This is a continuation in our series of MD Tech Tips — Technology tips to help physicians improve their craft and work more efficiently.

In order to keep your state license, you need to complete a certain number of CME activities. For example, in North Carolina, we need to earn 60 Category 1 CME hours over a three year period.

Frankly, earning CME credits is an ordeal and often times physicians and advanced practice providers are scrambling to meet their requirements in time. UpToDate has made that much easier by integrating with several EMR/EHRs. With the HL7 Infobutton you can use your institutions EHR to make relevant medical searches and get CME credit for the time spent searching and reading.

The following are the EMR and EHRs that are listed from UpToDate: Allscripts, Cerner, Eclinicalworks, EPIC, GE Centricity, Mckesson, Meditech, Nextgen, and Siemens.

The key is how seamless this process is. If your hospital has this capability, you will see an UpToDate button within your EMR.  I only use UpToDate if I’m actually on shift and need to read about a topic relevant to a patient quickly — so the integration with the EMR is very useful. I would show you a screenshot of how it looks in EPIC, but EPIC doesn’t allow any pictures of their EMR to be online. Once you click on the UpToDate link within EPIC, it automatically recognizes you and you will see a search where you can research the topic in question. You don’t need to login to UpToDate again — which is great.

In the top right hand corner you’ll see the number of CME credits that you have accumulated.

Up To Date cme credits

It’s important to note you haven’t “earned” those yet — but the more you search for topics and read about topics, the more you’ll see this number increase. UpToDate will automatically catalog your searches and the topics you’ve read, and at a later time you can click on the CME number to “earn” those credits — as shown in the following screen:

cme credits through EPIC

After you have verified you used the information from UpToDate in your practice, you get the all important CME certificate to keep in your files:

uptodate CME credit file epic

Check out our prior articles on UpToDate as well — such as UpToDate alternatives, and how to access UpToDate for free if your institution has UpToDate Anywhere.