New Course Search Features for Providers

We have launched a new and improved Course Search and there are some important changes you need to be aware of.  It has a new look and many new features for providers and licensees:

1)      Unique Course Registration Website

2)      Course Price

3)      Provider logo

4)      New tags for Unique Course Registration Website and price in the XML file format

You can now enter a unique Course Registration Website for every course you wish to advertise.  When a licensee selects to take your course, our Course Search used to take the licensee to the same page for every course you offered.  Now, you can have a separate address for every course, so you can take the licensee directly to your registration page.  This feature is optional.  If you do not enter a Course Registration Website, we will use the Registration Website if one is listed in your Organization Profile.  We believe licensees will be much more likely to take your course if they can get to the unique course registration page.

You can now enter a price for all of your courses.  Users will be able to sort results by price and eventually may be able to search by price.  We believe that this new feature will be helpful to both your business and licensees.  This feature is also optional.

When you create a new course, we will now ask you if you want to “Advertise to the Licensee Public?”

For a live course:

For an anytime course:

If you select “Yes” for an anytime course, it will automatically be advertised on the Course Search so you do not have to go back and publish later.

You may now also add price and Unique Course Registration Websites to existing courses or existing publishings.  It is very important that you enter the entire URL for the Course Registration Website like the example shown.

Because every course has its own unique page and URL, your courses advertised on our search have a chance of showing up on traditional search engines like Google.  The more keywords you include in your course description the better your chances of being found in the traditional search engines.

You can upload your logo from the Organization Profile page and it will be applied automatically to all of your individual courses.

Every course in our search will have its own unique course description page.  Here the licensee will get the course details and course description as well as seeing a logo for your company.  Licensees will also be able to “Share” the course with their friends on Facebook, Twitter, or by email.

New tags for Course Registration Website and price are now included in the XML file format.  Call the Help Desk if you need assistance. 1-877-434-6323

We have also added a new graphic to the Course Search to help clarify a common misconception.  Often licensees believe they are taking courses with CE Broker because they are using our Search.  We added this graphic when they choose to start a course.

Anything you can do to help educate your customers on our role as the Official Course Search, not as an educational provider, would be greatly appreciated.

 

We believe that these changes will be a great help to licensees and your business.  Please notify us if you have any questions.

 

Science and math prove that CE Broker Transcripts are the greatest advancement in continuing education of all time.

What is a CE (Broker) Transcript?

Likely, you have seen a transcript before.  You probably requested that your high school send your transcript to a prospective college.  It detailed your academic history, completed courses and grades.  It looked backwards and displayed your achievements.  A CE Broker transcript, however, does much more.  While documenting your successful completion of CE hours, our transcripts detail your renewal requirements, are specific to each individual, and “know” how to factor the CE hours that you earn into your overall requirements.

Renewal Requirements

The legislature passes laws.  The Boards add rules.  Insert fine print.  Insert fine print.  The staff at CE Broker wades through the quagmire of years of compounding regulations.  We hack.  We slash.  We probe and inquire.  Our CE experts deduce the original intent of the continuing education rules and determine the exact renewal requirements of every healthcare professional in Florida.

What determines your CE renewal requirements?  Profession.  License type.  License status.  Specialties.  Cycle number.  Licensed by exam.  Licensed by endorsement.  So on.  And yes, it gets more complicated.

Here is one example of the rules as described by the DOH:

Remember, these are the generic rules that would apply to you if there were no exceptions, conditions, or abnormalities dealing with the acquisition and maintenance of your license.  Compare this to a CE Broker transcript:

A subscription to CE Broker gives you ongoing access to these transcripts, and that is where the real value becomes evident.  These transcripts are not static, they are dynamic.  As providers of CE courses report hours into CE Broker, we automatically update your transcripts and reconfigure your overall requirements.  Here is a snapshot of a transcript with three courses reported:

Think of a GPS navigation system.  If you opt for a different route than the one selected, you can reconfigure the directions based upon your current location and you will find new directions.  CE Broker transcripts are updated every time new course completions are reported and give guidance as you proceed.

Our transcripts are smart.  We program all of the details of the DOH’s rules into our records.  Sometimes you may earn only a limited number of hours in a particular category, other times they can roll over.

There is also a summary of your renewal requirements and reported hours on the top of your transcript for quick reference.  Check the summary.  See from where that 1 missing hour comes.  Take a quick course.  Avoid the audit.

Once you have completed all of your renewal requirements, all that ugly scary red will transform into a cool, reassuring green.  “Complete” displays at the top of your transcript and you will never be audited.  This is an example of what all healthcare professionals should aspire to see before his or her license expires:

Be diligent in your professional development and take advantage of the option to have ongoing access to official CE transcripts.  This is a luxury allotted only to healthcare professionals in FL and nurses in D.C.  Visit CEBroker.com for more information

CE or Continuing Education?

I will use the acronym “CE” only once in this article.  That original expression which we so frequently abbreviate, “continuing education,” has become a trite phrase devoid of its original intent.  No matter how repetitive it sounds, I will spell out “continuing education” every time.  Acronyms can undermine and obfuscate.  They make us lose sight of the underlying meaning of those words, words which convey a powerful, productive message:

We must be lifelong learners.  The professionals who heal, help, and master technical skills must continue to develop and hone their abilities.  Whether it’s a business, city, civilization, or a plant if it does not continue to grow and develop, it will slowly decay and be replaced.  Unless your mind, critical faculties, and your capacity for knowledge grow, you will be surpassed by your peers and eventually become irrelevant.  This is a key idea behind “continuing education.”

What are your priorities when choosing your continuing education courses?  Is your goal to satisfy your requirements as quickly and easily as possible?  Are you simply looking to breeze through 24 hours worth of material in one short sitting and then immediately forget the material upon completion?  Take the time to find valuable continuing education opportunities.  Be passionate.  Find a stimulating subject.  Relate the material in front of you to your career and find ways to implement.

So use the acronym but do not forget what it means.  Continue to educate yourself for your own sake.  Visit CEBroker.com to find continuing education courses in the areas that interest you.


Why All of Florida’s Healthcare Professionals Should Subscribe to CE Broker

Normally this blog is strictly informative.  I try to dispel common misconceptions and provide tutorials to various CE Broker functions and services.  Here I am taking a different approach.  I will still attempt to clarify some misconceptions about the continuing education system in Florida but I will also write persuasively.  Our CE system in Florida is different from all other states and I am arguing superior to all other states.  CE Broker was designed to simplify the process and make life easier for licensees.  The functions of our system benefit all of Florida’s healthcare professionals yet few are shouldering the costs.  Subscribers pay and receive the benefits of a subscription yet all reap additional rewards of having the CE Broker system in place.  Here I will compare FL to the other states and demonstrate that for the sake of equity, to reduce disciplinary action, and to eventually lower the costs for all, every licensee should voluntarily subscribe to CE Broker.

All of the other states with CE requirements have similar systems.  Boards legislate requirements, post them on their website, and leave it to the licensees to figure out their individual requirements.  The rules regarding your profession’s requirements often appear simple, but when you delve further into them you will find a plethora of complicated stipulations and conditions.

There are exceptions for everyone.  Are you licensed by exam or by endorsement?  Are you in your first license cycle or perhaps your fifth?  Do you have multiple licenses?  May you take courses from a State Board approved provider or can it be from a nationally approved Board?  Do you have a national certification?  What if you get your national certification in the middle of a license cycle?  Do you have any specialties or extra certifications and do they affect your CE requirements?  The list goes on and on.

If you call the Boards you may get different answers from different people.  You may have your call forwarded from office to office and be left a little frustrated.

When State Boards conduct their audits, they select licensees at random and demand proof of CE compliance.  You must collect your continuing education certificates, make copies, and send them to the Board.  If you cannot find your certificates you must immediately contact the educational provider who offered the course and hope that they have a digital copy or duplicate of your certificate.  Then you can only pray that you did not overlook any fine print and that the courses you took actually qualify towards your personal requirements.  If they do not, you will likely be fined and have to pay for and attend additional CE courses.

The Florida CE system

FLDOH-Sun

The Florida Department of Health uses CE Broker as its official tracking system.  This means that we track the continuing education status and progress of every healthcare professional in the state.  We dedicated years to designing and programming the CE Broker system.  No detail could be overlooked.  Our experts had to account for every exception for every profession.  Still the Boards make changes that must be configured into our current software.  Our CE experts dutifully monitor the Boards’ websites for changes to continuing education requirements and maintain a Help Desk so that licensees can get answers with minimal wait time.  We have invested incalculable time and resources into creating and maintaining a system that works efficiently for Florida’s healthcare professionals.  Meanwhile CE Broker does not receive any funding from the Department of Health.

And all benefit!  If your continuing education transcripts are complete in CE Broker you will be exempt from the Dept of Health’s audit even if you are not a subscriber.  You will not have to worry about finding and submitting your certificates or being fined or having to pay for and attend additional CE courses.  Unlike other states where your compliance status has nothing to do with your eligibility to be audited, if you are diligent in completing your CE’s, you will never be audited (with some exceptions – PMD, EMT, CNA do not use CE Broker for their audits even though we do maintain their records).  This applies to almost all licensees in FL whether you are helping to fund the system or not.  CE Broker supports itself with subscription services to individuals and healthcare employers yet we serve all.

Educational providers in Florida report course completions to CE Broker so that FL’s licensees do not have to.  If you are unaware of the CE Broker system but successfully manage to complete your hours with FL approved providers, you will benefit from the audit shield while subscribers fund this unique system.  Again other states do not offer this luxury to their licensees.

So in order to maintain the CE Broker system, it is only fair that all contribute and shoulder their fair share of the costs.  However, CE Broker has always been opposed to forcing all licensees in Florida to contribute and pay for an account (even though this idea was once considered in our formative years).  We believe there is enough value in our subscriptions that a sufficient number of licensees will understand the benefits and voluntarily subscribe.

Many do not understand how complex Florida’s CE requirements are and how much time and energy are expended to program and maintain the system for Florida’s 1 million healthcare professionals.

Our goal is to make disciplinary action against non-compliant licensees a thing of the past.  Our software and CE experts can provide everything that you need to successfully fulfill your continuing education requirements and avoid the DOH audit.  We believe that if every licensee purchased a subscription each year (that’s only $29/year) this goal would be entirely feasible.

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.