1. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and leading foundations should support an interdisciplinary effort focused on developing a common language, with the ultimate aim of achieving consensus across the health professions on the five core competencies delineated in the IOM report.
2. HHS should provide a forum and support for a series of meetings involving all the oversight organizations across and within health care organizations. Those participating in the meetings should develop strategies for incorporating the core set of competencies into oversight activities such as accreditation.
3. Accreditation groups should move forward to revise their standards so that programs are required to demonstrate that they educate students in both academic and CME programs in how to deliver patient care using the core set of competencies.
4. All health professions boards should move toward requiring licensed health professionals to demonstrate periodically their ability to deliver good patient care—as defined by the five core competencies—through direct measures of technical competence.
5. Certification bodies should require their certificate holders to maintain their competence throughout their careers by periodically demonstrating their ability to deliver patient care using the five core competencies.
6. Foundations, with support from educational and practice organizations, should take the lead in developing and funding state-of-the-art regional demonstration learning centers—representing partnerships between practice and education—which would teach the five core competencies.
7. Through Medicare demonstration projects, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services should fund innovative programs that will create incentives for health professionals to integrate interdisciplinary approaches into educational or practice settings, with the goal of providing a training ground for students and clinicians that incorporates the five core competencies.
8. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and private foundations should support interdisciplinary research projects to study how using the five core competencies in practice affects the health of individuals and populations.
9. AHRQ should work with health care leaders to develop measures reflecting the five core competencies in health professionals' education, set national goals for improvement and issue progress reports (“report cards”) on achieving those goals for the public. The first report, focused on clinical educational institutions, should come out in 2005, and annual reports should be produced for the public thereafter.
10. Beginning next year, a biennial interdisciplinary summit should be held involving health care leaders in education, oversight processes, and practice. This summit should set goals and evaluate progress with regard to incorporating the five core competencies into the education of health professionals for the 21st century.