Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a Practice Improvement Module (PIM)?

Created by endocrinologists for endocrinologists, PIMs are designed to help you assess your patient care performance. Completion of a PIM will also help board-certified endocrinologists meet the practice performance (Part 4) requirements of Maintenance of Certification (MOC), as required by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM).

How do the Practice Improvement Modules (PIMs) work?

The PIMs are web-based modules that guide the user step-by-step through a four- phased improvement process – assessment of confidence and practice, development of an improvement plan, the re-evaluation of practice after implementing the plan and reflection on the experience. The PIM web-platform employs a unique dashboard  displaying progress through the module. It offers confidential feedback on performance, comparing real patient, self-assessment and practice data against practice guidelines and peer performance to assess what improvements have occurred in your practice. The PIMs offers 20 AMA PRA Category 1Credits™ and 20 MOC Part 4 points upon completion.

How do I purchase the PIM (s)?

Enrollment closed on June 1, 2015. This module is no longer available for purchase.

I purchased a PIM; how do I login again?

Login to your account at You will see the PIM (s) listed on your “My Modules” dashboard. Click “Go To Module” to access the PIM(s).

Who can complete this activity?

  • Endocrinologists
  • ABIM-certified physicians who are participating in the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program.

How much CME/MOC Credit is offered?

Participants can earn 20 points toward the Self-Evaluation of Practice Performance (Part 4) requirement of MOC and claim up to 20 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits.

How is Part 4 activities different from Part 2?

Part 2 modules allow learners to self- assess their knowledge and are usually case based “tests,” such as ESAP MOC.

Part 4 modules, like the PIMs, allow learners to self-evaluate their practice performance and are long term project based on actual physician practice.

The ABIM requires its diplomates to earn 20 Part 2, 20 Part 4 , and an additional 60 Part2 or Part 4points over their MOC term.

Are the PIMs AQI approved?

These activities are approved through the ABIM Approved Quality Improvement (AQI) Pathway. Each module is eligible for 20 points toward the Self-Evaluation of Practice Performance (Part 4) requirement of MOC.

What are the MOC requirements for completing a PIM?

In order to receive MOC points for participation in these activities, the physician must:

  • Be enrolled in ABIM's MOC program.
  • Provide direct or consultative care to patients as part of the activity.
  • Implement interventions to improve care as guided by the activity.
  • Collect, submit, and review relevant clinical data that reflects care the physician provided, in keeping with the project's measurement plan.

What are the criteria for participants’ successful completion of a PIM?

In order to successfully complete the PIM, a learner must:

  • Provide direct, consultative or administrative care to patients with the clinical condition addressed by the PIM
  • Implement one or more tests of change to improve patient care
  • Engage in appropriate interventions identified to lessen the practice gap
  • Documentation of successful completion of interventions with specific importance placed on performance changes

How long will it take to complete a PIM?

Please Note: This module will expire on December 31, 2016
Active engagement in the online module for PIMs is expected to be 20 hours. However, as you begin this educational experience, you should anticipate engaging in this activity over a period of time during which improvements can be planned and implemented. For example, after the initial 25 chart abstractions, you will be asked to develop an improvement plan. As a part of that plan, you will be able to specify the appropriate amount of time to implement your improvements and generate 25 new patient charts for the second chart abstraction phase. Typically this occurs within a 3 month timeframe, though you may wish to adjust this depending on personal and professional considerations.

Is there a restriction on how long you can participate once started?

Yes. These activities are approved until December 31, 2016. Currently enrolled learners must complete the modules before the expiration date as the modules will not be extended beyond that date. Active engagement in the PIMs is estimated to be about 20 hours of work but timeframe for making improvements can be longer. 

Describe the data collection cycles (i.e. how many cycles, length of data collection periods for each cycle)?

You will collect data from 25 consecutive patient medical records. The sample of medical records will be selected from patients diagnosed within at least 12 months prior to the time that the practitioner is completing the PIMs.  The re-measurement data can begin 1-12 months following the date you complete the review of the baseline sample.

What are the patient population requirements?

  • The patient must  have been seen by the practice within the past 12 months
  • Management decisions regarding care are made primarily by providers in the practice
  • They are >18 years old

Is the PIM HIPPA Compliant?

Yes. The data entered into the PIMs is de–identified — meaning no patient specific information, such as name or date of birth can be entered into the module. You should use coded-identifiers for each patient when completing the online paper data collection form. Maintain the key for the codes in your office and the key should not be shared with the data vendor or The Endocrine Society, thus no HIPPA violations will occur with the record review.

I'm enrolled in the PIM as a group and entered my patient charts, but unable to move to the next phase, why?

Each member of the group in the practice will need to complete the chart abstraction in order for any one member of the group to submit for the individual or group report and improvement plan development. 

How is performance feedback data presented to the learner?

Feedback regarding systems, self-assessment, and patient experience (if applicable) is provided as feedback commentary. Feedback regarding clinical process and outcome measures is provided as calculated performance rates, show in a numeric and chart feedback form.

Can the PIMs be completed as a team?

Yes. Provided you enrolled prior to June 1, 2015. The PIMs can be completed by an individual or a group practice.  A combination of internists and subspecialists can complete the PIMs together as long as they care for a group of patients together at one location. For more information on completing the PIMs as a group, please see our “Completing the PIMs as a Group” FAQs.

What is the process for claiming Part 4 MOC through ABIM?

You must be enrolled in the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program in order to report your AQI Project Report to the ABIM. You may enroll in MOC and/or report your activity through the ABIM’s web site as follows:

  • Access the ABIM web site:
  • Click on the blue Physician Login button at the top right corner of the ABIM web page.
  • Enter your 6-digit ABIM ID number. If you cannot remember your ABIM ID click on the link “Find your ABIM ID.”
  • Enter your password. If you cannot remember your password click on the link “Request Forgotten Password.”
  • Click on the Log in button
  • When your personal home page appears, scroll down to the column titled "My Maintenance of Certification Program." If you have not yet enrolled in MOC, click "Enroll in Maintenance of Certification Program" and follow the instructions.
  • If enrolled in MOC, you may select "Submit AQI Project Report" from the column titled "My Maintenance of Certification Program".
  • Complete an attestation of your participation in the appropriate PIM program and answer the questions about your experience and observations. Click the "Submit" button when you have answered all the questions.

Once you have submitted to the ABIM, the ABIM verifies your participation with The Endocrine Society. Once your participation
has been confirmed the ABIM will post your credit on your ABIM MOC profile.

What is the purpose of the patient survey?

Patient feedback is essential in assessing your performance as a clinician as well as that of your practice in the treatment of androgen deficiency. Input from your patients will help determine if you and your care team are communicating effectively with patients during diagnosis and treatment. You will be required to gather feedback from at least 10 of your patients during Stage 1 of the PIM. You may then choose to re-assess your patients’ experiences a second time in Stage 3, in order to determine if you have been successful in improving patient communication.

I’ve chosen to conduct a second round of patient surveys. What happens now?

If you elected to complete a second patient survey, the system will require an additional 10 patient surveys. It will be included in the Evaluate phase and the re-assessment will not be completed until the additional surveys are collected. Once completed, as a part of the reflection phase you will receive a report of the second patient survey to compare to your initial patient survey.