MGMA-ACMPE gives more certification exams, with less strain on staff

Background

MGMA-ACMPE is the premier membership association for professional administrators and leaders of medical group practices. The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) and its standard-setting body, the American College of Medical Practice Executives (ACMPE), deliver networking, professional education and resources and political advocacy for medical practice management.

 

 The association’s diverse membership includes administrators, CEOs, physicians in management, board members, office managers and many other professionals. Members work in medical practices and ambulatory care organizations of all sizes and types, including integrated systems and hospital- and medical school-affiliated practices.

Meeting Heightened Demand

When MGMA-ACMPE needed to switch away from paper and pencil exams in 2002, the association chose Questionmark as a means of creating computerized assessments that could be offered more frequently and at more testing locations. Previously, the association delivered about 500 exams a year during face-to-face conferences. It was time to give members more test-taking opportunities.

The association purchased the Questionmark assessment management system, which made it possible to deliver quarterly exams at more than 30 testing sites. Despite this improvement, members still had to travel extensively to take exams. And MGMA-ACMPE was running its own internal exam delivery network on their own – a labor-intensive endeavor. How could the association deliver even more tests without putting additional burdens on staff members? 

More Capacity, Less Stress

MGMA-ACMPE’s answer was to move its exams to Questionmark OnDemand, which provides a secure and scalable hosted delivery environment with full IT and software support. 

Using OnDemand has enabled MGMA-ACMPE to increase its online testing locations (all of them ACT testing centers) to more than 230 and to offer six exam dates per quarter. Today, the association delivers some 600 exams per year throughout the United States. 

In addition to increasing exam-taking opportunities, the switch to OnDemand has freed association staff to re-focus on their own specialized tasks.
"The teams in our organization have many strategic functions to attend to, so we appreciate being able to allow everyone to focus on what they do best,” says Heather McHugh, senior certification manager at MGMA-ACMPE. “We do not need to worry about the technical aspects of the exams anymore. We’ve increased the number of exams we administer by 33 percent in the past year, and it’s been great to be able to ramp up our exam numbers without additional staff costs.

“I think the biggest benefit of OnDemand is peace of mind,” adds McHugh. “We have a lot more predictability, too, because we don’t have ups and downs in the use of staff resources. Having exams hosted elsewhere frees up our internal servers and Internet bandwidth. We don’t have to manage things ourselves anymore, which means vast time savings and considerably lower stress levels.”

Secure, Reliable Delivery

The security and stability of OnDemand delivery suit the high value MGMA-ACMPE places on its exams.  

“Our members are high-level, highly structured and motivated individuals, and our tests are an important part of the certification that may determine a promotion,” explains MGMA-ACMPE Certification Coordinator Lindsay Hayes, who helps create the association’s large item banks of psychometrically tested questions. “We know and understand the value of our exams and of our members – and we need to meet their high level of professional expectations. We’re pleased that our collaboration with Questionmark and our partnership with ACT have made taking our exams much more streamlined and effective.”