Health Education West Midlands is the body responsible for the education and training of health and public health workers (including dental professionals) at a regional level. There are approx. 745 NHS dental practices in the Health Education West Midlands area with around 2000 dentists and 3000 dental nurses in those practices, most of whom have a requirement for training for CPD.
A time consuming paper based process
In the past postgraduate dental courses were organised by the educators based in 12 postgraduate centres in the West Midlands area. Each centre would design their own flyers and the central team would have the flyers and a course booklet printed about upcoming courses. The brochure and flyers were then distributed to the then Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) who would send them out to the dental practices.
Those dentists or dental nurses who wanted to attend a course then completed a form and sent it back to the central team who would book them onto the course and process the cheque payment (if necessary). An access database was used to track attendance for some of the courses and attendees filled out paper based evaluations and received paper CPD certificates (which in some cases had to be replaced at a later date as they had been mislaid).
Health Education West Midlands decided to move to online course management system – and following a presentation by Maxinity at the Committee of Postgraduate Dental Deans and Directors meeting, Maxcourse was one of the systems they decided to consider.
An options appraisal was undertaken of the systems available on the market and Maxinity was awarded the business with the Maxcourse system as it was the system that best met our requirements.
A complete course management system
The Maxcourse system is able to handle the processes which were previously completed manually:
- Online bookings – dentists and dental nurses can book their courses online, and can see availability at point of booking. From January 2015 delegates can pay for their courses online, which will mean that the possibility of people attending courses when they have not yet paid (which occasionally happened with the cheque payment system) will be removed. It will also reduce the administrative burden of chasing non-payments.
- Courses are advertised on the website rather than individual flyers and booklets being needed to be sent to each dental practice.
- Communication with attendees is much easier as they are able to communicate through the system by e mail.
- CPD certificates are issued electronically and also kept within the attendees account so this has removed the possibility of them being lost as they can view and print their certificate 24/7
- Course evaluations are also online and can be set so that they have to be completed to unlock the CPD certificate, leading to increased completion rates and enabling easy analysis of feedback.
Significantly reduced costs by 50%
There were high costs associated with the printing and distribution of flyers and booklets as well as the administration involved in trying to keep track of who had booked and paid etc...
The introduction of Maxcourse has led to a cost saving of around 50% compared to the previous way of advertising and booking courses.
Increased availability of courses…….. Enhancing learning opportunities
The introduction of Maxinity has eased the administrative burden allowing the number of courses advertised to be increased – in turn meaning that Health Education West Midlands has been able to offer more education to their regional dental practices.
Better interrogation of data
With all processes involved in running courses now handled by one system (Maxcourse), Health Education West Midlands is now able to run a suite of reports to understand if there are any issues with non-attendance, cancellation etc.. This data would have been much more difficult to get hold of under the old system.
‘The introduction of Maxcourse as a single course management system has enabled us to improve our customers’ experience of our organisation. The reduction of the administrative burden in advertising courses and taking bookings has freed up our time to concentrate our limited resources on what is most important for our customers – our courses. It has meant we can deliver an even greater range of high quality education to dentists and dental care professionals , enabling them in turn to offer the best care possible to their patients.’Debbie Horley, Business Manager, Health Education West Midlands.