Actual/potential conflict of interest
The potential for conflicts of interest exists when an individual has the ability to control or influence the content of an educational activity and/or has a financial relationship with a commercial interest,* the products or services of which are pertinent to the content of the educational activity. The reviewer is responsible for evaluating the presence or absence of conflicts of interest and resolving any identified actual or potential conflicts of interest during the planning and implementation phases of an educational activity. If the reviewer has an actual or potential conflict of interest, he or she should recuse himself or herself from the role as reviewer for the educational activity.
*Commercial interest, as defined by ANCC, is any entity producing, marketing, reselling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by or used on patients, or an entity that is owned or controlled by an entity that produces, markets, resells, or distributes health care goods or services consumed by or used on patients.
An organization is not a commercial interest organization* if it is:
- A government entity;
- A non-profit (503(c)) organization;
- A provider of clinical services directly to patients, including but not limited to hospitals, health care agencies and independent health care practitioners; note this includes:
- Acute care hospitals (for profit and not for profit)
- Rehabilitation centers (for profit and not for profit)
- Nursing homes (for profit and not for profit)
- Group medical practices
- An entity the sole purpose of which is to improve or support the delivery of health care to patients, including but not limited to providers or developers of electronic health information systems, database systems, and quality improvement systems;
- A non-health care related entity whose primary mission is not producing, marketing or selling or distributing health care goods or services consumed by or used on patients.
- Health and liability insurance providers
- Blood banks and diagnostic laboratories
Each individual who has the ability to control or influence the content of an educational activity must disclose all relevant relationships** with any commercial interest, including but not limited to members of the planning committee, speakers, presenters, authors, and/or content reviewers. Relevant relationships must be disclosed to the learners during the time when the relationship is in effect and for 12 months afterward. When a person divests himself/herself of a relationship, it ceases to be a conflict of interest but it must be disclosed to the learners for 12 months after the termination of the relationship. All information disclosed must be shared with the participants/learners on program handouts, advertising and/or audiovisual presentation prior to the start of the educational activity.
- Relationships with any commercial interest of the individual’s spouse/partner may be relevant relationships and must be reported, evaluated, and resolved.
- Evidence of a relevant relationship with a commercial interest may include but is not limited to receiving a salary, royalty, intellectual property rights, consulting fee, honoraria, ownership interest (stock, stock options, or other ownership interests, excluding diversified mutual funds), grants, contracts, or other financial benefit directly or indirectly from the commercial interest.
- Relevant relationships can also include ‘contracted research’ where the institution receives a grant and manages the grant funds and the individual is the principal or a named investigator on the grant.
- Financial benefits may be associated with employment, management positions, independent contractor relationships (including contracted research), other contractual relationships, consulting, speaking, teaching, membership on an advisory committee or review panel, board membership, and other activities from which remuneration is received or expected from the commercial interest.