According to Rick Workman, DMD, "The impact of learning management systems (LMSs) on dentistry cannot be understated—advanced knowledge and advanced teams mean better patient care and increased practice growth." LMSs can help dentists organize and manage their continuing education resources.
In order to be leaders in their communities, dentists need the best educational tools and resources to build upon their skills and knowledge. Continuing education has been a fundamental since Heartland Dental was founded, and for many years we have offered nationwide continuing education opportunities to supported dentists.
But as with most things these days, the rise of an online culture has made continuing education more accessible and widespread than ever before. No matter what profession you’re in, you can access many educational resources online, in addition to attending live courses. It’s no different in dentistry—many sites and companies are dedicated to online educational resources for dentists and dental professionals.
Businesses are also creating and hosting educational content for their team members, using learning management systems (LMSs). Just as Gmail helps organize and manage e-mails and Microsoft Word helps create and organize documents, LMSs help users organize, track, and manage continuing education courses and information. Online education management has become the norm for many modern businesses and schools.
In 2012, corporate training as a whole was a $200-billion industry in which online learning represented around $56 billion. (1) That number has doubled today. More than 41.7% of global Fortune 500 companies now use online technology for training and education. (2) The LMS market alone is expected to grow to more than $7 billion by 2018. (3)
LMSs are powerful resources for organizations that are focused on training and professional development, whether for staffing agencies, extension schools, or corporations. This powerful software combines database management with the digital framework for managing curricula, training materials, and evaluation tools. The impact of LMSs is mostly felt outside of traditional educational institutions, though the same technology is slowly finding its way into those areas. Many dental schools are now readily making use of LMSs to streamline student education.
Heartland Dental now uses LMSs to offer supported dentists and teams online educational material that can be accessed on-demand from any location. Accessibility is what many dentists and other dental professionals want, especially millennials. Those who get used to the flexibility of working with LMSs in dental school expect that same level of flexibility as they enter the profession, whether they are going into private practice, associateship, or a dental support organization (DSO). Flexibility and accessibility can make a big difference in a dental office.
As dental professionals, if you can advance your skills and knowledge anywhere, anytime, and without taking time away from your office, that’s invaluable. As online learning isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, I’m interested to see how LMSs factor into the dental industry in the future, not only in dental schools but in DSOs and other facets of the industry. The impact of LMSs on dentistry cannot be understated—advanced knowledge and advanced teams mean better patient care and increased practice growth.
1. All the e-learning statistics you need to know. CommLab India Global Learning Solutions website. https://www.commlabindia.com/resources/elearning-statistics. Accessed June 14, 2017.
2. Pappas C. Top 10 e-learning statistics for 2014 you need to know. eLearning Industry website. https://elearningindustry.com/top-10-e-learning-statistics-for-2014-you-need-to-know. Published December 1, 2013. Accessed June 14, 2017.
3. McIntosh D. List of corporate learning management systems. eLearning Industry website. http://elearningfeeds.com/list-of-corporate-learning-management-systems. Published October 3, 2014. Updated October 5, 2014. Accessed June 14, 2017.
Rick Workman, DMD, is the founder of Heartland Dental. After practicing full time, Dr. Workman created Heartland Dental, a world-class dental support organization, offering nonclinical, administrative services to supported dentists. Heartland Dental has more than 775 supported dental offices in 34 states. Dr. Workman may be reached at [email protected]. Visit his blog at dentistryleaders.com.