In my last blog post I described how a Learning Management System (LMS) can help benefit Health Care Professionals (HCPs) with distance learning to achieve CME (Continued Medical Education) /CPD (Continued Professional Development) points. I would like to expand on this post to see how this is applicable for re-validation requirements for HCPs in the UK, where we specifically developed our LMS to support this process and then expand this concept to other countries to make it a truly global solution.
Before I go into the LMS, here are a few key factors that drove our LMS solution development in the CME/CPD arena from some key governing bodies for HCPs, where:
- the UK General Medical Council (GMC) states the following, “The purpose of continuing professional development (CPD) is to help improve the safety and quality of care provided for patients and the public.“
- the Royal College Of Nursing (RCN) states the following, “As part of your revalidation, you must undertake 35 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) relevant to your scope of practice as a nurse or midwife over the three years prior to your revalidation date.“
As you can see from both these key bodies within the UK HCP arena that there is a requirement to ensure that HCPs undertake the relevant learning to ensure they maintain their CPD points. However, most HCPs are also busy professionals who have a very busy professional life and also need to make time for their personal life to ensure an appropriate work/life balance (the latter is a subject for another blog post). To ensure that these HCPs can gain their CPD points we wanted to develop a very simple solution that allowed HCPs to:
- come into the platform;
- seek the relevant learning;
- complete the learning; and
- ensure they can show evidence of their learning to their relevant bodies.
These four elements above became our key solution drivers for developing our JLMS solution to allow HCPs to fulfill their CPD commitments. To achieve points 1 & 2, we ensured the access to our platform was simple where HCPs
- Could login or come from other HCP related platforms;
- Could access the platform from mobile devices as well as desktop machines; and
- then access the learning library, where they could find the relevant eLearning courses, webcasts or recorded webinars.
To simplify the process to find courses (point 2) we ensured that the content which was sourced from multiple vendors was catalogued with appropriate tagging, i.e. by Content type, profession type, specific therapy area, disease type, duration of learning and vendors. The latter allowed HCPs to find relevant content quickly and start it, where we then also expanded the solution to ensure that they could stop at any point and pick up where they left of by developing a learning plan where they could see what they had in progress and also what had been completed.
To make the content simple to run for the HCPs we ensure that all vendors that developed the content followed a template based process to ensure their content was presented in the template based solution. This also allowed for the content to also be localized with ease using a localisation agency when the content was ported across to other countries into different languages. The template based solution allowed us to produce a common way for HCPs to access the relevant content and ensuring they did not have to learn how to navigate different types of content as the content had a common navigation theme. Hence, this allowed us to achieve point 3 to ensure they could access and complete the necessary learning with ease! To also ensure the content was tracked properly we ensured that the content was developed and published using common (and open) elearning standards such as SCORM, AICC or Tin Can (xAPI). These were standards that our JLMS solution already supports and therefore was easy to implement.
To achieve point 4, to ensure that HCPs can see their relevant learning and show evidence of this learning we expanded the learning plan to allow HCPs to see their completed learning and print out individual training certificates but also allow them to print out a full learning transcript to show the training they have completed. As we expanded the solution to other countries like the Netherlands, we also developed web services where we could share the completion information of specific courses with the local Health Authorities with the HCPs Professional IDs. The latter process made it simple for HCPs as they did not need to submit their completion certificates as this was done via the web services on a weekly basis.
So in summary we managed to evolve our LMS (JLMS) to support the CPD requirements for HCPs by some simple amendments and ensuring we had a robust process to ensure content is developed/published to predefined standards. Where the core objective was to ensure we offered a SIMPLE solution for HCPs who already lead very busy lives to meet their CPD commitments and ensure they had the knowledge to offer a great service to their patients.
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