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a blog by Chris Barrow

Digitising Dental CPD – guest blog

Modern dentistry is a highly regulated and time-starved profession. Whatever your role in the practice, you’ve probably found yourself struggling to fit more work into less time thanks to an administrative burden which always seems to be increasing. These pressures can make your working life far more stressful than it needs to be and can ultimately affect the standard of care you can provide. Cumbersome administrative processes take time away from your patients and reduce the time you have available to dedicate to personal development and further learning. An excellent, albeit unfortunate, example is the controversy that surrounded the CPD end of cycle in July 2013. The extraordinarily large number of DCPs failing to report made it clear that there is something fundamentally broken with the way busy dental professionals are expected to record and report their CPD. Paper-based systems are not helpful to time-poor professionals and it is not surprising that so many found themselves in this difficult position. CPD is not supposed to be a burden. It exists to reassure the public and to ensure that dental professionals are committed to lifelong learning. It should not come with an unnecessarily large administrative overhead. Thankfully, there’s a solution and it’s probably in your pocket right now. Today’s average smartphone offers more computing power than the combined power of every computer NASA used to send humans to the moon in 1969 and it can be put to a variety of uses, including helping you to manage your CPD! Paperless & Mobile Using a paperless mobile method to log and report your CPD has a number of key advantages. It’s instant, accurate and easy. Since your phone is almost always with you, it’s easy to log an item of CPD as soon as it’s been completed, no matter where you are or what form the CPD takes. This is better than being tied to a desk. In fact, with such a handy way to log everything, you’re probably going to record more of your learning than you ever did before. If you read an article in a magazine or discuss a case with a colleague it may count as general CPD, but who really remembers to make a note of it at the end of a busy day? However, if you tap out a short note on your phone as soon as you’ve completed the exercise, the record is saved and your notes will most likely be of high reflective value, as you will have made them whilst everything was still fresh in your mind. If you enjoy reading dental articles online, or watching educational videos, you can use the LogME plug-in on your browser to add that activity instantly to your electronic CPD log, no matter what website you happen to be using. Once your records are stored electronically, they immediately become more useful to you. It’s easy to analyse what you’ve done and what you may be missing. You no longer have to try to remember – or guess – the number of hours you’ve completed as you’ll have a digital record which is updated in real- time. This means you can spend more time focussing on your job and on your learning, confident that the administrative side of your CPD is being handled. As a bonus, at the end of the CPD cycle, your electronic records can be sent to the GDC with just a couple of taps on your phone. Since everything is digitised, including your certificates, you can always be confident that you will be able to respond to an audit without breaking your stride. We all know that recording CPD is a burden – but it doesn’t have to be. The technology to make it simple already exists and by embracing it and taking advantage of these innovative apps which have been designed with you in mind, CPD really can become hassle-free. Download the Dental CPD Pro app for free – search your favourite App Store for ‘cpd pro’ or visit Rajeev Shah is founder & CEO of Dental CPD Pro. The company’s mission is to reduce the cost, hassle and wasted time that you may currently suffer when managing your CPD, by providing you with well thought out, user-friendly technology which works for you.

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