Use These Tips To Take Your Continuing Medical Education Course To New Heights
Healthcare professionals are always looking for informative, effective CME courses to meet their annual CME credit requirements.
The healthcare industry wants companies like yours to deliver education programs that are convenient, effective, and valuable. This means you must create and offer excellent CME that will appeal to your population of lifelong learners.
So what makes a CME course successful? And how can you build continuing medical education modules that will attract and service your target audience while earning the highest commendation for your organization?
Read on to find out what makes a CME course great and what you need to do in order to build and deliver fantastic continuing medical education courses that boost your bottom line and deliver results.
What Makes A CME Course Effective?
Continuing medical education courses, or CME courses, are educational activities that allow healthcare professionals to develop, maintain, or enhance their current medical specialties.
It’s meant to ensure their patient care skills and clinical practice stay sharp enough to best serve their population. Without CME, healthcare professionals may miss important best practice updates or medical developments to help them better serve their communities.
For CME to be effective, you must incorporate the following elements into your course.
Accreditation: A great CME course is accredited by institutions like The Accreditation Council For Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) or The American Medical Association to ensure all CME credits will count for licensure. Get CME accredited in your state to ensure your courses meet the needs of your learners.
Reliable Information: Your continuing medical education program should employ input and clinical research from medical school faculty members or leaders in the medical industry. Always use the most up-to-date medical research when crafting your course materials.
Interactive Features: Engagement is essential when it comes to CME courses. Include interesting features like live polling, breakout rooms, and gamification to create a toolkit that will captivate your audience.
Virtual Options: If a CME provider can offer virtual or hybrid options to their audience, healthcare professionals will be more likely to take the courses. This is because virtual professional development limits the number of key staff members who need time off and reduces scheduling conflicts.
When crafting your CME courses, knowing if you’re on the right track may be challenging. Let’s look at what you need to consider as you build and execute your continuing medical education courses.
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What You Need To Build And Deliver An Excellent Continuing Medical Education Course
As a CME provider, your organization knows how important it is to offer courses that meet the needs of healthcare providers.
As you design the course, it’s essential to start with the end in mind. Ask yourself questions like:
How will I know my course is successful?
Which CME marketing approaches will work best?
What do I hope to offer learners?
What topics are the most important?
Which types of content will help participants learn?
Once you know what you’d like your CME solutions to achieve, you can move on to the next steps. Here are some ways to ensure your continuing medical education course is well designed and ready to support life-long learning.
Choose The Right Platform
The most crucial component of a CME program is the platform you choose. If a clinician logs into your CME program and struggles with the interface or finds the modules inaccessible, they are bound to be frustrated. You can avoid this by choosing the best platform for your CE course.
Your CE platform must be consistent and reliable. You don’t want participants to drop a course because the learning management system is cumbersome or confusing. So the platform must have a user-friendly interface, detailed live reporting, and intuitive navigation.
Look for a continuing education platform with the following features to ensure the best user experience:
In-House Event Services
24/7 Tech Support
Automated Certificates And Reminders
Compliance And Credit Tracking
Online Networking Opportunities
Before choosing a CE platform, ensure that all features support the overall experience and allow you to produce white labeling and custom branding to ensure your participants know the company that crafted this stellar CME program.
The right platform will not only act as your LMS but offer opportunities for live virtual events that will engage your learners and amp up your content library.
Incorporate Multimedia Enduring Materials
A good CME course offers excellent and easily accessible education resources called enduring materials. A great CME offers different types of media that support learning and allows participants to approach the course in various ways. Ideally, your learners should be able to access these tools long after the course ends.
ACCME recommends utilizing multimedia content to enhance the learning experience and better support all types of learners. So you’ll need a place to host videos, infographics, and other education resources that will help healthcare professionals enhance their skills.
When building your CME courses, look for multimedia content to support your learners. You can use videos found on YouTube, graphics that explain a concept topic or upload your own unique content to your course.
To ensure authentic learning, you can also use multimedia content in assessments by including video questions blended with traditional multiple-choice or true/false questions.
Automate Administrative Tasks
One of the most time-consuming elements of designing a course is the tedious administrative tasks course designers must complete. And with ever-changing CE requirements, you’ll need a robust reporting system to rely on.
Better utilize your time by automating repetitive tasks, such as completion certificate generation, course reminders, and the entire enrollment process. This means you can set course reminders before the course even begins, ensuring that you won't miss a beat during the duration of the online course.
You should also incorporate a customizable dashboard that allows participants to track their progress, credits, and certificates. This will save your employees lots of time they would have otherwise spent fielding calls from learners. Your continuing education platform should be able to assist you with most automation tasks.
With all the tedious tasks taken care of, your team can focus on better serving your target audience and answering more in-depth questions requiring human interaction.
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Choose CME Topics That Are In Demand
When designing your continuing medical education courses, you must include a variety of topics to ensure your content thoroughly covers the topic.
It’s essential to choose topics that are relevant to your target audience and offer enough depth you can explore throughout the course.
Some examples of effective and practical topics that CME planners are always looking for include:
Educational Methodology: For faculty members teaching in a school of medicine, these courses help support their instructional approach.
Clinic & Hospital Management: If a clinician is responsible for managing a medical facility, this topic will help them keep everything running smoothly.
Coding & Reimbursement: Because payment processes and guidelines change so often, it's guaranteed to generate a successful course.
Practice Management: If a healthcare professional works in family medicine or is looking to serve their patients better, a course on this topic will be very helpful.
Choosing in-demand topics is a surefire way to ensure the course you are building will be well received by healthcare professionals, boosting your registration numbers and ensuring a successful course.
Offer A Hybrid Approach
Many CME programs are moving to exclusively online models. While these are great, there is also a need for hands-on demonstrations and in-person seminars during post-graduate medical education.
So offering hybrid CME courses is a great way to enhance learning and provide more accurate assessments at the end of the course. It allows healthcare providers to practice their new medical skills in an authentic setting with the help of experienced medical professionals.
You can create hybrid courses by:
Hosting a webinar series that culminates in hands-on training.
Having learners review the latest medical research and then participate in an in-person seminar.
Leading a live class and having students take the assessment piece online.
Blending in-person learning with multimedia content posted in an online classroom or database.
Hybrid courses also allow participants to connect and collaborate with other providers in the course from different areas of the world. This is a great way to expand and participate in grand rounds.
Blended learning, considered a best practice by ACCME, will also help healthcare organizations show positive patient care outcomes, which is almost impossible to measure during traditional online-only CME courses.
Create A High-Quality CME Course Your Target Audience Wants
Creating great CME courses isn’t easy, but you can use these tips to ensure your CME program is effective, engaging, and attractive to healthcare professionals.
BeaconLive’s team of in-house CME experts can help you take your continuing medical education courses to the next level. We can simply help strengthen your course or make your vision a reality.
Contact BeaconLive today for more information on how you can enhance your CME courses and give your organization’s bottom line a boost.