COVID-19 Sabotaged Your CME Live Meeting. What Now?
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted nearly everyone on earth and CME providers are no exception. What can you do if you have a CME live meeting planned for 2020? If it isn’t possible (or advisable) to host the event, how can you accommodate learners who hoped to earn credit from their attendance?
More importantly, how will you continue delivering valuable content when you can’t meet learners in person?
The good news is that there are ways to deliver your meeting, even as learners continue to shelter in place. However, you will have to turn your live events into virtual ones; furthermore, you’ll have to change how you report your activities to the ACCME.
Speaking of the ACCME…
The ACCME recently released guidelines on virtualizing your live meetings.
In late March, the ACCME hosted a webinar that details ways to continue providing CME during the COVID-19 crisis. You can find the recorded webinar and other coronavirus-related resources on the ACCME’s COVID-19 Educator Resources page.
With regard to your meetings, here’s the long and short of it: You can virtualize your meeting using whatever tools you need to use to deliver the content and the CME activity itself. However, you will have to change how you report the activity in PARS.
Virtual meetings are A-OK
When you report your virtual CME meeting as an activity in PARS, you have to change the format to an Internet Live Course. This is the case with any “no-longer-live” single session or multi-session meeting that you deliver as a virtual experience. It is not the case with RSS activities. You can continue to report virtual RSS activities as RSS in PARS.
Recorded meetings = enduring materials
You may record your meeting and repurpose it as an on-demand online activity. Just be aware that you will need to report it as an Internet Activity Enduring Material in PARS.
Webinars are still an option
If you’ve ever considered offering CME webinars in addition to (or in place of) live meetings, now is probably a good time to begin! Be sure your presenters have a slide presentation ready and that the webinar functions as a stand-in for short, single-session meetings with a small audience. Webinars are also reported as Internet Live Courses in PARS.
How to award and manage CME credits for your virtual meeting
Here’s a step-by-step primer on virtualizing your CME meeting. We’ll consider a hypothetical, but highly realistic, process for a provider using Rievent to manage CME.
- Deliver the CME content on your platform of choice. For live meetings, you have your pick of live-streaming or virtual meeting platforms. For webinars, you might use a platform like WebEx or GoToMeeting.
- Tell learners how to claim credit. Using Rievent, learners claim credit at the end of your meeting by entering a unique code or visiting a unique URL.
That’s really all there is to it. If you want to upload a recording of your meeting and offer it as an enduring/on-demand CME activity, you can also:
- Add tests and evaluations. In Rievent you can easily add these when you configure the activity.
- Award credit automatically. After learners view the recording and successfully complete a post-test, Rievent will automatically award credit. Their transcripts are updated immediately, and they can download a certificate right away.
COVID-19 presents challenges to CME providers, but you can continue to fulfill your mission.
Today, many of your learners are putting themselves at risk to treat those stricken with COVID-19 and help contain the spread. You can continue helping them advance in their profession as they carry out these heroic duties.
For more information about virtualizing your CME meetings, check out our extended guide to transitioning your live events to a web-based formation. There, you can learn more about modifying your approach to CME in a way that best serves your learners.