3 Actionable Insights from Research on CME Effectiveness

insights from research on cme effectiveness

Continuing medical education (CME) providers must evaluate the effectiveness of each of their activities and use data from those evaluations to plan future activities.

CME can improve physician performance, provide interactive techniques, use live media for CME learning, and utilize CME technologies that are ultimately more effective than traditional learning methods.

In this post, we provide insights from research on CME effectiveness.

1. CME Interventions Improve Physician Performance

David A. Davis and Robert Galbraith have reported that many studies have found that CME improved physician performance across numerous practices, including medical screenings, drug prescribing, and counseling about diet, smoking cessation, and sexual practices. They concluded that CME can, in fact, be used to improve overall physician performance.

2. Interactive Techniques and Live Media Are More Effective

The ACCME reported on a study that analyzed twenty-six systematic reviews for the impact of various educational methods. These included didactic programs, printed materials, clinical practice guidelines, interactive education, audit with feedback, academic detailing for medications and other therapeutic decisions, and reminders.

Sixteen of the reviews tested the effects on patient health outcomes. The results were that interactive methods—audit with feedback, academic detailing, interactive education, and reminders—are the most effective at improving performance and patient health outcomes.

In other research, it was Spyridon S. Marinopoulos et al. who learned that:

  • Live media is more effective than print.
  • Multimedia is more effective than single media.
  • Interactive techniques are more effective than didactic techniques.

Further insights from research into CME effectiveness included the analysis of 105 articles that focused on physician performance. The researchers discovered that the evidence was strong enough to recommend that certain forms of CME should be used to improve physician performance. Their conclusion was that live and multimedia offerings can improve performance and that print media should not be used alone.

Ronald M. Cervero and Julie K. Gaines conducted a study where they found evidence that certain forms of CME could be used to also improve patient outcomes. They recommended the use of multimedia, varied techniques of instruction, and multiple instructional goals.

Finally, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found that CME was effective for acquiring and sustaining knowledge and improving clinical outcomes. IOM also reported that CME activities should:

  • Incorporate assessments to ensure that the activities meet the needs of physicians.
  • Provide interactivity.
  • Use ongoing feedback to engage physicians in their learning process.
  • Use multiple methods of learning.
  • Provide proper time to digest what was learned.

3. CME Presents Multiple Opportunities

Marinopoulos et al. reported that CME appears to be effective at physicians’ acquisition and retention of knowledge, attitudes, skills, behaviors, and clinical outcomes.

Based on the research included here, CME provides opportunities to help physicians in their roles in healthcare delivery, so they can share medical knowledge and recognize the need for appropriate practices and behaviors.

The Research Tells It All

The insights from research on CME effectiveness are telling. Today’s effective CME must provide learners with live and multimedia offerings so they can get the most out of their learning and professional experiences and improve their patient care and outcomes. CME effectiveness can come through the use of up-to-date technology, especially since it has been shown to be valuable for learning.

What should today’s new technologies offer? Using the right one should remove roadblocks to efficient CME management. CME providers at medical associations and hospitals must use learning formats such as web-based video, audio, and enduring materials to accommodate various learning styles. Live activities, such as seminars, annual meetings, and conferences, can be produced into webinars, podcasts, and enduring materials that enable physicians to enhance their patient care and outcomes and address how they learn.

A web-based technology platform such as EthosCE provides CME providers the tools to reach their learners to improve their practice performances and patient outcomes.

CME’s Effectiveness with EthosCE

Insights from research on CME effectiveness show that physician performance across practice areas such as medical screenings and diet counseling is improved. EthosCE provides the technology that CME providers need to succeed in these areas for greater patient care and outcomes.

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!