Performance and Quality Improvement (PCSP)

Why is this important?

Extreme precision and attention to detail are characteristics of well-organized specialty practice as are setting goals, monitoring data, and learning from the efforts.

Clinicians and practice teams are under increasing pressures to adhere to evidence-based guidelines, to achieve high “scores” for performance measures, to maintain high levels of patient satisfaction, and to run efficient practices. Yet, most clinical teams have received almost no training on how to identify opportunities for improvement, let alone systematically achieve increasingly better performance on measures of quality, efficiency, effectiveness, safety, and financial metrics. Change is difficult, and changing a practice can be overwhelming – especially without the appropriate preparation, tools, or leadership.

How will these tools help?

The questions based on the NCQA PCSP Standards and Guidelines will assess whether your practice meets various competencies of patient-centered care and the foundations of the medical neighborhood.  Depending on your responses to the questions, resources from the Resource Library will be presented to help your practice address any gaps identified.  Among the tools are policy templates that your office can customize and use to train personnel and guide new processes.

The questions and references to NCQA are based on the NCQA Patient-Centered Specialty Practice (2019 Edition) and used with permission of NCQA.



Target Audience

Target Audience

  • Physicians

  • Physician Assistants

  • Nurse Practitioners

  • Registered Nurses

  • Medical Assistants

  • Practice Managers

Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

This module will help with the NCQA Patient-Centered Specialty Practice Standards and Guidelines (2019 Edition, V1). 

To achieve recognition in the PCSP program, practices must:

  • Meet all 38 core criteria in the program PLUS
  • Earn a minimum of 20 (of possible 72) elective credits across 5 (of 7) concept areas.

The 7 concept areas, that include core and elective criteria in different competency categories, are as follows:

  1. Team-Based Care and Practice Organization (5 core criteria, 3 elective criteria)
  2. Initial Referral Management (8 core criteria, 11 elective criteria)
  3. Knowing and Managing Your Patients (8 core criteria, 13 elective criteria)
  4. Patient-Centered Access and Continuity (3 core criteria, 3 elective criteria)
  5. Plan and Manage Care (6 core criteria, 12 elective criteria)
  6. Coordinating Care and Care Transitions (5 core criteria, 8 elective criteria)
  7. Performance and Quality Improvement (3 core criteria, 10 elective criteria)

Six of the seven concept areas are included in this section.  The competencies needed for Team-Based Care and Practice Organization are included in several Building the Foundation modules, such as Organize Your Practice, Communicate with Patients, and Working as a Team.

For more details about requirements for each criteria within the concept areas, refer to the complete NCQA Patient-Centered Specialty Practice Standards & Guidelines which can be downloaded for free.


Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 Attendance
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Parent activity set: 

Practice Advisor Content Manager

Jillian Schneider, MHA

Margo J Williams, MHA, CMPE

Department of Medical Practice

American College of Physicians


The questions and references to NCQA are based on the NCQA Patient-Centered Specialty Practice (2019 Edition) and used with permission of NCQA.

Available Credit

  • 1.00 Attendance


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