By Diane Bartoli, general manager, epocrates.
Over the past decade, there’s been a rapid explosion of innovative technology that has allowed the industry to reimagine our healthcare system and touched nearly every aspect of the ecosystem. This includes continuing medical education (CME)—an often-overlooked side of healthcare that’s always top-of-mind for clinicians as they seek to complete a certain number of credits to maintain their licensure.
Clinicians increasingly turn to third-party digital channels for medical information, and in parallel there is an increasing demand for digital CME as clinicians seek alternatives to in-person medical conferences. This shift is largely being driven by three trends that suggest the digital CME experience will continue to gain popularity and be an area ripe for innovation well into the future.
Providers have never been busier than they are today
Clinicians are facing more time pressures than they ever have before due to a growing number of administrative burdens, overwhelming staffing shortages, the prevalence of chronic diseases, and now, an unpredictable wave of patients as COVID-19 transmissions surge. As a result, there’s even less time than there ever has been before available for clinicians to stay updated on the latest medical developments.
By turning to digital learning options to complete CME requirements, clinicians can operate around their demanding schedules without having to carve out several days to attend in-person events (where only several of the sessions might be relevant). Instead, digital CME provides clinicians with the ability to select a specific course that’s most relevant to their individual practices or specialties, online or through the mobile app that’s always in their pocket.
User experience has become a key focus for digital CME offerings, which has largely been inspired by the convenience we have come to expect as consumers. Digital CME offers the ability to tailor activities to the individual user, and can offer recommendations and relevant activities in a similar way to Netflix or Amazon. Doing so is helping make these vast education materials easily available and at the fingertips of busy clinicians.