As a healthcare organization, you know healthcare professionals are looking for simple, convenient ways to obtain and track their continuing medical education credits.
CME is necessary for most healthcare professionals, such as radiology technicians, pharmacists, doctors, and nurses.
It allows them to maintain their licensure and keep their medical knowledge up-to-date to continue offering their patients the highest level of care.
So it’s in your organization’s best interest to offer members a learning management system, or LMS, to help them earn CME and offer CME solutions to help healthcare professionals meet their professional requirements.
But it’s not enough to just offer CME activities. Your organization must assist healthcare providers with CME reporting and credentialing. This means helping healthcare professionals track their CME certificates and credits to present to their employers and licensing board using a CME tracker.
Let’s take a closer look at continuing medical education, what a CME tracker is, and the five benefits of using a continuing medical education tracker on your LMS to offer the best experience possible for your members.
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\What Is Continuing Medical Education?
Continuing medical education, or CME, is a type of educational activity that allows healthcare professionals to expand their knowledge after concluding their days as medical students.
It’s meant to develop, maintain, and increase professional performance and ensure healthcare workers are aware of best practices in areas like pediatrics, emergency medicine, and patient care.
To meet the needs of its members, an organization can offer educational courses that meet the needs of its target audience. Your organization can provide CME courses in person or via a continuing education platform. You can do this by:
Hosting free CME webinars: Free CME webinars attract healthcare professionals seeking knowledge enhancement. This live, interactive format permits remote participation, saving travel costs.
Streaming a webcast: Webcasts deliver CME content to a wide, global audience. With live or on-demand options, they accommodate learners' schedules. Features like presentations, interviews, live polls, and Q&A sessions enrich the learning experience.
Offering CME modules online: Online CME modules offer self-paced, comprehensive learning experiences with diverse multimedia elements. This approach enables precise tracking of learners' progress, reinforcing the learning objectives.
Creating hybrid CME courses: Hybrid CME courses combine in-person and online learning, enhancing flexibility and accessibility. They cater to diverse learning styles, enriching the learning experience and promoting wider participation.
Those working in our health systems are often swamped and looking for convenience when it comes to CME. In fact, healthcare professionals and institutions like hospitals prefer webinars for CME delivery because they offer branding, full-service options, and mobility opportunities for participants. So it’s in your best interest to design CME courses centered around what your target audience wants.
Unsurprisingly, busy healthcare professionals want to quickly and efficiently access both previous and current CME credits to take control of their credentials. They also want to be able to produce them at a moment's notice.
This is where incorporating a CME tracker into your LMS becomes essential. Let’s look at what a CME tracker is and how it helps healthcare providers take control of their CME experience.
What Is A CME Tracker?
A continuing medical education tracker, or CME Tracker, is an application that allows users to keep tabs on the CME credits they earned through a provider.
It allows them to lightning-fast access their information so they can:
See how many credits they have earned in a given time: A CME tracker provides an instant overview of credits earned over a specific period. It offers clarity on professional development progress and aids in planning future learning activities, ensuring compliance with continuing education requirements.
Identify which activities appear on their CME transcript: By using a CME tracker, healthcare professionals can readily see which activities contribute to their CME credits. This transparency helps them understand the value of different educational experiences in their professional growth.
Quickly find gaps in CME credits: CME trackers help identify any shortfall in required credits swiftly. By highlighting these gaps, professionals can strategically select further activities to fulfill their obligations and maintain their licensure or certification.
Review previous CME activities and topics: A CME tracker serves as a repository of past learning experiences, enabling healthcare professionals to revisit and reflect on previously covered topics. This aids in reinforcing knowledge and identifying areas for further exploration.
Download and print certificates: CME trackers often provide easy access to certificates of completion. These can be downloaded and printed directly, simplifying the process of evidence collection for audit purposes or personal record keeping.
A CME tracker is basically a way learners can manage CME data with a specific provider. This helps to reinforce eLearner participation and improve the overall experience.
Key Benefits of Utilizing a CME Tracker on Your LMS
As a healthcare organization, you must get CE, CEU, CLE, and CME accredited to ensure you offer the best opportunities for your members.
At first glance, CME tracking allows employers and CME providers to track which healthcare professionals are participating in continuing medical education courses.
But the right CME tracker does more than just offer fundamental program insights. It can actually help elevate your CME offerings and help your organization meet its goals and objectives.
Here are five benefits you’ll see when you choose the right CME tracker for your continuing medical education program.
1. Seamless Integration With Other Software
As you design your CME courses, your goal should be to create an immersive, engaging experience for your participants. And your organization likely uses multiple applications to meet its needs as a CME provider.
Stacking a CME tracker with your existing applications is the best way to give your employees and participants everything they need to succeed. Here are a few types of software solution that you can integrate into your CME tracker:
Learning Management Systems (LMS): A CME tracker can be integrated with an LMS, creating a centralized hub for tracking both learning activities and CME credits, enhancing the ease of monitoring and reporting.
Electronic Health Records (EHR) Systems: Integration with EHR systems can help link learning activities to patient outcomes, reinforcing the value of CME.
HR software: By integrating with HR systems, you can tie CME tracking to employee records, making it easier to monitor staff development and ensure compliance.
Project management software: Through integration with project management tools, you can coordinate team learning activities, aligning them with ongoing projects or goals.
Calendar apps: Syncing with calendar applications ensures timely reminders for upcoming CME activities, supporting staff in managing their learning schedule alongside other commitments.
This is because CME trackers don’t do it all, but it’s an essential tool to incorporate into your current operations.
Connecting a CME tracker to your existing software helps integrate capabilities a basic tracker lacks, like live virtual event capabilities, request history, and event registration lists. So on its own, it may be hard to see the value the tracker has to offer.
A CME tracker is instrumental for medical offices, ensuring staff maintain their professional competencies. It streamlines tracking and auditing of CME credits, identifies learning gaps, and facilitates evidence-based planning for future education.
Ultimately, it elevates the quality of patient care by fostering continuous professional development.
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2. Meet Attendance Goals And Promote Engagement
Continuing medical education trackers don’t just help the user. A CME tracker can help boost visibility, sales, and leads by helping your organization craft an engaging, meaningful experience for your CME participants.
CME trackers allow you to see which offerings are popular and underperforming, allowing you to direct resources to the most successful CME and adjust the underperforming course.
A CME tracker supports medical facilities in monitoring staff attendance in CME activities. It aids in identifying those falling short of goals, enabling targeted interventions.
Visual representations of progress and personalized notifications can boost engagement, inspiring staff to take ownership of their professional development and ensuring compliance with CME requirements.
3. CME Trackers Shift Administrative Tasks To Empower The User
Continuing medical education providers often face an endless series of administrative tasks, like communicating about certificates, managing credit requests, and fielding questions about completed activities.
The beauty of a CME tracker is that it can help users take control of their learning journey. Instead of having to call or email your organization, they can access the tracker and gain all the information they need at a glance without having to contact an employee for assistance.
Users can also review event attendance and resume CME activities they have yet to complete, making it a convenient way to take control of their learning.
This makes it easier for them to assess how many credits they have earned and how many they must obtain to meet the requirements of their state’s medical board, which makes the entire CME experience more productive for all involved.
4. Automates Email Reminders To Help Learners Stay On Track
Trackers allow instructors to set pass/fail requirements for offline components of your CME courses. The software will send notifications to the participant’s mobile device, reminding them to attend the meeting.
CME trackers will also automate email reminders that will help keep busy health professionals on track with the assignments and modules they need to complete to successfully complete the course.
Automating reminder emails will remove this task from your employees’ and instructors’ to-do lists, freeing up time for more critical tasks, like designing new CME courses, analyzing reporting data, and evaluating the effectiveness of existing CME activities.
Automated emails also allow you to schedule messages at strategic points in the course. This helps to organize and streamline the CME activity, ensuring all participants get the information they require at the correct times without adding additional tasks to your schedule.
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5. Allows Healthcare Professionals To Keep An Eye On Their Budget
While some organizations offer free CME, more often than not, clinicians must pay for their CME credits.
A CME tracker allows users to set a budget and track their progress. Some apps even juxtapose the budget data with how many CME credits the user needs to meet their accreditation goal. Here are a few ways that a CME tracker can benefit your budgeting efforts:
Optimized learning investments: By providing a clear overview of CME activities and earned credits, a CME tracker helps facilities invest in the most relevant and valuable educational opportunities.
Reduced administrative costs: Automating the tracking process reduces the time and effort spent on manual tracking and record-keeping, saving on administrative expenses.
Improved compliance: With a CME tracker, facilities can ensure staff meet required education standards, avoiding potential non-compliance penalties or losses in licensing.
Strategic planning: Identifying gaps in CME credits helps facilities strategically allocate resources to areas most needed, enhancing budget efficiency.
Evidence-based decisions: With a comprehensive view of CME activities, facilities can make informed decisions on where to invest in future learning, ensuring every dollar counts.
Healthcare professionals won’t be left wondering how many credits they need and how much is left in their budget to obtain them. Participants can then make informed choices as they plan their continuing medical education activities.
Likewise, your organization can use this feature to track annual CME spending against user participation, allowing you to see which courses, webinars, and other CME activities are the most lucrative.
Choose BeaconLive To Support Your CME Needs
CME trackers do more than just participation management. They empower healthcare professionals to take control of their education.
Trackers also allow CME providers like you to automate essential administrative tasks and monitor the success of your online continuing medical education courses.
If you want to optimize your CME workflow and reduce your team's time spent on administrative tasks, look to BeaconLive for help. Our team of in-house experts can produce, deliver, and manage your organization’s CME certificates.