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June 2020

  CE_Intersections

June 2020

Intersections is the quarterly e-newsletter distributed to ASHA Approved Continuing Education Providers to connect and exchange ideas in order to better accomplish their continuing education activities. 

In this issue:

Connect

A Key to Interprofessional Collaboration: Seek First to Understand

By Lisa Milliken, MA, CCC-SLP, FNAP, CDP

As Continuing Education Administrators (CEAs), we have the opportunity to empower audiologists and speech-language pathologists (SLPs) with critical skills by seeking speakers to develop courses on interprofessional practice/interprofessional education (IPP/IPE).

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines interprofessional practice (IPP) as “The act of multiple health workers from different professional backgrounds providing comprehensive clinical and non-clinical services by working with patients, their families, caretakers, and communities to deliver the highest quality of care across settings leading to improved health outcomes” (WHO, 2010).

I have learned firsthand throughout my career as an SLP why these skills are so valuable. Many years ago, in a graduate school counseling course, our professor explained a concept that we could use with family members of our clients. It was a simple statement: “If you want to be understood, seek first to understand.” This concept continues to empower me in so many ways—from understanding the needs of my clients to collaborating with fellow professionals when addressing our shared client’s needs.

I was fortunate to have experienced another great opportunity in graduate school, when I was assigned to a Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital externship program. This particular program included weekly team meetings with a group called the Interdisciplinary Team Training Group (ITTG), where graduate interns from different universities met with a gerontology nurse team leader for 2 hours every Tuesday morning. The ITTG team included one intern from several disciplines—for example, the ITTG might include one intern each from the professions of physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT), speech-language pathology (SLP), pharmacy, medicine (i.e., physician residents), nursing, and psychology. During these weekly meetings, we learned about the holistic needs of geriatric patients, and we participated in lectures, discussions, and practical exercises that enabled us to apply what we had learned. Then, during the remaining part of our week’s assignments, we were encouraged to demonstrate best practices in our respective assignments.

With this graduate school extern experience, I felt very equipped for my Clinical Fellowship experience in a nursing home (NH). Times were much different then, considering it was the first year for SLPs to be introduced to the nursing home setting; therefore, almost all of the NH staff members were resistant to me being there. Why? Because I was an “outsider,” having an SLP on the NH team was a new concept, and it was a change to their regular routine. Fortunately, I developed and shared my vision of how we could eventually work together—and this vision was directly informed by what I learned during my VA externship.

Fast forward to a few years ago, when an OT friend shared with me her frustration about how her skilled nursing facility’s owner was redesigning their memory care unit without asking for her input. She told me that she was a certified low-vision specialist and had spent many years applying this expertise to help people with dementia with environmental modifications. She could be a valuable asset to this redesign! Although I totally understood her frustration, I asked her, “How would they have known that you have this specialized experience? Did you ever tell them?” She said that she had just assumed they knew, and so she had never communicated this skill. The result was a missed opportunity for collaboration.

I think we all want to be respected for what we can bring to the table, to best meet the needs of our clients and their families. No matter our setting, we know that our clients’ needs will best be met if we work together with our internal and external interprofessional team members to collaborate about each client’s holistic “big picture.” However, the significant obstacles we face may often include the fact that each of us might not know the extent of knowledge and experience that we can all offer.

One interprofessional strategy that has worked for me through the years is to show interest and ask questions of my team members, so that I can first learn more from them. That includes good listening skills and the recognition of the training, experience, and insights from each of my colleagues. It’s amazing how they eventually will reciprocate such actions and ask to learn more about my skills, as well. At that point, we all become better at the interprofessional collaboration process.

For instance, I may seek to learn details about a client’s lab value analysis and the potential drug-to-drug interactions of medications from my nurse colleagues for our respective cardiac patients. I also work closely with dietitians, social workers, nurse practitioners, and physicians to learn from each of them about their perspectives regarding our common patient’s needs. Then, they reciprocate this team effort to ask for my input, as well. The result is a better outcome for each patient.

I also seek information from my physical and occupational therapy team members about the complexities of our patients’ spastic muscle conditions and how to work with them for improved positioning. In turn, they reach out to ask me about the patient’s swallowing risks and strategies, or they request my recommendations to help a client better process information and use memory strategies for new techniques.

How can we show our value to each of our respective teams? How can we let other professionals know about our expertise and our wide range of training? We can seek to understand the knowledge and insights from each interprofessional team member. We can show them respect for all that they do, and we can collaborate with them frequently to discuss our clients’ holistic needs. And we can work to break down the walls of any former misconceptions that they may have had about our own profession. Then, once we have shown that we understand and appreciate each of our colleagues, we too will be better understood. And then our clients will have the greater benefit of improved outcomes from our effective interprofessional collaboration and practice.

Both IPE and IPP have not only been critical for developing my own clinical skills but also have been instrumental for the improved outcomes for my clients. As a CEA, I’m excited to support our course participants with the tools to optimize their clinical practice.

Exchange

Impacts on Course Registration and Reporting During COVID-19 Crisis

ASHA Continuing Education (CE) thought that Providers might like some information about how course registrations and reporting have been impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope that the numbers provided will be useful in making decisions about your continuing education programming while we all weather this storm together.

Data comparing registrations of live and self-study courses from March–April of both 2019 and 2020 are

March–Apr 2019    March–Apr 2020
Total Course Registrations (Including Blended and Independent Study) 1,037    988
Live 715    462
Self-Study 306    512
 

You might have guessed that the number of group/synchronous (live) course registrations has decreased. ASHA CE received 715 live course registrations from March–April of 2019 and received only 462 from March–April of 2020. This represents a 35% decrease in live courses registered. This trend away from live courses is also evident when comparing the number of live course offerings that have been cancelled between March 1 and April 28 in both 2019 and 2020. In 2019, 328 live course offerings were cancelled during this period, whereas in 2020, 1,509 live course offerings were cancelled (over 4.5 times the number for the same period in 2019).

You may have also suspected that the number of individual/asynchronous (self-study) course registrations have increased with so many people staying home. Only 306 self-study courses were registered from March–April in 2019, and that number was 512 from March-April in 2020—representing a 67% increase in the number of self-study course registrations. With most states implementing stay-at-home orders starting in late March 2020, Providers have adapted by pivoting to offer courses asynchronously.

One positive trend that we’ve noticed relates to course participation. For starters, in 2020, each month’s reported course participation has increased when compared with the number of participants reported in the same month in 2019. However, what may surprise you is that April 2020 shows the most prevalent—more than tripling the total participants reported in April 2019 (from 60,400 in April 2019 to 196,149 in April 2020). The increase in participants reported in April 2020 can be seen across the spectrum of Providers. It will be interesting to observe whether this trend continues in the upcoming months.

Based on this information, it seems like speech-language and hearing professionals are using some of their time at home to take advantage of the continuing education available, whether that’s through live/synchronous distance learning or self-study/asynchronous formats. This is encouraging news for many ASHA Approved CE Providers and could be seen as an opportunity to expand participation in your courses, especially those courses that focus on topics that are relevant in these times. If your organization has the capability, and if it fits your continuing education plans, then now may be a good time to offer courses to an audience who has some time and is starved for new content. Keep in mind that live/synchronous courses can be conducted via distance learning—so, even though these courses can’t take place in person, they can still be held virtually. ASHA CE is here to help if you need it—just call your Provider Manager, and they will assist you.

Resources for Developing and Registering Courses and Reporting on Offerings During the Pandemic

Find the latest telepractice resources, public policy updates and setting specific supports at ASHA’s COVID-19 page.

ASHA CE has developed these suggestions on how to change course registrations, report on offerings, and receive assistance:

  • Check out the ASHA CE Provider Community Site. If you don’t already access the ASHA CE Provider Community site, we suggest that you do this as a way to network with other Continuing Education Administrators (CEAs). You can post a question or look through previous discussions for tips and ideas. For example, recently, a robust discussion occurred about the various platforms that people are using for their online courses; the details of this discussion may help you identify options for your own courses.
  • Best options for changing offering dates, location, and/or format, or for cancelling registered offerings. Use this flow chart [PDF] to figure out how to proceed.
  • Can’t use paper ASHA Participant Forms? Post the writable PDF form and provide these instructions to participants on how to properly fill out the form.
  • Check your course registration status in the Course and Offering Registration System. Remember, if you see “in progress,” that means that you’ve started entering the information but have not yet submitted it for review. HELPFUL HINT: The Course and Offering Registration and Cancellation System functions best when you use Internet Explorer as your browser.
  • Consider a joint providership. You can partner with an organization that has capabilities that you don’t have right now, and in so doing, the two organizations share responsibilities. A joint providership allows two ASHA CE Providers to work together to offer a course for ASHA CEUs, and there’s no fee for joint providerships.
  • Need access to your reporting? Can’t mail or fax? Reach out to your Account Manager.
  • Need a list of upcoming courses, courses with reporting due soon, and other information about your courses that you can’t access through the course registration system? Contact your Provider Manager or Accounts Manager. 

Accomplish

ASHA CE Brand Refresh: What's In and What's Out

ASHA Continuing Education (CE) and the ASHA Creative Media Services team have been hard at work modernizing CE’s brand. It’s been many years since we’ve updated our brand, and we felt that it was time to make some changes to our brand visuals—so they’re more current and useful for Providers, ASHA members, and those certified by ASHA. What do we mean when we say, “brand visuals”? The phrase brand visuals refers to an organization’s or team’s visual identity when it comes to logos, color schemes, and so forth. In this case, we focused on three primary elements of our brand: (1) the ASHA CE logo, (2) the brand block, and (3) the insignia.

In August 2019, we emailed a survey to CEAs in an effort to seek feedback on our brand visuals. We also sent a similar survey to a sampling of ASHA members and those with their Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC), which included representation from audiologists and SLPs. We used the survey responses to inform the redesign of ASHA CE’s brand visuals. Here are some examples of what we learned from ASHA Members and Providers:

  • Many respondents suggested that ASHA CE incorporate the ASHA logo and feature the “ASHA” acronym more prominently in all ASHA CE brand visuals (especially the brand block and insignia).
  • Many respondents felt that there is too much text on the right side of the brand block.
  • Many respondents thought that the information in the ASHA continuing education unit (CEU) sentence (ASHA CEU amount and Instructional level) should be included within the right side of the brand block, rather than as a sentence outside the brand block.
  • Many respondents are confused by the content code/area and do not see value in including this information in the ASHA CEU sentence.
  • Many felt that we should make the ASHA CEU number (i.e., how many CEUs the item in question carries) more prominent.

As a preview of what to expect as part of ASHA CE’s brand refresh, we thought it’d be fun to share a list of “what’s in” and “what’s out” in terms of the updated brand visuals; see the table below.

What's Out  What's In 
The CE Block Letter Logo. The ASHA Logo.
There is an ASHA CEU sentence in the primary promotional material, separate from the brand block. The ASHA CEU information (ASHA CEU number and instructional level) is included in the brand block itself.
Lengthy disclaimer language on the right side of the current brand block. Less text in the brand block.
The only option is a black-and-white version of the brand block. There are two options of the brand block: (1) color version and (2) black-and-white version
Brand block and insignia feature the CE Block letters and do not include the ASHA logo. Brand block and insignia prominently feature the ASHA logo and acronym.

We’re still putting the finishing touches on our new branding, but we expect to begin a gradual soft launch in 2020—introducing elements one or two at a time. We’ll share the updated brand block and insignia with Providers before the end of 2020. Once we do, you’ll have at least one full year to switch out the old version of the brand block before the new version is required for use in primary promotional material.

We’re very excited about the changes we’ve made and think you will be, too! We’ll give you more information about our refreshed brand in the coming months, so be on the lookout.

More on the Reporting Changes Coming in Fall 2020 . . .

So much has happened since our March 2020 Intersectionsarticle about the upcoming changes to ASHA CE’s reporting process—and how these changes may impact the way you report participants. Now, more than ever, you need a better way to report to ASHA CE, and we understand the importance of providing reporting options and improving your experience. The updated reporting system is still on track to launch in Fall 2020, and we’re excited to share some more of the ways it will make your reporting process simpler and more efficient!

Does the idea of making yet another change to your CE process feel overwhelming right now? Don’t worry—there will be an extended transition period. After we launch the new reporting system, you’ll still be able to continue reporting as you typically do—whether it’s mailing or faxing participant forms, or uploading CSV files—giving you time to explore the new reporting options and determine the best fit for your organization.

In the March 2020 issue of Intersections, we talked about the ability to validate ASHA IDs, submit reporting system to system, and the auto-generation of monthly self-study offerings. Now, we want to share some more functionality that is coming your way. Here are few more pain points we’ve gathered from some Providers’ experiences using the current reporting process—and exactly what we’re doing to mitigate these pain points in the updated system: 

Pain Point: It’s Too Much Paper!

With live events now happening virtually, trying to get the paper participant forms completed is an extra burden. Many of you asked to be able to report course participation using Microsoft Excel. As a result of this feedback, we’ve added an Excel reporting option for single offerings. The Excel file format is simple; just provide each participant’s ASHA ID, first name, last name, mailing address, phone number, email address, and the number of ASHA CEUs they earned. To upload the files into the new system, you’ll just select the registered course offering you want to report, upload the Excel file, and click “submit.” It’s that easy!

You’ll also be able to report on courses with no participants in the same way, just without the Excel file. So, there will be no need to go to a totally different webpage to report on those.

The paper participant forms won’t be going away for now, and you may continue to use them to report if you like. However, if you currently maintain participation records in Excel, or if you find it easier to report using Excel, you can use this method as soon as the new system launches.

Benefit: So long, mailing and faxing of paper reports!

Pain Point: Reviewing Rosters Is Tedious!

Roster reviews have always been difficult—between ASHA CE only being able to send rosters to a single email address and the time-consuming, manual, line-by-line comparison process. Providers want a solution that makes roster review much more manageable. Here’s what we did: To start, no more emailed PDFs. Now, the roster for each course offering will appear in the same platform where you’ll upload the Excel reporting. This means anyone at your organization who has been granted access to the platform—your Alternate Contacts and Administrative Support Personnel—will be able to review rosters without CEAs needing to forward the PDFs.

We also heard your request to indicate which specific

participant records were matched differently in the ASHA CE database. The new online platform will highlight those records that CE matched to a different ASHA ID, first or last name, or email address.

Find a discrepancy in your roster? You’ll be able to submit requests for roster changes within the new system itself rather than submitting the roster correction through a separate form.

For those of you with hundreds of participants (or more!) in an offering, you’ll have the ability to run a report and access this information via an Excel document. This should make it easier to compare your own records with the participant records processed by ASHA CE.

Benefit: The roster review process is easier to manage and simpler to complete!

ASHA CE is confident that the changes we’re making will be helpful to you and will enhance your reporting experience. We’ll continue to share more information and expand on the features of the new system as the launch nears. Stay tuned!

Intersections is published by:
ASHA Continuing Education staff with the assistance of a volunteer advisory panel of ASHA Approved CE Providers: Lisa Milliken (Select Rehab), Wayne Secord (Red Rock Publications), Donna Spillman Kennedy (Selective Mutism Anxiety Research & Treatment Center), Cory Tompkins (Career Improvement & Advancement Opportunities),  and Mark Witkind (Witkind Associates)

Managing Editors: Joan Oberlin, Jo Ann Linseisen

Continuing Education Board Members:
Tanya Shores (chair), Sheila Bernstein, Shatonda Jones, Nan Liening, Tedd Masiongale, Raul Prezas, Katelyn Reilly, Anu Subramanian, Joanne Slater, Arlene Carney (Board of Directors liaison), Sharon Moss (Board of Directors liaison), and Jo Ann Linseisen (ex officio)

ASHA Corporate Partners