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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Implementation of an Education Value Unit (EVU) System to Recognize Faculty Contributions


Introduction: Faculty educational contributions are hard to quantify, but in an era of limited resources it is essential to link funding with effort. The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of an educational value unit (EVU) system in an academic emergency department and to examine its effect on faculty behavior, particularly on conference attendance and completion of trainee evaluations.

Methods: A taskforce representing education, research, and clinical missions was convened to develop a method of incentivizing productivity for an academic emergency medicine faculty. Domains of educational contributions were defined and assigned a value based on time expended. A 30-hour EVU threshold for achievement was aligned with departmental goals. Targets included educational presentations, completion of trainee evaluations and attendance at didactic conferences. We analyzed comparisons of performance during the year preceding and after implementation.

Results: Faculty (N=50) attended significantly more didactic conferences (22.7 hours v. 34.5 hours, p<0.005) and completed more trainee evaluations (5.9 v. 8.8 months, p<0.005). During the pre-implementation year, 84% (42/50) met the 30-hour threshold with 94% (47/50) meeting post-implementation (p=0.11). Mean total EVUs increased significantly (94.4 hours v. 109.8 hours, p=0.04) resulting from increased conference attendance and evaluation completion without a change in other categories.

Conclusion: In a busy academic department there are many work allocation pressures. An EVU system integrated with an incentive structure to recognize faculty contributions increases the importance of educational responsibilities. We propose an EVU model that could be implemented and adjusted for differing departmental priorities at other academic departments.

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