in the health professions; and use of generalizability theory in design and analysis of performance-based assessments. With Sue Case, he coauthored the NBME’s popular item-writing guide Constructing written test questions for the basic and clinical sciences.He has conducted assessment-related workshops at dozens of medical schools, specialty boards, and health professions conferences nationally and internationally. In 2011, he was awarded the Richard Farrow Gold Medal by the Association for the Study of Medical Education in the United Kingdom for contributions to medical education, and he was named a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association in 2014. He also holds an honorary professorial appointment in the Department of Medical Education at the University of Melbourne Medical School.


Erin E. Killeen is the Executive Vice President at the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (ABOMS) where oms surgeons seek and maintain the gold star of certification with thorough application, examination and certification maintenance processes. Her long tenure with the Board contributes to her wealth of knowledge in the certification industry. She’s executed processes that allowed her Board to evolve, including transitioning written exams to computer-based testing; growing oral examinations from hotels to testing centers; and developing an ever-changing Certification Maintenance (CM) program. She understands the importance of the titleBoard Certified and ensures those who achieve it uphold its status.


Tara McNaughton is a consultant who works with medical and dental specialty boards to develop quality item banks, psychometrically sound exams, and defensible criterion references standards. She conducts item writing and examiner training sessions and guides task analysis survey and standard setting panel workshops to enhance testing program effectiveness and efficiency. Current research interests include the development of longitudinal standards, decision consistency of exams, rater stability in high-stakes testing, and the specificity of medical knowledge across career milestones. Tara holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with a focus area in Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics, and Assessment (MESA) from the University of Illinois at Chicago


   American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)
   233 N. Michigan Ave, 21st Floor 
  Chicago, IL 60601


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