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Unveiling the Science: Behind the Scenes of CE Construction

October 18, 2023
October 18, 2023

This blog is taken from a recent HealthStream webinar entitled “Unveiling the Science: Behind the Scenes of CE Construction.” The webinar was moderated by Jill Lamle, HealthStream’s Marketing Manager for Clinical Staff Development and featured:

  • Hailey Fisher, Solutions Executive, Clinical Staff Development
  • Sheryl Ness, BSN, MA, PHN, RN, Program Editor, Clinical Content Development

Every minute counts in healthcare and that is just as true when leaders are considering clinical education for their staff. The staffing shortages, retention issues and evolving best clinical practices mean that leaders have to be sure that the Continuing Education (CE) courses selected for their teams will provide the best investment for their organization and their staff. How can you be sure that the CE investment that you have made really represents the gold standard in professional development and growth?


CE Unlimited – Empowering Staff with Unlimited Access

Continuing education is an essential part of your organization’s strategy to promote clinical excellence and quality improvement. However, are you truly confident that your organization is using the best possible content? Does it represent the best investment for your staff and your organization? Is it rooted in an evidence-based methodology that will result in a journey of knowledge, growth, and professional development for your team? HealthStream’s CE Unlimited can help promote clinical quality and excellence with thousands of continuing education courses that are grounded in evidence-based best practices and can save you and your team both time and money.


A Comprehensive CE Library

The CE Unlimited Library includes more than 1,800 continuing education courses. Fisher shared that users would find content for a wide range of healthcare settings and specialities across the entire continuum of care. “In addition, the courses are appropriate for a variety of clinicians including those in the nursing and allied health professions,” said Fisher. Users will find content for everything from medical and surgical settings, to ICU, outpatient clinics, behavioral health and home health to name a few. In addition to the courses, there are more than 40 different certification prep programs as well as great leadership and preceptor content.  


Curated Content for Every Learner

Fisher also stressed that learners would have access to content that is engaging and presented in a variety of different formats to meet the needs of a variety of different learning styles. There are interactive learning modules to address theory and disease process, on-screen simulations to help learners apply their knowledge, and evidence-based journal articles to help learners connect with the latest evidence. The editorial team regularly reviews content and makes updates based on new instructional design components to make the content more engaging and interactive for learners.

A free mobile app for the certification prep courses helps learners connect with certification prep material at a time and place that is convenient to them.


CE Unlimited – Curated Content You Can Trust

Ness then described the process by which content is curated and updated. HealthStream has a content development team. “That team is dedicated to producing and maintaining HealthStream’s learning assets with content that leads to meaningful outcomes for our customers,” said Ness. The team consists of clinicians, educators, instructional designers, developers, program editors/writers, graphic designers, project managers and experts on accreditation. Ness describes the content as timely, targeted and written by an extensive network of more than 100 subject matter experts from numerous specialty areas.  

Once updated content is reviewed, the clinical team incorporates those changes and updates into existing content and makes the required editorial and design changes. The subject matter expert panel provides quarterly updates that focus on clinical guidelines, research updates, evidence-based practice changes, safety guideline changes, changing standards of practice, medication updates, and changes to certification requirements in specialty areas of practice. The updates focus on the most recent changes making it easy for users to stay on top of the relatively rapid-fire changes that are a part of the healthcare industry.

Ness explained that content is reviewed every three years. If the content is heavily focused on treatment or clinical management, it will be reviewed by a subject matter expert and changes will be made in partnership with the clinical editorial team. Accreditation changes also drive many of the updates to content and they are reviewed by the team as well.

Courses typically include a pre-assessment and a post-course exam to evaluate competency on the subject before the CE credit can be claimed. Learners will be able to review course description, learning objectives, activity planners and course authors.


CE Unlimited – A Success Story

Saving time and money is a powerful incentive in healthcare and CE Unlimited can help you do both. Columbia Memorial Health, a HealthStream partner, realized a great return on their investment in CE Unlimited. Fisher shared that in the very first year of adopting the program, rather than create 50 courses, they were able to find those courses within the CE Unlimited library. Utilizing these courses resulted in a savings of $18,000.00 and they saved 73% of their time by simply choosing from the existing content.


A Powerful Tool for Leaders

Leaders will also appreciate that HealthStream’s software makes it easy to track CE credits. It also makes it easy for users to create accurate reports and even allows users to automate the process so that reports are always current for leaders and regulatory and accrediting bodies. Fisher also shared that it is not necessary to print records or certificates as the CE Tracker is able to store the data and to share it with CE Brokers.

Leaders are able to make assignments and build curriculum course bundles and add due dates for their teams. In addition, learners seeking content on additional topics are able to self-enroll in some courses.