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It's Time to Rethink Online CME Courses and How We Deliver Them

It’s Time to Rethink Online CME Courses and How We Deliver Them

You already know that continuing education and professional development opportunities are vital to remaining a competitive attractor of talent. It’s not just the presence of continuing education, however—quality matters even more.

Of all the things you must do as an administrator, how do you find the time to implement any CME at all, much less direct an innovative and engaging program that can attract and keep top talent? It is possible! It just requires rethinking CME and shedding old myths and outdated impressions.

In light of recent events, training and keeping top healthcare talent are more important than ever. It’s time to reconsider how you deliver CME and transform your organization’s professional development opportunities from an afterthought to an innovative benefit.

Myth #1: Online CME Is Time Consuming for Administrators

Solution: Implement small changes.

Past online learning was a nightmare, not only for learners but for administrators trying to keep up with tracking and requests. Newer, kinder infrastructure allows everyone to tackle online CME courses without traditional headaches and bottlenecks.

The trick is that courses have gotten smarter. They have automatic features that give the administration what it needs with as few steps as possible, such as:

  • Self-service certificates
  • Self-paced courses
  • Email and notification tags for progress and important dates
  • Awarding and tracking compliant certifications

You can offer professional development with no calendar headaches, no missed deadlines, and no one standing at the counter demanding to know where their certificate is. A robust professional development system will need support from all departments, not just participants, and automation will be critical to getting administration and staff on board.

Myth #2: Passive Learning Is the Only Option

Solution: Implement active learning.

Traditional courses went through a renaissance a few years back, replacing lecture-style classes with dynamic, learner-centered instruction. But online CME has been slow in keeping up. Recently, however, online courses are transforming the field for the better.

New versions of online CME courses allow you to shift from static PDFs, ineffective assessments in multiple-choice formats (which only assess how good someone is at guessing), and endless clockwatching. Instructors can embed dynamic, learner-centered learning, allowing participants to actively engage with the material through:

  • Peer learning groups via message boards
  • Research assignments through self-directed learning
  • Collaboration through social content
  • Platforms with multimedia support
  • Automatic follow-up assessments

Active learning encourages learners to dig deeper, digesting information and retaining it. Learners feel like their time is well-spent, and administration stops worrying about professional development that goes nowhere.

Myth #3: Learning Outcomes Are Set in Stone

Solution: Customize every stage.

The professional development needs of your staff and employees aren’t one-size-fits-all. These opportunities should mirror real career advancement and address issues and causes specific to your institution.

Efficient infrastructure allows you to make decisions regarding your courses. You can create and then adjust courses that inspire your employees, not cause them to wonder why they’re bothering. You can customize:

  • Workflows
  • Learning outcomes specific to your institution
  • Certificates
  • Learning through active learning

Customization allows your organization to build in professional development that translates directly to career advancement, as well as improve patient care. If you’re a hospital, your professional development needs may look different from a local clinic’s and vice versa.

You can also customize your certificate options, giving medical professionals the chance to pursue different areas of specialization. These choices will be a key factor in what attracts—and ultimately, retains—top talent for your institution.

How Online CME Transforms Professional Development

Short, convenient courses work around a professional’s schedule. New options for online CME course infrastructure allow you to build courses that encourage a culture of continuous learning. Your employees and staff have better, more targeted opportunities to develop their careers.

Better technology provides automatic tracking and record-keeping for administration. Each time you host a course, your office gets all relevant information automatically, and learners receive follow-ups. The right infrastructure eases the administrative burden, allowing you to do more, more often.

Online learning is just as effective as in-person learning. You won’t struggle to work professional development around conflicting schedules or experience downtimes in the office. Online CME courses are convenient and happen when you need them to, not when your office calendar dictates.


Online learning delivery is more than simply reading and answering multiple-choice questions. New technology allows learners to take advantage of a media-rich teaching environment with collaboration and research. Administration can use data from employee activity to customize follow-up instruction and track success benchmarks while keeping records for compliance.

Online learning is a dynamic way to encourage professional development, giving employees a sense of continuous learning and providing valuable knowledge and experience that learners can apply right away. Stodgy online courses have no place in the new world of professional development. It’s time to think about what’s possible.

It’s time to contact EthosCE to find out how you could be developing a competitive advantage through online CME courses. Let’s revolutionize your professional development strategies together.

To learn how EthosCE can enhance the continuing education of your medical professionals, request a free 1-on-1 demo with one of our specialists today!