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ACME Meeting Day 1: MECCs Section social media survey

Getting up at 2:30 am for my flight to New Orleans today for the Alliance for CME meeting has left me pretty groggy, but I still managed to take reams of notes at the MECCs section meeting I went to this afternoon. For all the heat medical education companies have taken this year, even getting banned from the grant lists of several pharmaceutical companies, there was a lot of optimistic spirit in the air -- and a ton of people in the room.

A few of many, many highlights:

Jan Perez from CME Outfitters pointed out that 2009 wasn't all bad for MECCs: The Accreditation Council for CME's evolving complaints and inquiry process, in which Perez's company played a not-insignificant role last year, led to a heightened awareness of MECCs' role in producing quality and innovative education, she said. NAAMECC also got a seat at the ACCME's board of director's meeting.

Maybe I just haven't found it yet, but there seems to be a bit of a dearth of information on how CME providers are using (or not using) social media (by the way, the Twitter hashtag for the Alliance meeting is #acme2010, if you want to follow the tweets). So it was pretty interesting to hear Jeremy Lundberg of DLC Solutions talk about the social media survey they did of the MECCA group. They kept it to just 13 fairly basic questions, so it didn't go into huge detail, but a few of the more interesting numbers were:

81% of respondents use some form of social media in their personal lives, 84% said they had either an intermediate or advanced understanding of it, but only half of them said their organizations were using social media around their CME programs, and much of that was just for marketing their activities. Three-quarters of the respondents whose organizations were using social media for CME didn't have a formal strategic plan in place. Which I found amazing, since everything else you guys do is strategized, documented, evaluated, etc., to the nth degree.

Twitter was the big winner, with 69% saying they used that platform. Facebook came in second at 58%, and LinkedIn third at 51% (I hope I wrote down these percentages right!). Surprising that only 38% used community discussion boards, which I guess I wrongfully assumed a lot of online CME incorporated.

Look for a white paper to come in the next month or so with all the data. He also said he's looking to do more in-depth research on how social media is being used for CME, which I am really looking forward to. I remember hearing years ago now about one physician blogger who was looking into finding a way to use his blog for accredited CME. Now that blogging is so old hat as to almost be forgotten about in all the Twitterati glory of newer social media, is anyone actually doing this? I'd love to know.

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