JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas –
Continuing Education Units, or CEUs, may now be earned online via the Veterans Health Administration, or VHA, “Train,” said Capt. Ethan Josiah, head of the Navy Medicine Education, Training and Logistics Command, or NMETLC, Staff Education and Training Program Management Office, or SEAT PMO, at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.
“One of our goals is to provide an array of free continuing education topics from which healthcare providers can choose in order to meet their licensure and professional needs,” Josiah said. “Offering ‘Train’ as an option for Navy Medicine directly supports that goal.”
This option also directly supports Navy Surgeon General Vice Adm. Forrest Faison’s partnership priority.
“The Program Management Office is always looking for ways to maximize the partnership aspect of the NMETLC education and training mission,” Josiah said. “One way we can do that is to partner with the VA and leverage the VHA learning management system to offer CEUs. There’s very little variance across the VHA and Navy Medicine enterprises when it comes to the clinical aspect of what we do, and there’s no cost, so it’s a natural fit.”
A learning management system, or LMS, is a software application that administers, documents, tracks, reports and delivers e-learning courses or training programs. Swank/Relies is Navy Medicine’s LMS, and Train is the VHA’s. CEUs are required for both military and VHA providers.
Cmdr. David Deike, NMETLC SEAT department assistant head, said most Navy Medicine officers and civilian employees are required to earn a specific number of continuing education points annually to maintain credentials and licensure. This is especially true for licensed healthcare providers.
“The annual CEUs are required to maintain credentialing and licensure,” Josiah added. “The specifics are dependent upon the certifications and licensures required for the specialty and are mandated by their governing organization.”
NMETLC SEAT participates in a working group that includes the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, or BUMED, and VHA. Deike said the working group did the leg work needed to facilitate the Navy Medicine and VHA Train partnership.
“We’re working to see how to best simplify the opportunities to earn CEUs on the Train system,” Deike said. “We’re want to ensure Swank/Relies and VHA Train talk to each other, and we want to ensure each side can capture their data. In the end, we want a single sign-on so Swank/Relies will take you right to Train without a unique, separate sign in via the VHA.”
While the single sign-in is being worked, there are already advantages to using VHA Train. Perhaps the greatest is the cost – zero. There are online pay sites Navy Medicine personnel may use for CE courses, but Deike said Navy Medicine strongly encourages using non-pay sites like Train.
As the work continues to improve the Train experience, Josiah said NMETLC’s SEAT department will continue finding ways to support Navy Medicine’s mission and the Navy Surgeon General’s priorities.
“The Surgeon General has articulated three priorities,” Josiah said, referring to Faison’s three priorities: Readiness, Health and Partnerships. “He often speaks about partnerships. Working with VHA no doubt aligns with the SG’s partnership priority.”
VHA Train can be accessed at http://www.train.org.