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Building the Gentle Dental University at InterDent
Many people dread trips to the dentist's office, fearing possibly agonizing procedures at the hands of the people who stand over the chair. Dental services provider InterDent, however, recently launched Gentle Dental University to help ensure patients' ex
Humorist P.J. O’Rourke once quipped, “When you think of the good old days, think one word: dentistry.” To be sure, when it was practiced long ago — when it was actually practiced at all — dentistry was a presumably unpleasant affair that involved tools that easily could’ve doubled as interrogation devices.
Obviously, we’ve come a long way since then, thanks in part to the work of organizations such as InterDent, a provider of dental practice management services. For this firm, providing sound learning programs is a matter of course. The organization exists to help dentistry offices run their administrative, financial and operational functions more efficiently, which necessitates a great deal of education.
“We don’t employ dentists — we support them,” said Maureen Winningham, InterDent director of education. “The overall training philosophy is to offer a variety of ways for a variety of learners to get the information they need to practice great dentistry or to support those who practice great dentistry.
The services within InterDent’s network of about 700 affiliated providers include specialty areas such as orthodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics and oral surgery, as well as general dentistry. It’s partitioned into 12 regions and three divisions that cover eight states: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Kansas, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon and Washington.
In addition to this geographically dispersed learning population, Winningham and her team are responsible for developing InterDent’s 2,000 office and corporate personnel through InterDent’s LMS, Gentle Dental University.
As recently as a year ago, though, this wasn’t the case. The learning model was highly decentralized before the recent launch of the corporate university, which presented constant challenges regarding standardization, communication and geography.
“Previously, all of our 12 regions were doing their own training, arranging their own speakers and had their own focuses,” Winningham said. “I’ve only been here a year. I remember when Lee (Rouman, chief information officer) and I interviewed, and I met our CEO and CFO. They knew investing in the development in all of our staff is part of our growth and our future as a company. They didn’t just say that in the interview to woo me — they really believe that, and I have received nothing but support since I got here.”
The Next Generation of HR: Whatâ€™s Wrong? Whatâ€™s Right?
May 23rd 1:00pm - 2:00pm CT
2013 CLO Breakfast Club, Boston
September 12th - 12th, 2013The Westin Copley Place
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