(Pre-pandemic) A January virtual reality ‚train-the-trainer‘ implant education session designed specifically for ADMI (regional) field managers in anticipation of role-based learning sessions for office managers across more than 830 Aspen Dental branded locations nationwide by December 2020. (Photo: Business Wire)
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, the dental support organization (DSO) providing practice management and non-clinical support to independent practitioners in more than 830 Aspen Dental offices in 42 states, launched the implant education program, inclusive of web-based, didactic and surgical level courses, in February 2020, to support practice professionals who want to offer implant treatment as an attractive option for denture patients and those missing some teeth.
In 2019, across the Aspen Dental network, implant treatments grew by double digits, yet only one in eight care teams in the independent dental offices offered the services as a treatment option. The growing viability of implant treatments and need for robust provider education is supported by research that shows more than 150 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth (partial edentulism) and over one million of these cases go untreated annually. In addition, over 37 million Americans suffer complete edentulism, a condition linked to serious health, social and psychological issues.
ADMI partnered with Roundtable Learning to create a blended learning program with instructor-led courses, eLearning, and virtual reality video modules, so independent Aspen Dental practice professionals have on-demand access to interactive learning at their convenience. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March accelerated ADMI’s on-line instructor led course availability, giving participants safe access to the development offering as many dental professionals turned to continuing education when local and state guidelines limited practice operations to emergency dental care only.
“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.”
The program, the first to be scaled across a national dental network of this size, is role-based. E-learning, self-led modules, and consultative 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 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 overwhelming 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.”