The process of finding and completing relevant continuing education content can be daunting, from identifying accredited CME courses to validating their relevance against your specific state requirements. If that’s not time-consuming enough, you also must track and organize the completed coursework to submit in time for your license renewal.
It can feel like a lot of work. But staying organized and reporting your CME on time doesn’t have to be a challenge!
If you’re looking for an easy way to collect and track your CME credits across multiple providers in one place, here are several simple tools and tactics to manage and report your progress.
Challenge #1: Don’t let downloading and collecting transcripts become a mess
Collecting CME transcripts can quickly become confusing and messy. There’s enough paperwork to do managing your busy clinical practice.
Luckily, cloud-based filing solutions such as Dropbox™ or Google Docs™ and Google Drive™ allow for ease of use while organizing your CME/CE files.
When saving transcripts for each CME course, make sure to label every file name clearly. That way, you can always have your proof of completion organized and at the ready when it’s time to report CME credits to your state medical board or association. You won’t be left scrolling through unknown files — or worse, actual stacks of paperwork.
Some CME providers feature credit trackers to account for lectures listened to or clinical information reviewed.
Challenge #2: Finding relevant, accredited CME that fulfills your requirements
Not all CME and CE courses are created equal, and neither are the sources providing them. It’s up to each healthcare provider to ensure their learning activities meet the necessary requirements of their specialty and state licensure.
The easiest way to ensure that you’re taking the right CME for your practice is to go directly through an accredited online source. Be sure to check your provider’s website for their accreditation credentials. You can also use the Accreditation Council™ for Continuing Medical Education as a resource.
Challenge #3: Filling out state medical board & medical board association paperwork
As if all of the woes of transcripts and course selection that we’ve already touched on weren’t enough, there’s also the matter of filling out paperwork for state medical board and medical board association submissions.
Different states have different requirements when it comes to reporting CME and CE credits, and it’s important to fill out the necessary paperwork correctly and submit on time. Be sure to carefully read and understand the reporting requirements of the state medical board or medical board associations that you’re submitting to, using the board or board association’s website as a verified means of finding this information.
An easy way to stay on track is to set calendar reminders. Whether you’re using a wall calendar or relying on a synchronized, cloud-based calendar through a service like Google Calendar™, putting in reminders for important dates around submitting your CME/CE paperwork can help you avoid costly delays.
Setting two-week reminders for the submission dates can help you get your paperwork together far enough in advance to catch some issues, but serious problems like identifying major gaps in meeting your CME requirements can be caught more easily by using a real-time tracking system. This is a key feature to look for when selecting a CME provider.
Challenge #4: Finding the time to do it all
As a healthcare professional, you must prioritize CME and make time to learn, test, and collect the proof of course completion — there’s really no way around it. It can be difficult to find the time to take CME courses, let alone identify them, vet them, keep track of the necessary paperwork, and submit it all on time and to the right people.
Scheduling CME into your calendar and dedicating a specific time each week or month to keep track of your credits and transcripts will help keep you from having to face a wall of organizational challenges when it comes time to submit your paperwork to the medical board. Like with medicine itself, a proactive approach is the best approach!
A CME provider that helps you plan your coursework and gives you the flexibility you need to learn when and where time permits in your schedule is also a very valuable feature.
The solution? Digital CME tracker tools
With a little bit of preparation and consistent dedication to keeping track of your CME/CE progress, you should have no problem meeting your state and specialty licensure requirements on time.
AudioDigest offers flexible, on-the-go learning and automatic CME progress synchronization and an advanced credit tracking system to track while listening as well as upload credits from other CME providers. With AudioDigest, you’ll have more time to learn about the latest guidelines, insights, and innovations in your field and less time stressing about whether you’ll be able to keep practicing medicine.