How Contract Management Systems Solve the Continuing Education Problem

Topics: CMS, Contract Management System

Written by Research Analyst

Hospital Administrators are in the business of saving lives, just as much as the physicians, surgeons, and nurses they employ.  To keep a staff of physicians and nurses legally compliant, confirming that Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit requirements of the American Medical Association (AMA) and other governing bodies are up to date is at the forefront of the hospital administrator.  The problem is that each type of physician, surgeon, specialist, or nurse requires a different set of CME credits, and each physician or nurse completes their CME at different times of the yearand each state has different guidelines, and so on and so forth.  Manually managing these processes is neither feasible nor cost effective.  The solution is a Contract Management System. 

Contract Management System uses templates, workflows, artificial intelligence (AI), automation, and other tools to save time and money to a hospital administrator.  All the documents and contracts pertaining to the safe treatment of patients by legal and licensed physicians and nurses are housed in your Contract Management System.  A Contract Management System uses AI to pull data from the contracts to communicate in moments what would take an administrator and their support team weeks to perform.  

One of the ways that a Contract Management System can save time while guaranteeing accuracy is to communicate to physicians and nurses what CME credits to perform, and by what deadline, as required by the AMA. 

First, setup your Contract Management System properly.  Enter each physician or nurse contract in the form of a template that uses a naming convention that differentiates the service expectations of each physician or nurse, and the CME requirements of each person.  For example, label contract names/titles as follows:  Hospital_Unit_Position_LastName_FirstName_Contract Type_Detail.  Examples are as follows: 

City South_Neuro_Surgeon_Smith_John_Employment 

City South_Neuro_Surgeon_Smith_John_CME_License

City South_Neuro_Surgeon_Smith_John_CME_Controlled Substances 

City South_Neuro_Surgeon_Smith_John_CME_General Education 

City South_Neuro_Surgeon_Smith_John_CME_Patient Safety/Medical Errors 

 

Notice that an employment contract is a separate contract than the CME requirements.  Isolating one contract purpose from another is a best practice. 

An alternative method to use the Contract Management System to manage CME credits is to establish one contract per physician or nurse, with a separate workflow per each CME requirement.  However, the drawback to this method is that one stage in the workflow can hold back the progress of other stages.  Therefore, although this method yields fewer contracts to manage, it is less efficient than to setup your Contract Management System with a separate contract per CMrequirement.  Also, because it is possible that the AMA may edit or add CME credit requirements, contracts should be specific to one CME credit type.  Contracts should be lucid so that one contract does not disrupt the status or progress of another. 

Using a separate workflow for each CME requirement would add manual labor hours, instead of reducing them, because contracts would have to be cancelled and then recreated if several CME requirements are completed out of order, compared to the workflow order.  Cancelling one contract in a Contract Management System will not affect other contracts.  However, cancelling one stage in a workflow can require the entire workflow process to be restarted or the contract to be cancelled altogether.   

It is a best practice to setup your Contract Management System using a separate contract per CME credit item.  Relevant contract names/titles allow quick understanding of contract status when reviewing the Contract Management System dashboard of contracts with expiry dates within 30 days, for example.   

The next step to setting up your Contract Management System is to enter accurate dates into each contract.  Expiry dates are just as important as effective dates.  Expiry dates engage the powerful AI and automation features of a Contract Management System. 

Next, use the AI built into your Contract Management System to send alerts at set frequency periods.   

Each contract setup in your Contract Management System will trigger a set of alert notifications for CME credits.  Alert notifications give your physicians and nurses details of what tasks they must perform, and deadlines, to keep their licenses and certifications up to the legal requirements.  This saves hospital administrators, physicians and nurses time and resources.   

Your Contract Management System should allow you to customize when alert notifications will be sent by email.  This keeps you in control of what matters most to your hospital.  For CME credits that require more time to satisfy, you may setup your Contract Management System to send alerts with more advanced notice, and vice versa.  For example, if a CME topic requires 2 hours every two years to satisfy the requirement with the AMA, this type of notification can occur closer to the expiry date than a separate CME topic that requires 38 hours every two years.   

Efficient time allocation for CME credits can be managed with Contract Management System alert notifications.  Below is an example for setting up alert notifications properly:

CME Type 

Expiry Date 

1st Alert 

2nd Alert 

3rd Alert 

Medical License (48 hours) 

01/31/2023 

120 days 

60 days 

30 days 

General Education (38 hours) 

09/15/2022 

180 days 

120 days 

60 days 

Controlled Substances (2 hours) 

06/28/2022 

60 days 

30 days 

15 days 

Patient Safety/Medical Errors (2 hours) 

05/29/2022 

60 days 

30 days 

15 days 

 Proper setup of your Contract Management System will send alert notifications to all pertinent parties (hospital administrator, physician, department supervisor, etc.).  Each alert will include the exact action needed to satisfy/renew CME credits.  After CME credits are completed, your Contract Management System can be setup to auto-renew, to save time and resources in the future. 

Setting up alert notifications when CME expirations are approaching is just one of the benefits of having the right Contract Management System in place to save time and money to a hospital administrator.  Another benefit is audit efficiency.  Your Contract Management System should keep a history of all actions and alert notifications for each contract.  The history feature helps to reduce medical malpractice lawsuits by making sure that all physicians and nurses that interact with patients are legally permitted to do so.   

A hospital administrator’s success can be made easier with properly labeled contracts in a Contract Management System.  Hospital administrators that use a Contract Management System can spend more time saving lives, and less time researching whether their physicians and nurses have satisfied their licenses and CMrequirements. 

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