Sydney Child Health Program (SCHP) is a leading paediatric education provider owned by the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network (SCHN), the largest paediatric healthcare services entity in Australia. SCHP has been equipping health professionals around the world with best practice paediatric education for more than 28 years. SCHP’s mission is to deliver accessible, affordable and practical paediatric education, empowering healthcare professionals to help children and young people live their healthiest lives possible. In 2020, SCHP graduated more than 950 participants, and reached a total of 10,000 alumni since it began in 1992.
Like most organisations, the global pandemic brought significant challenges to SCHP’s operations as all traditional face-to-face exams, assessments and educational contact were cancelled. The last 18 months have seen health professionals busier than ever with limited access to educational opportunities due to lack of time and the cancellation of numerous education events. Many also experienced financial difficulties limiting educational opportunities.
In 2020, the organisation undertook an Experience & Training Design initiative to enhance learner experiences, transition all face-to-face activities online and bring education closer to home for frontline practitioners.
During the initial project phase, the team identified existing bottlenecks, including:
• Complex and time-consuming enrolment application
• Outdated website design impacting the user experience
• Software restrictions preventing potential scalability for future products
• Staff time and effort to plan and deliver in-person exams in 50 locations across Australia and internationally (in 15+ countries).
The project team worked swiftly to implement and optimise a new mode of service delivery and operations, including:
• Transitioned more than 800 participants to an online exam format
• Introduced live webinars to replace in-person learning opportunities
• Reduced manual processes and workflow inefficiencies for staff
• Improved enrolment processes and participant on-boarding experiences
• Launched a fully interactive digital learning platform providing increased flexibility to study
• Developed a new assessment structure for online delivery
• Supported international tutors to transition to online tutorials
Digitising the program has effectively increased participant accessibility enabling self-paced learning. Content can now be delivered uncompromised, flexibly and to participants globally.
In the Yearly Evaluation Survey 2020-21, more than 99.5% participants reported an improvement in knowledge and confidence in dealing with children and adolescents and 92.6% continue to apply the knowledge gained in their work. Examples of improvements include:
• Identifying red flags for urgent referral to hospitals: ensuring best health outcomes and avoiding complications due to delayed intervention
• Reducing unnecessary hospital presentations: cost savings to the system by avoiding unnecessary stress for parents and discomfort to children
• Reducing inappropriate investigation: cost savings to system and avoiding pain/discomfort to the patient
This project enabled SCHP to forge a stronger relationship with SCHN and various teams throughout the hospital network to deliver enhanced learning and teaching experiences. It has also highlighted the scalability potential for SCHP to provide new education programs so that SCHN can provide quality healthcare advice to the broader community locally, nationally and internationally. SCHP is committed to improving health outcomes for children and young people in every community and will continue to work to empower healthcare professionals around the world to help children and young people live their healthiest lives possible.