How the Florida Department of Health is using IT to simplify continuing education.

The Florida Department of Health licenses over one million healthcare professionals and issues continuing education requirements for each individual.  In 2003, pressure was mounting on the Department to reduce costs while at the same time maintaining high professional standards.  They wanted to increase compliance enforcement efforts without discouraging new entrants into the industry.

Furthermore, the State Legislature passed Florida Statute 456.025(7) mandating the DOH to implement a paperless, electronic tracking system for continuing education.  So the Department put out a RFP and launched a major IT project.  Its solution – CE Broker, developed by ISF – became the Official Continuing Education Tracking System on January 1st, 2004.

 

The CE Broker Solution

CE Broker is a fully hosted 3rd party system that ties together the Department of Health with its individual Boards, licensed healthcare professionals, and approved educational providers. The Department of Health seamlessly integrates licensee data into CE Broker where continuing education requirements have been programmed for official and public use.

CE Broker tracks all required continuing education activities and makes licensee records available to regulating Boards.  All healthcare practitioners are held accountable for their continuing education but they are not without assistance.

The practitioners have access 24/7 to the following features: Official Transcripts, a detailed course history, the Official CE Course Search, automatic email reminders of important dates and events, and the ability to report course completion credits.

The Official Transcripts break down Board requirements by subject area, hours, delivery method, and other conditions, and are updated in real-time as courses are posted.  Think of the Transcripts as dynamic checklists – requirements are fulfilled as licensees complete courses.  CE Broker also released a free iPhone app for licensees in August of 2011 and staffs a professional Help Desk of continuing education experts who are available via phone, email, and chat.

Educational providers apply electronically through CE Broker for Board approval to offer courses. The CE Broker system digitally forwards applications and application fees to the appropriate Boards. If approved, providers register courses on CEBroker.com, post their courses to the Official Course Search, and will automatically report course completion credits for licensees directly to CE Broker, saving licensees time and allowing them to focus on learning.

 

Results

The Department of Health has streamlined continuing education operations, reduced costs, and simplified professional development requirements. The CE Broker system has cut down on and simplified work flows for Department of Health staff.  All licensees are held accountable for their continuing education requirements, while at the same time finding clarity on exact expectations.  CE Broker continues to develop new features, and many healthcare professionals enthusiastically appreciate the Department of Health’s choice to implement this system:

“My workday is very hectic so having CE Broker track my required continued learning gives me peace of mind, knowing that my records will be accurate and protected. CE Broker gives me confidence that my license renewal will go smoothly.”  – Cathy, Registered Nurse.

“I am licensed in two other states and it is so much easier in Florida. I am very happy with this service. It reduces stress. Thank you for your great staff and service.  – Victor, Medical Doctor

 

Looking Forward

The Department of Health continues to work closely with the staff at CE Broker to improve features for licensees and simplify continuing education operations. The two entities have become seamlessly integrated and serve as a prime example of innovation and private-public partnerships.

 

For more information, contact:

Evan Kell, Brand Manager

ekell@cebroker.com, cebroker.com

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