Continuing medical education (CME) provides support for continuous improvement and learning to help physicians and other healthcare professionals address gaps in their professional practice. It is required of physicians for renewal of licenses, maintenance of specialty board certifications, credentialing, memberships in professional societies, and other professional privileges.
However, learning gaps can potentially result in issues surrounding patient health outcomes and in other areas. By using certain types of technology, you can help fill those gaps by providing learning diversity and appropriate self-directed content rather than time-based activities.
In this post, we discuss how adults can achieve CME success when you provide them with the enhanced learning and technology to help them do so.
Defining Learning Gaps
A learning gap is a term used to describe a deficiency or shortcoming that if eliminated, results in improvements in knowledge, competence, and/or performance. It also refers to an issue that can exist in a practice in at least one of the following areas:
- Knowledge — The learner lacks knowledge regarding safe medical practices or prescription practices.
- Skill — The learner lacks proficiency in communicating with leadership in the workplace, i.e., leadership skills.
- Practice — The learner inadequately manages patient problems.
Gaps can be identified via questionnaires or by reviewing test scores from training or board examinations.
How to close learning gaps
As an accredited provider, you are responsible for addressing problems in practices and/or patient care through your CME activities. You should look for deficits that could be contributing to these issues. By doing so, you can plan and implement education that will effectively address them, improving CME performance and outcomes.
The Six Principles of Learning
When organizing quality CME, you should pay attention to the fact that learners have different learning styles and objectives that can affect their performances.
Provide content that incorporates different learning styles for multiple learner groups: visual, auditory, tactile, and reading and/or writing. It is critical for having better learning experiences for your physicians and other health professionals. For the best CME performance and outcomes, consider these six principles:
- Adult learners are results oriented. They want to know why it is important to understand and learn information, what they have to do to learn it, and what they will be taught.
- Adult learners want to exercise control over the techniques and goals in their learning.
- Adult learners want to link their life experiences and knowledge with the content that they are learning.
- Adult learners are relevancy oriented. They must have a motive to learn something that is linked to their inclination to learn it, since their life situations create specific learning needs.
- Adult learners are generally practical. They learn better when the content is presented in a real-life context.
- Adults learners are highly motivated to learn when the new information can help them solve significant problems in their lives and/or work.
It is your responsibility to use these principles when designing your CME content. Your materials should not only address them but also fill specific gaps in knowledge. Your adult learners are more likely to complete your CME courses if they are engaging, user-friendly, and enjoyable.
The ACCME on Educational Needs
As a CME-accredited provider, you need to follow the ACCME’s guidelines on CME activities and problems in practice and/or patient care. As part of that effort, you should examine those issues and look for knowledge, strategy, skill, performance, or system deficits that could be contributing to learner problems. By doing so, you can plan and implement education that will effectively address those problems.
As you create your CME content, think about how adults can achieve CME success. Each of your activities should address a single gap or multiple gaps. Identifying these and connecting them with your CME activities is an opportunity to bring value to your learners.
Using the Right CME Technology
As healthcare delivery is changing, so must your CME educational system. You should look toward the greater use of performance-based CME and increase the diversity in your programs to adapt to today’s changing learning environment.
However, there is the issue of using outdated technology. Your adult learners may find it challenging to stay engaged with your current learning content if you are using antiquated teaching methods, such as lectures in dark, stadium-sized halls with darkened rooms and slide presentations.
Your CME content should be enjoyable and interesting and support continuous improved learning in order to help physicians and other healthcare professionals address gaps in their education.
Today’s new technology can help improve your CME program for maximum success and work for you, not against you. A web-based LMS such as EthosCE provides online, on-demand CME on learners’ devices, so content is there 24/7. As a CME provider, you can provide online videos, webinars (instead of sleep-inducing text and lectures), podcasts, and enduring materials (CME credits on the go), so learners can educate themselves at their own pace, anytime and anywhere.
EthosCE Helps Your CME Program Provide the Best Experiences for Your Learners
Identifying learning gaps and addressing learning styles is critical. Not doing so can affect patient health outcomes. Using an LMS technology such as EthosCE enables you to help fill learning gaps and have diverse learning styles by providing self-directed, online CME content that is available via on-demand formats, which is key to everyone’s CME success.
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!