Tools for Creating Efficiencies within an Education Office
Whether your education office focuses on providing internal staff development and maintenance or supporting continuing medical education needs, creating efficiencies can be a huge factor in resource allocation and financial initiatives. Below are a few suggestions to spark discussions within your own team.
- Consider a project management tool to facilitate individual and group projects. Organization and communication are key in program creation and facilitation. Having a tool that manages projects can be accessed broadly by multiple people real-time, and it provides a check point for project progress, freeing up time. There are a lot of options for project management software, but important considerations include the flexibility of the product and consolidation. And, if the tool is easy to use, that’s an additional bonus.
- Streamline your marketing plan. What is going to capture the attention of your intended audience? For external programs, the days of printed postcards have been replaced with e-blasts and social media. However, e-blasts have to be managed appropriately to avoid over-saturation. A lot of research has taken place on how to effectively market products and services, but there is no specific direction given on how much is too much. Having a documented marketing plan and using past pitfalls and successes can facilitate a road map.
- Invest in a multifaceted learning management system. Database entry is archaic and eats up personnel time. A system that can handle registration, evaluation input and compilation, certificate requests, transcript management, reporting, and provide connectivity to platforms for education distribution will be expensive up-front, but in the long-term, it can pay for itself after just a few years.
- Have a simplistic but dynamic website. Categorize/"Bucket" each section of your website with a visual element that can direct the viewer to what they want to access. Provide consistency, streamline content, and reduce the number of clicks it will take to get to the information. A clean, easy-to-use site that viewers can navigate without assistance will reduce customer service questions and make the user experience much more enjoyable.
- Be proactive and open to change. Change is inevitable. Encourage continuous improvement within your teams. Review and update processes and procedures frequently. Most likely, someone is still performing a function that was executed years ago.