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

MyCE Portfolio – A New National CE Service

For those of you licensed outside of Florida wishing CE Broker tracked continuing education for other states, we are working on a new service for you.  MyCE Portfolio will allow licensees across America to track continuing education requirements for multiple licenses across state lines.  The new website will launch in late 2012 but before we launch publicly, we’ll send out private invitations to users who help us out now.

Go to MyCEPortfolio.com and tell us which state and licenses you hold, so we know which CE requirements to program first.  Eventually we will be able to track for all licenses, but we want to prioritize to help as many as possible as soon as possible.  Thank you for your assistance!

MyCE Coming Soon

 

 

New CE Broker Internal Pages Released!

On February, 3rd 2012 we released the largest update in eight years to our licensee internal pages.  Users will notice a new look and feel upon signing in to CEBroker.com.  The change made subscriber, reporting, and audit accounts easier to navigate and – we think – much more pleasing to the eyes.  Out with the archaic fine print that was so iconic of the 1990’s and in with the simplicity of modern design styles.

The New User Dashboard:

The New User Transcript:

Requirements are easier to understand than ever.  Hours Needed are in the right-hand, red column.  Complete that column and never worry about a CE audit.

New Feature:

Saved Courses – if you are a subscriber and logged into your account while using the CE Broker Course Search, you can “save courses” you are interested in for future viewing.  All Saved Courses are archived in one place under “Search” > “My Saved Courses”.

We think users will appreciate the new CE Broker and if you have not used CE Broker before, do not forget that every healthcare professional in FL and nurse in DC get access to one 7 Day Free Trial.  CEBroker.com

An Asset to Healthcare Professionals and Educational Providers – The New CE (Broker) Course Search

On November 1st, 2011 we unveiled our new and improved continuing education Course Search.  We created a new look and feel and added a number of new features, designed to make the search more helpful to healthcare professionals in FL and nurses in DC.

*The CE Broker Course Search Guarantee: All courses listed in our Course Search have been pre-screened and will count towards your profession’s renewal requirements.  These courses will also automatically be reported to your records within 90 days.

Users now have a number of search options, which can be used to narrow results.  First, we ask for “Course Type” where you select “Live” or “Self Study” – self study courses are taken at home and often online.  Then you may choose to search for a particular educational provider, course name, or most importantly Subject Area.

After you click “Begin Search” the courses that fit your search criteria will display.  You will notice a new column: Price.  The providers of the CE courses may now enter a price for each of their courses.  It will take some time for providers to update all of their offerings with a course price as some offer thousands of different CE activities, but it is our hope that eventually all courses will show a price.

**Important Note to educational providers: Your courses will be more visible to users if you add a price to your course details

We have also included a number of “Sort By” features.  You can organize your search results by Course or Provider Name, CE Hours, Price, or Popularity.

The improvements to the Course Search were made with licensees in mind.   Once you find a course, we will redirect you to the educational provider’s website.  Some providers will take you directly to a course registration page while others will take you to their homepage.  Just like with the new “Price” feature, eventually all courses will take you directly to the registration page.

You will get this message so you know for sure when you are leaving the CE Broker Course Search:

We hope you take a few minutes to explore some of the new features and find the courses you need.

Access the new Course Search here.

The History of CE Broker

CE Broker is a continuing education system that was designed by Information Systems of Florida, Inc. (ISF).  CE Broker was developed in 2003 and has been the official tracking database for the Florida Department of Health (DOH) since January 1st, 2004 in accordance with Florida Statute 456.025(7).  Both the Florida Department of Health and the DC Board of Nursing have implemented CE Broker as their official license tracking system.

In 2003 the Florida DOH, Division of Medical Quality Assurance, put out a Request for Proposal for a Continuing Education Tracking System.  The Request for Proposal was offered as a no cost contract.  The Vendor that wins the contract would maintain a database that brings the DOH, educational providers, and licensed healthcare professionals into one location.  The DOH would receive all fees from educational providers who would like to offer courses to licensees, and the Vendor would power an official course search that connects licensees with the approved educational providers.  The Vendor would not receive any funding from the DOH to either develop the software nor to power and maintain the servers for the CE system.  The Vendor would have to create a business plan that would meet all of the DOH’s requirements and allow the company to fund itself.

ISF responded with a unique business plan that would meet all of the DOH’s demands, not requiring any tax payer funding.  The plan included a voluntary subscription offer to healthcare professionals in Florida that would give licensees access to the DOH’s CE tracking information.  Licensees can use the course search and upload continuing education credits for free but would have to subscribe to benefit from the CE management system.  The proposal met the requirements for the no-cost contract and CE Broker was born.

Please visit CEBroker.com for more information 

Why are my Florida CE credits not posting to CE Broker?

If you successfully completed a continuing education course but it has not yet been recorded on your CE Broker transcript yet, there are a couple of possible explanations.

Most commonly, the educational provider with whom you took the course simply has not submitted it to CE Broker yet.  The Florida Department of Health allows up to 90 days for an educational provider to submit a course to CE Broker.  Sometimes educational providers report almost immediately.  Others can take up to three months.  If you found the course through the CE Broker course search, the provider of that course is required by the Florida Department of Health to report course completions to CE Broker.  If this is the case and the course completion has not been submitted after 90 days, you should contact the educational provider directly.

Remember:  you did not take the course with CE Broker, but you probably used the course search to find an approved educational provider.

*Note:  You must have a subscription to CE Broker to view your transcript which displays your continuing education requirements and completed courses.  Click here for a 7-day free trial.

If you took a course with an educational provider not listed in CE Broker you would report the CE credits yourself.  If you have subscribed to CE Broker, go to cebroker.com, login to your account, and click “Things to Set/Submit” at the top of the page and select “Report Continuing Education” in the drop down menu.  There are a variety of options for self-reporting.  Select the one that applies to what you wish to report and follow the steps.

If you do not have a CE Broker subscription you can create a reporting account for free and report course completions.  Click “Healthcare Professionals” on cebroker.com and select “Report Continuing Education” at the bottom of the screen.  This will prompt you to enter your license number and then create a login and password.  Then follow the steps to report continuing education.

Call 1-877-i-find-CE (1-877-434-6323) if you have any questions.

**Tip:  It is much easier to take a course from an approved educational provider who is required to submit course completions for you.