As the increase in eLearning and online training courses made available by both corporate and educational institutions continues to accelerate, any adept CME pro should be asking the question: what really makes a Continuing Education services provider truly stand out from the rest of the pack? How can I differentiate my program?
Well, for starters, the well-executed presentation of content is going to make a big difference. But for today’s education landscape, that’s pretty much a no-brainer.
With that said, there are a number of other important attributes for which CME professionals should be on the lookout if they’re going to integrate their program with the right technology solution. CE teachers and students alike need to be able to focus on what matters most, while the solution they utilize fades into the background, serving as a tool that enhances the experience, not hampers it.
Whether you’re looking for a full-service solution that leverages an experienced team of healthcare service professionals to operate the platform on your behalf or you’re ready to use an intuitive technology solution yourself, here’s what you need to look for in a CME platform in order to flawlessly deliver virtual events:
1. Automated (and Customizable) Time Savers
Without question, a reliable CME solution should save the busy educator a significant amount of time (educators, can we get a hallelujah!). With the modern CE technology available today, there’s no reason your service provider can’t meet this particular objective. More arduous tasks should be both automated and customizable. For example, the creation and delivery of automated follow-up emails and certificates of completion can confirm a student’s attendance to your online event.
Moreover, participation tracking and verification methods should also be automated – so attendees can be periodically required to submit a code into a pop-up notification box that appears randomly throughout the presentation. Plus, your CME solution should have digital grading capabilities, where the software itself administers the exam and transfers the results to the participants. So many hours that can be allocated elsewhere!
2. Integrated Evaluations
Piggybacking on number two, it should absolutely be possible for your CME solution to deliver an evaluation that enables your attendees to provide helpful feedback directly after your online seminar or webinar is over. Again, this process should be automated.
3. Streamlined Registration and Attendance
For your eLearning audience, registration should be a snap! Take advantage of your CME solution’s ability to deliver your email confirmations, reminders, handout distribution, etc. on your behalf. Avoid potential technical difficulties or obstacles by circumventing the requiring of an app or additional software downloads altogether. External application failures are often the cause of attendees having problems signing in—which can result in missing some or all of your webinar content! Plus, it’s a heck of a lot more professional when you don’t coerce your users into downloading more apps that will crowd their computers and mobile devices.
4. Mobile-Friendly Fare
And speaking of mobile, prepare for over 33% of your audience to attend via mobile devices. Attendees who cannot access your webinar presentations and CME course documents from their smart phones and tablets will likely give up on you quickly after the presentation has started. Before investing in a technology partner, assess a variety of CME solutions with this criterion top of mind.
Sleek and superior CME platforms should be specifically crafted with accreditation in mind. They should meet the requirements set by accrediting providers across multiple industries without adding more work to the already busy schedules of the CME program admin.
6. On-Demand Functionality
On-demand content is the gift that keeps on giving! Be sure you can repurpose each of your presentations by recycling them into a branded media library for future viewings (or for any registrant who couldn’t attend the live version). This gives your audience members a little more flexibility, providing the opportunity to access all of your spectacular video content without having to follow any particular order. It’s also a great option for students hunting for content on a specific topic, as well.
7. Webcasting Capabilities
Can your live CME event be transformed into an online experience for a larger audience? Whether you need a videographer and webcast technician onsite, or you want to stream the event using a browser-based webcasting platform, your CME solutions provider should have these integrated tools at the ready.
8. An Interactive Experience
Streaming audio and video playback. Webcam integration. Surveys. Polls. Screen sharing. Chat. And the list goes on… There are so many ways you can facilitate a more interactive and engaging experience for your CME program participants. In a traditional classroom, this is extremely important – and the same expectations are there for a virtual setting. Perhaps, it’s even more important, when no one is there to keep a student from multi-tasking, perusing Amazon, checking social media, etc. If your CME platform is equipped with a variety of interactive tools, you’ll be in the clear.
Remember, when you’re lining up your CME solutions options side by side, refer to the criteria outlined in this post. You’ll have a much clearer idea of what matters most!