PARS Data Drudgery? Here’s How to Make It Simple

For ACCME accredited providers, preparing and submitting PARS reports is an annual routine. Unfortunately, it can also be an annual headache.

Why is PARS so burdensome? It’s not because you don’t have the data required for the reports. And it’s not because the ACCME requires major changes each year. No, it’s because the process of collecting and organizing the data is time-consuming.

Simply put, it takes awhile to get it done.

Why is gathering PARS data so tedious?

Two words: No automation.

If you’re like most CME providers, you’re not just gathering data about one CME activity or from a single segment of learners. You’re locating, collecting, and organizing CME data from throughout the year. Then you’ve got to format it according to ACCME year-end reporting guidelines.

That’s how PARS works, and many providers lack the technology to easily collect such a large volume of data, nevermind organize and format it.

So, what do you do? You comb through what you’ve got, pull out what you need, and start organizing it. It’s a manual process, and there are several hiccups along the way.

Excel runs on your computer 24/7 until the PARS deadline.

The problem isn’t your staff’s ability to find what you need for PARS – they’re really good at that! – it’s that you lack the technology to automate the procedure. Sure, you’ve got CME data and you’ve got spreadsheets, but after that? Nothing. Humans have to put the reports together.

But you can change that.

PARS can be a whole lot easier.

Difficulties with PARS reporting break down into three separate challenges:

  1. Collecting the data
  2. Organizing the data
  3. Formatting reports for ACCME PARS

Luckily, technology can solve all of them.

Take the first challenge: collecting the data for PARS. If you’re not capturing that information throughout the year the moment the data is generated, you’re going to have a really hard time capturing it later.

For example, it’s a lot harder to dig back into information from ten months ago and pull out relevant metrics than it would have been to record those metrics ten months ago! The problem many accredited CME providers have is that they don’t have an efficient way to sift through and assemble all the data once it’s been collected.

Solution: Choose technology that automatically collects PARS data for you.

Organizing the data is another challenge. After you collect it, you’ve got to put it all together per ACCME guidelines.

Once again, manual effort is typically required here. You sort through the files you’ve got (Excel spreadsheets, probably) to make sure only the required data makes it into the PARS report.

PARS would be a lot simpler if you didn’t have to do that yourself.

Solution: Choose technology that organizes PARS data the way the ACCME wants it.

Then there’s the formatting. Sometimes, you’ve got all the data you need and it’s assembled more or less the way it ought to be. You’ve just got to change the format to make it ACCME-friendly.

Currently, this means you’ve got to format it as a tab-delimited CSV file or an XML file.

Solution: Choose technology that properly formats your PARS report.

So if you opt for technology that automates the collection, organization, and formatting of all PARS data, aren’t you…

…reducing PARS reporting to a one-click event?

Yes! That’s exactly what you’re doing.

When it’s time to submit your year-end PARS reports, all you have to do is log in to your CME software and download a single file. That’s it! You’re ready to upload the report to the ACCME website.

All that time you spent scrambling to get the report ready before the deadline? You can spend it doing anything else – adding new CME content, finding great speakers, using learner data to improve CME activities… It’s up to you.

The Rievent Platform automates PARS reporting.

For many years now, the Rievent Platform has taken the tedium out of year-end PARS reporting. That’s because we built the system for CME providers and included reports that follow ACCME requirements.

Historically, PARS has been a difficult administrative hurdle to clear. It takes time to create the reports, and unforeseen technical hiccups can make it hard to create them on time. The way we see it, the solution is to automatically collect and assemble the data within the system. That way, it’s ready to export and upload to the ACCME website the moment you need to.

We identified a problem, and we built a solution. It’s been working for hundreds of accredited CME providers for over 18 years.

This year, we updated our PARS reporting feature to make it even more user-friendly. Instead of XML-formatted PARS reports, you can now export tab-delimited CSV files. Compared to XML, which is a machine language, this update means you can actually read and edit the final PARS file, if you need to.

There’s no reason to suffer through PARS season anymore! With the right technologies in place, PARS reporting can be an afterthought.

Just be sure to set aside 60 seconds to export the report and submit it to the ACCME.