Why CME Tracking Software Earns Accolades From Learners and Providers
If your learners are looking for a simple way to monitor and manage their CME activities, credits, and participation records, you’re probably considering CME tracking software. The right software can also help you, the provider, reduce or eliminate time-consuming administration – the “return on satisfaction” is pretty compelling all around!
But what should you be looking for in a system? Fundamentally, there are three things a CME tracker can help you and your learners accomplish:
- View learner CME records: Learners need a single interface through which to view and manage completed CME activities and earned credits.
- Accomplish learner-specific tasks: Aside from viewing their CME history with your organization, learners can use the platform to download or print certificates and transcripts, update the information they have on file with you, and more.
- Reduce CME administration: This benefit is for providers. A CME tracking application shifts administration away from the provider, so learners manage their own information instead of relying on you to access it for them.
An advanced system can transcend the read-only experience of many CME trackers and empower learners to exercise more control over their CME experience. Ultimately, learners can go beyond just “tracking” which of your CME activities they’ve completed and start using the information at their disposal to achieve various objectives.
The basics of CME tracking
A basic CME tracking application allows learners to view the credits they’ve earned through a given CME provider. It provides quick answers to questions like:
- How many credits have I earned?
- Which activities appear on my certificate or transcript?
- How many more credits do I need to earn during this cycle?
- Do I currently have any gaps in my CME credits?
- Did I ever actually complete Activity X?
- Do I need to resume or retake Activity X?
- Which live events did I attend back in 2013, 2014, or 2015?
It’s basically a way to help learners manage their own CME information with a specific provider. After all, learners shouldn’t ever be confused about the number of credits they’ve earned and which CME activities they’ve completed. That information should be readily available, and it should be easy to access at any time.
These features provide a very basic tracking experience, but what if you’re looking for more? What if you want learners to have access to their CME information and use it to achieve simple, learner-specific administrative objectives?
Getting things done
In a recent post about performing a learning management system comparison, we discussed how a continuing education LMS should:
- Automate activity management tasks for learners
- Minimize the need for learners to request administrative assistance
The post dove deep into the benefits of providing learners with availability (of information) and flexibility (with respect to how they use that information). The “availability” part is basic CME tracking. Learners get to see what they’ve already accomplished. However, it’s the “flexibility” part that really empowers your learners. They can use the information in the system to get things done!
Many CME providers are able to extend the tracking capabilities of their learner-side software experience by using an integrated LMS that includes CME tracking as part of a larger, more complete package. Comprehensive CME tracking functionality goes beyond viewing data and allows learners to do things like:
- Download or print transcripts and certificates: Not only can learners see which of an individual provider’s courses or activities they’ve completed; they can access a valid CME certificate or transcript, too.
- Manage their profile online: If CME tracking functionality is integrated with (or exists as a standard part of) a provider’s LMS, learners can also update their personal profiles, including titles, addresses, and work-related contact information that is on file with the provider.
- View test results: In addition to seeing which activities they completed, learners can revisit their performance on those activities’ assessments.
- Resume activities currently in progress: An integrated application will also show learners which enduring or journal-based activities that they started but didn’t complete. Learners can then resume the activity wherever they left off.
- Request credit: Following live events, learners can immediately request credit for attendance via functionality build on top of a simple CME tracker.
Rievent, by the way, offers this functionality through our platform’s Learning Portal. For activities completed within the Rievent Platform, the basic CME tracking tools are all there. However, learners also have the flexibility to act on the available information and complete administrative tasks on their own.
The thinking behind this functionality is that a CME tracker has the potential to offer more than a “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” experience. Providers can actually let learners manage their own CME participation history.
Shifting administration to learners
While CME tracking can begin and end as a read-only experience, it has the potential to be so much more. By augmenting basic CME tracking with interactive tools, providers can shift administrative tasks to each individual learner.
When providers handle these tasks themselves – fielding calls and emails about certificates, managing requests for credit, answering questions about completed activities – they’re forced to devote substantial time and energy to administration. That time can be better spent developing new education programs, using reporting data and evaluations to improve existing CME activities, or any number of high-value tasks!
Learners benefit from the administrative shift, too. Instead of calling or emailing you and waiting for a response, they can access all of their CME information at a glance. It’s easier to determine how many credits they’ve earned, review event attendance records, and resume activities that are already in progress.
Interactive software makes the entire experience more productive – not just for learners, but for everyone.