The Brandon Hall Group Excellence in Learning Awards recognized Aspen Dental Management Inc (ADMI) and its implants education program with a Gold Award for the Best Use of a Blended Learning Program.
ADMI launched its implant education program, inclusive of web-based, didactic, and surgical level courses, in February of 2020 to support practice professionals who want to offer implant treatment as an attractive option for denture patients and those missing some teeth.
Implant treatments grew by double digits in 2019 across the ADMI network, yet only one in eight care teams in the independent dental offices offered the services as a treatment option, according to the company.
More than 150 million people in the United States are missing at least one tooth, and more than a million of these cases go untreated annually, ADMI said, supporting the growing viability of implant treatments and the need for robust provider education.
Also, ADMI said, more than 37 million Americans suffer complete edentulism, which has been linked to serious health, social, and psychological issues.
ADMI partnered with Roundtable Learning to create a blended learning program with instructor-led courses, e-learning, and virtual reality video modules so independent Aspen Dental practice professionals have on-demand access to interactive learning.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March accelerated ADMI’s online instructor-led course availability, giving participants safe access as many dental professionals turned to continuing education when local and state guidelines limited practice operations to emergency care, the company said.
“ADMI wants Aspen Dental practice professionals at all levels, from office managers to dental hygienists to doctors to have meaningful access to expertise and skill building programs so they can provide their patients the most up to date and relevant treatment options,” said Dr. Sundeep Rawal, ADMI senior vice president, implant support services.
“Dental care is a hands-on profession, so we felt it crucial to use a blended approach that respects provider time with flexibility in completing the learning, without compromising on instructor-led time when interaction is important,” said Rawal.
The program, which ADMI called the first to be scaled across a national dental network of this size, is role-based. E-learning, self-led modules, and consultive and role-play scenarios in 360 video format are designed to support each professional in mastering the skills they contribute to implant treatments.
The program kicked off with train-the-trainer sessions, held monthly by region, and ADMI said it is on track to complete the rollout nationwide by the end of 2020.
“Learning and development are fundamental to the Aspen Dental culture and we always intended to build a blended model to bring Dr. Rawal’s expertise to professionals across the network, but we could not have anticipated how valuable the approach would be during a pandemic,” said Kim Kavala, ADMI senior vice president, learning and development.
“Participants overwhelmingly appreciated an option to learn outside office hours, to view procedures up close while connecting instantly with peers in virtual classrooms, and having an interactive, risk-free environment to apply learning,” said Kavala.