A One-Size-Fits-All LMS vs. the CME LMS
If you’re researching learning management systems for continuing medical education (CME) or continuing education (CE), you may have encountered “do everything” learning software. These one-size-fits-all products might look like they can handle most CME/CE tasks. And in some respects, they can.
But there’s a whole lot they can’t do, too.
Any learning management system (LMS) that isn’t vertical-specific will probably have lots of features. These include things you need, things you don’t need, and things you don’t even understand. That might seem… ok.
However, the vendors behind these products rarely know the CME/CE space very well. As such, their software – although it may have lots of features – doesn’t do a lot of the core things that could help you improve business performance.
Activity authoring tools
Wondering how a one-size-fits-all LMS might come up short? Consider the case of activity authoring.
You probably have CME or CE content already. It may exist as PDF, SCORM, or mp4 video content. You need a way to get that content into your LMS, along with all of the necessary functions that accompany an activity. Most LMSs will not automatically allow you to build out the activity, complete with pre-tests, post-tests, and assessments, the way you want (or are required) to do so.
Most of the time, you’ll have to create a workaround. Or settle for an awkward activity experience for learners.
Not so with an LMS built for CME. Instead of clunky “course” or “lesson” creation tools that you adapt to CME, you can build new activities from a pre-created production template that already reflects your activity authoring workflow.
In other words, you’ll have authoring tools that allow you to build the activities you want to build. And you’ll be able to build them a whole lot faster.
You’re a CME or CE provider. You submit annual reports to the ACCME, ANCC, or ACPE. You might even be accredited by more than one of those organizations. Creating these reports takes a lot of time every spring. And with a do-everything LMS, meeting your annual reporting requirements will… continue to take just as long.
With an LMS built for CME/CE, those reports should already be done for you.
Instead of gathering data for the report manually, the LMS does it. Instead of compiling and formatting the data, you just download a file. In some cases, you might not even need to download anything. The LMS will just send the data directly to your accreditor.
This benefit saves you hours – possibly days – of time during reporting season. It also liberates you from whatever manual tasks you engage in to gather data throughout the year.
Scalable CME and CE activity support
Any LMS will support a variety of learning formats. But your LMS needs to support the specific CME/CE activity types that you deliver, such as:
- Enduring or on-demand content
- Live and recorded webinars
- Journal articles
- Manuscript review
Organizations that host live meetings also need tools for registration, built-in e-commerce, and meeting reminders. And if you deliver regularly scheduled series (RSS), you need a way for learners to claim credit after attending a session.
Since most LMSs aren’t built for CME/CE, you’ll be hard-pressed to find one that supports all of these activity types – even if it bills itself as an LMS that transcends verticals. A CME/CE LMS, on the other hand, should support these activity types. You’ll be able to deliver existing activities and add new ones with different content and even as different types!
For instance, you might be able to repurpose a live meeting as a webinar, deliver it live for CME credit, and then repurpose it as enduring content for on-demand CME. A CME-focused LMS will allow these advantages and can scale with your organization as you publish new kinds of activities.
Streamlined user experience
A general purpose LMS will have a lot of features you don’t need. After all, it’s built to do everything for everyone!
As such, it’s likely to be bloated, comparatively slow, and even confusing. It’s hard to design an intuitive learner or administrator experience when you’ve got a lot of ancillary functionality packed into the menus.
When your LMS is built for CME, it’s got everything you need for CME. Nothing more. Nothing less. You know what the tools do and you know how to use them. Learners, likewise, can log in, easily complete their tasks, and log out with zero fuss or confusion.
How will your LMS process CME credits if it wasn’t built to do so?
You’ll probably have to use a manual procedure or turn to other software to fill in the gaps. The result is that you’re just as bogged down in administration as you were before you started using the LMS.
When selecting an LMS, avoid anything that doesn’t automate credit processing. As soon as learners successfully complete an activity, they should receive credit immediately. They should also be able to verify and prove receipt of that credit through downloadable transcripts and certificates.
Since the credits are processed in real time, all transcripts and certificates will reflect learners’ most recent credits earned – even if they completed an activity just moments before!
Focused software helps you focus on work that matters.
That’s the whole point of a CME/CE-specific LMS. The more tasks your software can automate, the more time you and your staff have to improve CME content, plan new events, and expand your reach.
Rievent delivers all of the advantages discussed above.
We’re a CME and CE LMS, after all! Instead of dealing with bloated, difficult-to-use software that doesn’t include the CME-specific tools you need, Rievent automates as many of your administrative tasks as possible.
You get more work done, faster. And your learners will stop feeling frustrated about your online CME experience.
No, Rievent is not a “do everything” LMS for everyone. But Rievent does do everything for continuing education providers. And that’s what counts most.