Putting learning and growth at the forefront of their programming, Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s Center for Learning and Professional Development works with physicians, nurses, and healthcare professionals to maintain and grow the credentials they need to continue and expand their practice.
Jody Bradford, Learning Systems Analyst, is in charge of managing educational opportunities by providing an easy way for healthcare professionals to apply for continued accreditation.
We had the chance to sit down with Jody and learn how she uses SurveyMonkey Apply to streamline the accreditation process and provide more opportunities than ever to health care professionals.
Q: Could you give us a little background on what Dartmouth-Hitchcock does, who they serve, and your mission?
Absolutely! I’m a Learning Systems Analyst within the Center for Learning and Professional Development at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H). D-H is located in Lebanon, New Hampshire, and is New Hampshire’s only academic health system. Serving a population of 1.9 million across New England, D-H provides the area with access to primary care doctors and specialists in a wide variety of fields.
The D-H mission is to “advance health through research, education, clinical practice and community partnerships, providing each person the best care, in the right place, at the right time, every time.” I have been with the organization for a little over 7 years focusing on the identification, implementation and support of educational systems, one of which is SurveyMonkey Apply. We primarily use Apply for the intake and tracking of our Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) event accreditation forms.
Q: What are some of your day-to-day activities in your current role at Dartmouth-Hitchcock?
My role encompasses a variety of tasks, and really varies based on the time of year, or current needs of the division. A large portion of my job focuses on process improvement, analyzing workflows in our current processes, and investigating ways we can do things better by leveraging technology. I really enjoy analyzing the way that we do something now, and investigating ways that we can do it better.
I have a strong background in marketing, graphic design and web development, so I’m responsible for creating registration sites, brochures, email blasts and other supporting materials for our accredited events.
I enjoy the variety in my everyday work, and particularly appreciate being a part of the education division, as we are always encouraged to engage in professional development opportunities, expand our knowledge, and bring new skills to our department.
Q: What were the biggest challenges you faced in your application management process before moving to SurveyMonkey Apply?
In previous application management processes, we never had an applicant or reviewer portal. This made it difficult for our team to track the status of applications, see review assignments, and access previous submissions.
Another issue was that without a portal, applicants couldn’t easily save and return to an application. The previous system we used had a save and return feature, where applicants would be emailed a link that they could use to access their submission later. Unfortunately applicants would often misplace that link, and just decide to start the application process again, creating extra work for applicants and duplicate submissions in the system.
Another big challenge for us was the inability to automate manual tasks. Previous application management systems we had tried lacked the functionality to automate processes such as workflows, assignments, and email communications. The lack of system automation slowed down our application cycle.
Q: What was it that made you realize a change was necessary?
I think our applicants, reviewers and administrators were all on the same page, and realized that there had to be a more efficient way to handle our applications. When I started at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, we were collecting accreditation applications through a Word document.
We then migrated to an electronic system, which did improve our processes, but we were pushing the system to its limits, and still needed a more robust tool. We wanted to make the application and review processes easier and less time consuming for our stakeholders. Our system needs and processes were evolving over time, and technology was advancing, so with a focus on continuous process improvement, we decided to evaluate application management systems on the market.
Q: Why did you select Apply?
During the systems evaluation process, we had an extensive list of requirements and features that we wanted, some of which we knew would be very difficult to find (if we could at all).
SurveyMonkey Apply was the only product that we evaluated that not only met our basic requirements, but also went beyond them to include some of the features that we never thought we would find in a standard product.
Our favorite of which were reusable applicant tasks, which allow our applicants to duplicate any previous submissions and update them as needed. This was a big selling point for us, and an incredible perk to be able to offer our applicants.
I also really appreciated the fact that SurveyMonkey set up a test site for me to play with and really test out the product before purchase. This was key to exploring the product in depth, and making sure it was the right solution for us.
Finally we needed to have the ability to completely manage our process on our own. With some of the other products we looked at, we’d have to rely on the vendor to make changes to our forms and workflows. With Apply, we owned our forms and processes, and could independently make changes at any time.
Q: What are some of the features you’ve leveraged to achieve your organization’s accreditation program goals, specifically?
We wanted the application process to be straight forward, efficient, and easy to manage. Apply has done all of these things for us. Our applicants can start a form, save it, and easily return to it later. They also have the ability to copy a submission, make updates and resubmit, saving our applicants a significant amount of time.
Plus, applicants can leverage the applicant teams functionality which allows multiple people to work on the same submission and utilize knowledge from various stakeholders to complete the forms.
Overall, the implementation of Apply has greatly improved our submission process for CME and CNE event accreditation applications.
Q: What alternatives did you consider before moving to Apply?
We looked at many other application management systems, but didn’t find any other options with the level of functionality that Apply offers. We also considered working with a developer and in-house resources to customize the system we were using, but the amount of time and resources we would have put into that outweighed the benefits. It just made more sense to use something that was already developed and tested in the market.
Q: Looking to the next few years, what are some areas of your program you’re looking to grow?
We hope that by making the application process easier through Apply, more applications will be submitted, more events will happen, and we will have an even bigger impact on providing education for our health care community.
Q: Finally, what would you say to those who might be contemplating SurveyMonkey Apply right now?
If you take a look at the application management systems currently on the market, you won’t find another system with the level of time-saving automations, cutting edge features and advanced workflow capabilities as Apply.
It’s truly a unique, flexible system that can be molded and configured to meet your specific workflow needs. We have found Apply to be a huge asset in managing our applications, and an incredible time-saver for our stakeholders. Once the system is setup, the automations take over, and it’s really hands-off from there. I encourage you to dive in, explore, try it! You won’t be disappointed.
Learn more about Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s journey with SurveyMonkey Apply.