By Paul M. Adam, MSW, and Afton L. Hassett, PsyD
This is a condensed version of an article that first appeared in the June 2017 issue of The Rheumatologist.
The ARHP Online Education Portfolio continues to evolve and grow. This article summarizes the current status of our Online Education Portfolio, as well as where online education will likely head in the future.
Rheumatology eBytes – complimentary to ALL members!
eBytes went live on the ACR Learning Management System (LMS) in January 2017. This product was designed for busy professionals seeking short bursts of education (30 minutes or less). eBytes currently comprises three OA and three RA activities, providing an overview of each disease and its manifestations, as well as best strategies for disease management. Activities can be viewed on your computer or mobile device and CME credits are available upon completion.
Advanced Rheumatology Course (ARC)
The ARC offers 19 modules presented by clinical experts. Of these, six are core modules of interest to all rheumatology practitioners. Core topics include musculoskeletal structure and function, inflammation and immunity, disease classification, lab evaluation, imaging of arthritis, documentation and practice issues, and intervention.
The ARC also includes 10 modules for practitioners working with adult patients and three for those with an interest in pediatrics. Four adult population modules address many common disease states treated by rheumatology professionals (e.g., RA and OA, lupus, scleroderma, vasculitis, pain syndromes), as well as crucial topics including infectious processes and metabolic bone disorders.
Similarly, the pediatric modules address chronic arthropathies in childhood, connective tissue disease, and non-inflammatory pain. This course provides comprehensive education for all rheumatology professionals seeking advanced education on rheumatic diseases and their treatments.
The ARC is currently undergoing revisions to update the modules with a plan to relaunch on the LMS by early 2019. During the revision process AMA PRA Category 1 CME credits will not be available to the existing modules, and in compensation registration fees have been reduced by 25 percent. The revised content will offer credits in addition to a few newly created eBytes, which will be complimentary to ACR/ARHP members.
Fundamentals of Rheumatology Course (FRC)
The FRC, originally launched in October 2012, is intended to provide solid introductory content for professionals new to rheumatology working in either adult or pediatric practice settings. The FRC is also undergoing major changes, including an update of all material and an expansion from five to 10 activities.
Revised activities include new topics, such as the utilization of the rheumatology team and an overview of complementary and alternative medicine in rheumatic patients. Also, topics have been broken down into smaller sections for an overview of rheumatic diseases and their medical management. Both the prior authorization and infusion therapy activities have been revised, thus providing up-to-date content.
Both the ARC and FRC will be eligible for Health Professional Online Education Grants, with applications being accepted beginning February 1, 2018.
In 2018, the ARHP eLearning Subcommittee will continue working on two new projects that started in the latter half of 2017. The first of these will be to create a curriculum map of the NP/PA Rheumatology Curriculum Outline that was recently endorsed by the ACR Board of Directors. This curriculum outline describes the competency areas (topics, concepts, and learning objectives) expected of an advance practice rheumatology health professional. A curriculum map is used to identify gaps in content and develop a plan for creating new educational content to address these gaps. Once complete, a curriculum map can be used to illustrate a sequential order, detailing how information might best be learned so as to guide learners in planning their own online learning experience.
The second project is to develop a global strategy for online learning over the next five years building on the ARHP Online Learning Position Paper that was approved by the ARHP Executive Committee in November 2015 and the ACR/ARHP Strategic Plan for 2017–2022 completed this past summer. The eLearning Subcommittee continues to be a vibrant hub of activity!