Top Continuing Education and Online Education Providers in Healthcare

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Top Continuing Education and Online Education Providers in Healthcare

Research Strategy:

The research was broken down into two sections: (i) platforms for continuing education platforms in the U.S healthcare industry; and (ii) identification of top-five online education providers that support US universities.

(I) Platforms for continuing education for U.S. healthcare professionals

  • Our research indicated that accredited continuing medical education (CME) is usually delivered via 'healthcare learning management systems (LMS).' The e-learning platforms are designed to address the needs and requirements of hospitals, medical practices, and healthcare organizations.
  • According to G2's (world’s largest tech marketplace) research, the top healthcare LMS portals/websites are Relias Learning Management System (LMS), Relias CE Direct, HealthStream Learning, Cornerstone Learning, Med Trainer, and CAE LearningSpace. Here we covered a high-level overview of the aforementioned platforms, key features and services offered, and CE-accredited courses related to healthcare.
  • In this research, we only focused on LMS platforms that provide e-learning and accredited continuing education/certification in the healthcare industry, catering to mental health workers, allied health professionals, nurses, and dental hygienists.

1. Relias LMS

  • The Relias LMS is a healthcare learning management system that helps hospital and healthcare administrators evaluate clinical skills, ensure compliance, and create custom learning plans for their staff.
  • Relias LMS has served more than 10,000 healthcare organizations and has delivered online education to more than 4.5 million healthcare providers.
  • Key features include
    • (i) Blended learning: allows users to track and participate across different types of training, conferences, and events from within the system.
    • (ii) Custom-designed e-learning courses: allows organizations to convert instructor-led training to an online format, update existing e-learning, and create courses from scratch. Also, allows custom content creation for employee training and learning paths.
    • (iii) Access to medical courses: provides access to more than 5000 courses created by medical experts and national leaders, and more than 380,000 custom courses created by customers.
    • (iii) Other features include competency tracking, scenario-based learning, skills checklist, micro-learning, personalized learning paths, advanced tracking and reporting, and CE/CME accredited courses.
    • (iv) Assessment metrics: The platform employs performance metrics and assessments to reveal specic gaps in clinical knowledge and addresses them with personalized, and engaging learning.
  • Solutions besides continuing education include compliance training, population health medicine, emergency department training, maternal mortality, integrated care, opioid misuse, reducing readmission, management and leadership training, skin and wound care management, and nurse aide certification.
  • Relias CE Direct: provides an unmatched comprehensive continuing education for nurses, medical, and allied health professionals. Key Features include:
    • Continuing Medical Education: provides access to more than 4,000 courses for 60plus nursing specialties and 20 plus allied health professions to maintain licensures, increase knowledge and professional performance.
    • Focused CE Series: Provides access to the accredited learning experience in the form of webinars, lectures, reading, and online forums to increase clinical proficiency and exam preparedness.
    • Certification: Offers more than 50 review courses to help medical staff practice for certification exams, get recertified, or earn CE hours.
    • Reference tools: provides access to digital textbooks for 600 plus medical conditions/diseases frequently encountered by healthcare professionals at patient's bedside.

2. HealthStream Learning

  • HealthStream handles hosting, automatic updates, and the delivery of over 20,000 courses from healthcare industry partners.
  • Learning Analytics uses the power of data to provide insight into the time, cost, and distribution of online education, allowing customers to maximize their investments, minimize their risk, and align education with outcomes critical to achieving business objectives.
  • Key features include
    • Mobile-First Design: powerful authoring tools, and unique assessment tools to develop secure content, and deliver it at scale.
    • Administration Dashboard: combines powerful customization and management tools with action-oriented navigation to manage people, courses, authoring, and assignments.
    • All-In-One Web Application: delivers global course catalog, centralized to-do list, transcript, profile, document management, and peer validation workflow.
  • Solutions include
    • i. Competency Assessment - HealthStream Assess:
        • The platform is powered by artificial intelligence and is designed to assess clinician’s ability to consistently and safely apply clinical knowledge, skills, behavior, and judgment through the use of valid and reliable assessments.
        • The platform helps train and assess performance in healthcare organizations by empowering clinicians to respond to urgent patient situations and effectively communicate within the healthcare team.
    • ii. Checklist Management:
        • The platform enables organizations to create their own evaluation checklist which may aid in assessing employees against any predefined steps.
    • iii. CEPath:
        • The platform provides unlimited access to 1,000-plus CE courses, certification preparation, and other learning tools to promote, monitor, and maintain clinical excellence in a healthcare organization.
        • CE Path is used for training in ambulatory care, health and human services, and post-acute care. It promotes clinical excellence and improves outcomes with HealthStream’s comprehensive CE library.

3. Med Trainer

  • MedTrainer is a healthcare software system for e-learning, compliance, and credentialing. Key features besides e-learning are that it offers compliance insurance and risk mitigation.
  • MedTrainer’s learning solution includes healthcare-specific learning content, covering over 300 necessary topics. The platform allows organizations to add customized courseware for their users. Available medical accredited courses include CPR, patient communication, opioids, and wound care.
  • Learning modules from MedTrainer include CLIA waiver-specific courses, manufacturer instructional videos, OSHA, State of California, and HIPAA training with specific modules for COVID-19. Also, offers training in USP <800> and Hazardous Drug Handling to meet Cal-OSHA and the California Board of Pharmacy requirements and suggested practices.
  • The platform offers the following key features
    • (i) Provides training in healthcare-specific topics for CMS, OSHA, HIPPA, and HR, accredited facilities, and clinical courseware.
    • (ii) SDS management with Mckesson supply manager integration
    • (iii) Safety plans and digital OSHA binder
    • (iv) Asset Management Compliance: including equipment lifecycle and maintenance management, additional asset training and term reporting, asset training tracking and reporting, vendor data entry, and management tracking.
    • (v) Additional features include Contract management, risk management, enrollment management, and provider credentialing.

4. CAE LearningSpace

5. Other platforms:

  • Allows mental health professionals to earn mental health CE’s (U.S approved) online using recorded CEU Courses.
  • A healthcare learning online platform that offers cutting-edge courses for social workers, psychologists, counselors, and therapists.
  • CE-accredited continuing education is offered online with certificate courses, digital seminars, live lectures, and other clinical educational products.
  • Certificate courses are offered as recorded video lectures, reading materials, additional study tools, and practice exams. Certified courses include Critical Care Nurse (CCRN®) , Emergency Nurse (CEN®) , Inpatient Obstetric Nurse (RNC-OB®) , Medical Surgical Nurse (CMSRN®) , Nurse Executive (NEBC®, CNML®) , Perianesthesia Nurse (CPAN® & CAPA®) , Progressive Care (PCCN®) , and Wound Care (CWCN®, CWS® & WCC®).
  • Additional healthcare, behavioral health, and rehabilitation courses are also available at a certain cost.
  • Cornerstone’s people development solutions are used by approximately 6,300 clients from diverse industries, with more than 75 million users across over 180 countries and in more than 50 languages.
  • While cornerstone’s healthcare solution platform has in-depth experience in managing talent acquisition for healthcare organizations, its online learning platform is also suited for delivering CE-accredited medical education.
  • Features audio-courses to earn continuing education credits for mental healthcare professionals.
  • Good Therapy is another online continuing education platform for Mental Health Professionals. The platform allows therapists to stay current on the trends in psychotherapy and mental health treatment
  • Online learning courses are offered (live) by subject-matter experts in the following subjects: addiction, ADHD, anxiety, autism, child and teen issues, compassion fatigue, couples and relationships, cultural sensitivity, depression, domestic violence/IPV, eating and food issues, ethics, family therapy, gender identity, grief, HIPAA, infidelity and affair recovery, LGBTQ Issues, mindfulness, money and finances, resistance in therapy, sexuality, suicidality, telehealth, transference/counter-transference, and trauma.
vii. EDU MED
  • The platform provides information about online healthcare accredited and unaccredited courses in medicine, healthcare clerical/administration, clinical, and dental domains.
  • EDUMED utilized its database comprising courses offered by 7,700 schools across a range of healthcare disciplines, providing information/access to courses, diplomas, certificate, and degree programs.

(II) Top-five online education providers that support US universities.

According to BitDegree rankings for 2020, the top-five ranked online learning platforms affiliated with US universities include (i) Udacity, (ii) Datacamp, (iii) edX, (iv) Coursera, and (v) Udemy.

1. Udacity:

  • Udacity is one of the most popular Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC)-based e-learning providers in the world, with a score of 9.8 out of 10 (based on 273 user reviews)
  • Udacity offers 59 nano-degree programs, two executive programs, and 187 free courses.
    • Udacity is not an accredited educational institution, it does not accept hours of credit from outside institutions and certificates from Udacity courses are non-transferable.
    • Udacity has a partnership with Georgia Tech and AT&T that allows students to obtain an online master’s degree in computer science. Udacity also has partnerships with UC Santa Cruz and Western Governors University.
  • The learning material is available as downloadable course videos, transcripts, lesson notes, and supplemental resources

2. Datacamp

  • DataCamp is a MOOC-providing platform launched in 2014, with a concentration in courses that revolve around the topics of data science and R programming. The platform ranks second with a score of 9.6 out of 10 (based on 182 user reviews).
  • Learning material is based on short videos accompanied by heavy text/reading materials, and assignments.
  • Offers a unique learning experience by empowering students/users to earn experience points (XP). Each user can earn XP by completing courses, performing certain tasks, and other actions on the site. If the student wants to reveal some sort of hint or a method of solving a problem within a course, a certain amount of XP is used.

3. edX

  • Founded in 2012 by a few scientists from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. edX is an online learning-based, multiple-course-holding platform (MOOC) that invites students to learn skills and knowledge from the top universities and other institutions around the world. Currently, edX boasts a catalog of more than 2650 online courses created by these partners.
  • The platform ranks third by BitDegree rankings of 2020, with an overall score of 9.4 out of 10 (based on 252 user reviews)
  • EdX is the only leading MOOC provider that is both non-profit and open-source. The courses are free to audit (i.e. watch videos and join discussions), however, payment is required to earn the certificate.
  • edX e-learning model is based on pre-recorded video lectures, reading material, student discussion forums, homework/assignments, and online quizzes or exams. The platform offers a number of micro-credentials including MicroMasters, Xseries, Professional Certificate, and Professional Education.

4. Coursera

  • MOOC-providing platform that offers courses in collaboration with more than 200 leading universities and companies. Coursera offers professional certificates, university-level courses , and online degree programs.
  • The platform ranks 4th by BitDegree rankings of 2020, with an overall score of 9.1 out of 10 (based on 295 user reviews)
  • The platform offers (i) free-of-cost course audits, (ii) certified paid courses, (iii) specialization, and (iv) degree programs. Coursera offers full, accredited degrees starting at $9,000 and MasterTrack certificates beginning at $2,000.
  • The course is delivered using pre-recorded video lectures, reading material, and online quizzes.
  • Coursera offers a range of courses in the field of healthcare.

5. Udemy:

  • According to BitDegree rankings of 2020, Udemy lies in the top-five e-learning platforms with an overall score of 9.4 out of 10 (based on 309 user reviews)
  • Founded in 2010, Udemy is the largest e-learning platform that provides access to 130,000 online courses being offered to more than 35 million students on the platform.
  • Udemy is not an accredited institution. The forum offers skills-based courses taught by subject experts in their field, and every approved, paid course features a certificate of completion.
  • The foundation of each Udemy course is its lectures, which can include videos, slides, and text. In addition, instructors can add resources and various types of practice activities, as a way to enhance the learning experience of students.

Additional Reading about the online learning platforms can be accessed in the attached report.

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