WHILE I WAS LOOKING into the recent developments regarding point-of-care CME for the news story on page 11, I couldn't help but wonder why no one seems to be working on a similar type of resource for the rest of us. In my job, my “point-of-care” learning involves a combination of print resources, phone calls and e-mails to colleagues, riffling through notes I took at professional conferences, and of course the great and powerful Google search engine and a multitude of other Web sites.
Wouldn't it be great to have all that information in one place, accessible by PC or PDA, vetted by the best of the best and distilled into exactly the piece of knowledge I need to solve the problem I have before my deadline rolls over me? As I joked to MM's editor the other day, can you imagine what life would be like if we could digitize all the knowledge held by our copy editor, Barbara Brewer, and be able to get the answers even when she's (gasp!) on vacation?
And what about you folks? Where do CME providers go when you need a “best practices” recommendation for a problem you've diagnosed that has to be resolved yesterday? I'd guess your resource list probably looks a lot like mine — a real mishmash of information sources that sometimes can take quite a while to sift through before finding that one nugget of information you need to resolve this issue, right now.
The Convention Industry Council's Accepted Practices Exchange project aims to provide something resembling that sort of resource for meeting professionals in general. But even when it's completed — and even if it lives up to the hopes the industry has for it — APEX still won't address all the specific needs of CME providers and their point-of-care questions. Similarly, the MIMlist listserv is a great just-in-time meeting-planning resource, but you never know if you'll get 50 answers to your question or none, and the information isn't vetted by anyone, so you have to take the answers with a grain of salt. The Alliance for CME's listservs are much more targeted to the medical education provider, but no one seems to use them much, perhaps because they don't get their questions answered, either in time or at all, according to several people I've spoken with.
So, where do you go to get the CME information you need, when you need it? I'm hoping there's something out there that I just haven't heard about, but if there isn't, would anyone else like to try to put something together? If so, please get in touch with me!
Sue Pelletier, (978) 448-0377, firstname.lastname@example.org