The CME Event Obstacles Every Learner Dreads

How easy should it be for learners to manage CME event attendance?

From registration to credit requests, most providers would agree that a straightforward learner experience is a better learner experience. Yet at many organizations, CME live event management is convoluted, not straightforward.

For example, some providers use third party applications for online registration. Learners have to create separate login details – details they may only use every once in awhile – just to register for an event. After that, it’s up to them to add the event to their calendars. Then, when it’s time to evaluate the event or claim credit, they might have to go through a manual, paper-based process.

And wait several weeks for the credit to appear on their transcript.

Or call your office to ask when their certificate will be available.

It doesn’t have to be that way. You can eliminate the most bothersome CME event obstacles.

In an ideal world, learners will register for an event via your existing website. They’ll also receive email reminders before the event. Then, after they’ve attended, they can request credit automatically and fill out evaluations as they do it.

Certificates and transcripts? Those update immediately online. In the background.

Yes, you can get there. It starts by tallying up all live event-related obstacles that it’s possible to eliminate through automation. After that, you need to identify a CME software platform that supports that automation.

Here’s a rundown of the most common obstacles and some ideas about eliminating – and automating – them for your learners.

1. Registration: Keep it simple.

Learners should be able to select CME live events from a simple calendar interface. After logging into your website, they just follow a link to an events calendar. From there, they can identify events they want to attend and begin the registration process.

Except that there should barely be a “process” to speak of. After selecting an event, learners should be able to register and – assuming eCommerce tools are available – enter payment details immediately. They’ll then receive a confirmation message, so they know they’ve registered successfully.

If you provide pre-tests or surveys before live events, integrate those into the registration process. That way, you won’t have to collect them manually. Learners can complete them online long before attending the event.

2. Event reminders: Automate them

Imagine the last-minute scramble when a learner remembers that she needs to attend an event tomorrow.

Changing plans, shifting appointments, arranging transport… It’s easier to do those things a month in advance than a day in advance. Maybe you’ve been there?

Anyway, event reminders can eliminate these sorts of problems. Set things up so that every registered learner receives an automatic email reminder about every impending event. As simple as it sounds, it can save your learners a world of headache.

3. Requests for credit: Automate those, too.

Just let learners select the sessions they’ve attended and complete the associated evaluations. That’s it.

All they have to do is log into your integrated CME software and fill out the evaluations put in the request. After they finish, they’ve got their credit! Administrators don’t have to lift a finger.

Regularly scheduled series (RSS) providers can do this, too. The Rievent Platform actually uses a code-based credit claim that works well for RSS. At the end of a session, learners receive a specific 5-character code. They enter the code to verify attendance and receive credit.

4. Evaluations: Integrate them into the live event experience.

Why not have learners evaluate an event before leaving their seats?

At the end of your event, you can prompt the learner to complete an evaluation online. All responses are tallied in the background and presented to you as a complete report. From the learner’s perspective, there are no sheets to fill out or forms to keep up with. It’s just easy.

If you choose, you can also let learners complete evaluations after an event. Bringing the entire CME experience online (remember: learners access evaluations directly from your online CME platform!) gives you the flexibility to do just that.

5. Transcripts and certificates: Keep them up-to-date and on-demand.

You know how we discussed automating your request for credit process? Well, here’s another benefit to doing that: you can generate automatic certificates and up-to-date transcripts, too.

As soon as learners receive credit, they can immediately download a certificate online. The same goes for transcripts. The moment a learner receives credit for attending a live event, their printable online transcript includes the additional credits right away.

Not only will these documents always be up-to-date – your learners can access them at any time and for any reason! They won’t have to submit a manual request or wait for you to process their credit request. They’ll just have their transcripts when they need them. Simple as that.

After all, waiting around for documentation is just one more obstacle that sits between learners and an excellent CME experience. Eliminate that waiting period, and you’ll eliminate the obstacle. Learners won’t dread CME event management anymore because they’ll be in control.

And thanks to automation, there will be a lot less work for you.