Medical Education: A Truer Measure of CME - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Medical Education: A Truer Measure of CME
New programs can tell who "clicks through" and who is learning.


Pharmaceutical Executive


The absence of standardization and meaningless numbers have huge implications for the top-line assessment of CME program effectiveness and decisions about CME formats and venues for the future.

Structural Change More accurate measurements of participation are possible if programs are structured appropriately.

A linear online program—one with a single point of entry at the beginning that requires active engagement to advance—readily allows truly meaningful measurement. With this type of program, defining and identifying participants is straightforward and susceptible to standardization. Anyone who opens the program and looks at the introductory material is a visitor. But the person who continues and becomes positively engaged in the program is a real participant. A program of this sort also makes it possible to report how many people opened it, persisted, and followed through to completion as well as how many went on from there to obtain CME credit.

Building in tools that call for healthcare professionals to answer questions or respond to problems in order for the program to advance not only increases their engagement but also gives providers a way to evaluate who participated to learn and who took part only to earn CME credit.

There are various ways to implement this approach. Any good implementation, however, should require a real definition for "participants" based on how many learning objectives the person was exposed to and participated in.

The bottom line is that more rigorous online program construction allows a real measure of participation. This moves away from measuring passive participants and button clicks toward determining how many people were engaged in how much education and to what benefit. It can even serve as a step in the direction of measuring how many participants are thinking about the material and how many are actually learning from it.


Richard Avenia
Launches Vancouver-based Glacial Ventures International acquired 85 percent of CD-Pharma Interactive Medical Productions for $5.1 million in cash, with additional payments due if performance targets are met. Medsite, an e-pharma marketing company offering an online invitation delivery and management tool enabling pharma marketers to recruit targeted physicians for medical industry events , has won 32 new clients. The National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) launched an interactive website ( http://www.npsf.org/html/mcw/), developed with the help of a three-year grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, with separate modules for physicians, nurses, and patients. CME credits will be offered to physicians and CEU credits to nurses through the Medical College of Wisconsin. Sudler & Hennessey, a WPP company within the Young & Rubicam Brands group, acquired Current Medical Directions, a producer of educational programs for medical professionals and patients and creator of Academic Alliances in Medical Education.

PeopleRichard Avenia, PhD, was appointed medical director at ProCom International, a medical education unit of CommonHealth, a WPP company. Stiefel Laboratories, the world's largest privately-held dermatological pharma, welcomes Dorothy Germino-Greer as manager of medical education and philanthropy. She was most recently medical science and education liaison for 3M Pharmaceuticals. Cadent Medical Communications, a subsidiary of inChord Communications, recently made the following additions to its staff: Allison Fallon, account executive; Katie McCarthy, project coordinator/meeting planner; Megal Ollinger, account executive; and Cheryl Sudol, senior meetings and event manager. The Schwartz Group, a healthcare-exclusive outsource provider of tele-services, named Jessica Jensen to the newly created position of project manager, audience generation services.

Stephen Smith is SVP of MedsiteCME and a co-founder of Medscape. He can be reached at
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