What is in this article?:
According to a new survey, healthcare professionals say that certified continuing medical education is more valuable to them than journal articles and other publications, speakers bureau programs, and promotional and other non-certified education when it comes to improving their practice and their patient outcomes.
Drivers and Barriers
The survey also asked respondents to break down their reasons for participating in either live or online/print CME/CE activities. For live activities, almost 30 percent said that networking with their professional peers was a main driver. Not far behind was the ability to interact withand thought leaders (27 percent), and 25 percent said that live activities mesh best with their particular learning style.
Another 10 percent said they find content that is more applicable to their practices offered in live-format activities. Plus, live events make it easier for them to dedicate the time to concentrate just on learning, allow them to ask questions in real time, and enable them to acquire a lot of new information in just a few days, they noted in the write-in section. As one explained, live activities provide the “interaction and development of critical evaluation of information that is only possible when a group of professionals convene.” And, while it’s a hassle to be out of the office, they also appreciate the opportunity to combine learning from experts with travel and recreation.
But all is not completely rosy in the live accredited CME world. Seventy percent of the HCPs said they complete their CME via live events less than half the time. Among the barriers they cited were time constraints (53 percent) and the cost of travel (36 percent). Only 3 percent said their most relevant barrier to participating in live CE activities is a lack of educational value—as one person in that minority wrote in, it can be “hard to find the pearl in the oyster full of sand.”
But what hurts participation in live activities is a big plus for online and print CME/CE activities. Forty-four percent said the time savings are the most relevant reason they participate in online/print CE, and one-quarter like the lower costs associated with these forms of CME. Another 16 percent prefer the online or print format because it is more in line with their style of learning. They also like that it is available on demand. As one person wrote, “I can spend sufficient time to digest, and perhaps re-read, and highlight and underline pertinent information. I can then return to the highlighted printed material for future studying.” And for those in areas with few live programs available, online and print CME may be their only alternatives.
But, even in an on-demand world, time constraints are an issue. More than half of respondents consider it the most relevant barrier to HCP participation in online/print CE activities. The educational value also can be lacking, said 17 percent, while 8 percent cited technology challenges as a barrier to online CME. Among the specific complaints: A lack of feedback and interaction related to the material; difficulty finding content that is directly relevant to their practices and interests; and just a general lack of appeal. As one person said, “[I’m] tired of being in front of my computer all day. It’s not a great way to learn for me.”