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We always talk about CME quality…

But are you considering the efficiency of your continuing medication education (CME) activities?

At the 2016 Pennsylvania Distance Learning Association’s annual conference Dr. Jeffrey Levy gave a lecture called “From Dreams to Reality (Augmented and Virtual).” Dr. Levy is a physician and expert in e-Learning (his bio is available here).

He’s an engaging, inspiring speaker, and something he said struck me as particularly applicable to the world of CME, CNE, CPE and other healthcare continuing education fields we live in.

“We always talk about quality, but we never talk about efficiency.”

Photo by m_hweldon

I think his point was that if practitioners go from being a novice, through advanced beginner, on through competency and eventually mastery, as quickly as possible, it gives them a higher level of expertise for a longer period of time in practice. Education shouldn’t be any slower than it needs to be to achieve its goals. In my thinking that might improve outcomes as well.

The tools he is working on to reach these goal are amazing—robotics, holographic simulations and machine learning. He’s a proponent of objective and consistent teaching through a standardized process, personalized to the learner, with measurable, benchmarked outcomes. It was only disappointing in that it was primarily directed toward graduate and post-graduate education or clinicians in academic medical centers.

Asked about about ideas for creating efficient CME given the available time and resources of practitioners, he gave an example of case-based learning. In a case study, he said, if you narrow the possible differential diagnoses to the minimum necessary, then learners can consume it more quickly and still attain the learning objectives.

So, the next time you work on the educational design of an activity, give some consideration to efficiency too. Meanwhile, I’ll be waiting for the first holographic machine learning CME program!

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