6 Traits of a CME Program Designed for Maximum Effectiveness

cme program for maximum effectiveness

The purpose of continuing medical education (CME) is to aid lifelong learning among physicians and other healthcare professionals so they can enhance their performance and provide the best care for their patients and their outcomes. All those involved in CME—educators, meeting planners, faculty, authors, speakers, accredited providers, supporters, and the physician learners themselves—are responsible for driving these goals.

How is this accomplished? By adopting training that is aligned to your goals, taking a long-term view of your goals, providing high-quality training, checking your assessments, looking beyond traditional CME, and using technology to help with those goals.

In this post, we discuss six traits of a CME program that will create maximum effectiveness through various best practices. These traits are not merely nice to have—they are essential.

1. Adopt Training Aligned to Goals

Make sure your CME program’s training is consistent with your organization’s mission, vision, and goals. You will be unable to meet growth and development objectives without this alignment. Your organizational mission is to improve physician competence, performance, and patient outcomes through educational activities that are focused around the study, prevention, diagnosis, and management of various medical conditions and diseases.

2. Take a Long-Term View of Your Goals

Most organizations have short- and long-term goals. Focusing on only short-term goals does not give you the opportunity to develop—it’s only one step in the process. When you take a longer view, your goals will be more comprehensive and lead to greater growth over time. This, in turn, will extend to your learners when they participate in a CME program.

3. Check Your Needs Assessment, Planning, and Evaluation Processes

The development of your CME program for maximum effectiveness begins with looking at your needs assessment, planning, and evaluation processes. Identify your targeted audiences’ needs, along with your curriculum content, delivery format, and evaluation methods. What are you currently doing in these areas?

Your needs assessment should involve gathering information and using it to determine educational means to close learning gaps. You should be aware of what your learners should know and do. Your CME must provide the basis for development education objectives.

When it comes to your planning processes, you need a consistent approach. Leverage planning proposals, pre-planning, planning the activities, activity approval, and activity approach and delivery.

All your activities, including live ones, must include a comprehensive evaluation that assesses your learners’ competence, knowledge, or skill. The methods should identify individual learning.

4. Provide High-Quality Training

Without providing high-quality training, you may experience the following common issues:

  • Not identifying and focusing on the important learning needs of your learner audience
  • Not effectively engaging learners in the learning process
  • Not reinforcing new learning in a way that leads to its application in clinical practice
  • Not understanding learners’ needs at the outset
  • Not presenting engaging content
  • Not identifying issues with learning material retention
  • Not designing CME with the learner in mind

Your organization’s development will only be as good as the training that your learners receive, so the highest quality of training is necessary in order to move your organization forward in significant ways. Not only are many training programs dull, but some are not even effective for physicians and other healthcare professionals to improve and develop their skills. Make sure you have high-quality training in place if you want your learning goals to succeed.

5. Look beyond Traditional CME Programs

One way for your CME program to have maximum effectiveness is to look beyond tradition. Physicians and other healthcare professionals can have different learning styles and learning gaps. New forms of CME can help learners’ acquisition and retention of knowledge, as well as their attitudes, skills, behaviors, and clinical outcomes.

New CME provides opportunities to share medical knowledge and help learners in their roles in healthcare delivery and how they recognize the need for appropriate practices and behaviors. It also focuses on sharing medical knowledge and developing professional and institutional competencies that may be necessary to transform care, improve outcomes, and practice efficiently and effectively in the hospital setting.

6. Use Technology to Pave the Way

Older technology can be unwieldy and challenging to learners using the software. It often uses outdated means of instruction, such as traditional lectures. Your CME should support continuous improvement and learning in order to help physicians and other healthcare professionals address gaps in their education.

Today’s new technology can pave the way to a CME program with maximum effectiveness, and it can work for you, not against you. A learning management system like EthosCE has online, on-demand CME on learners’ devices, 24/7. As a CME provider, you can provide online videos, webinars instead of sleep-inducing text, and CME credits on the go. Learners can download podcasts to their devices to listen to at any time, including while driving.

Offering CME for Maximum Effectiveness for Your Learners

These traits should play a large role in your CME program so it has the maximum effectiveness. Using technology such as EthosCE not only provides support for continuous improvement and learning in order to address your learners’ educational gaps, but it also helps with your goal to offer the best educational experience.

At EthosCE, we understand the challenges of staying up to date and compliant with ACCME changes. We know how critical it is to get things done right the first time when it comes to team-based education and success.

To learn how EthosCE can enhance the continuing education of your healthcare teams, schedule a free 1-on-1 demo with one of our specialists today!