Continuing education improves the quality of medical care and is a required part of most health care professions. Although a variety of educational modules are available online or at external conferences, completion of these activities can be expensive and time-consuming. In addition, externally produced modules may have limited applicability to a local practice.
To assess the ability of an economically efficient, locally produced, department-wide pathology educational seminar to efficiently meet education requirements for a large number of employees in a large health system.
A multiday continuing education symposium was produced annually from 2013 through 2019 at no cost to participants. Metrics related to attendance, number of educational sessions available for registration, and participant satisfaction were tabulated, trended, and compared with similar metrics tabulated from an external continuing education conference that was offered from 2011 through 2012.
The production of an internal, hospital-based educational symposium increased employee attendance (mean of 635 attendees per year versus 247 at the external program; P < .001) while reducing mean annual cost per attendee ($51 versus $140, P < .001). The number of sessions produced for the internal symposium was 39 per year on average, compared with 12 per year at the external program. Technical staff, residents, fellows, and faculty all contributed to internal educational programming, helping to build a team culture in the department. Overall employee satisfaction was 96.2%.
An internal educational pathology symposium led to cost-efficient distribution of continuing education credits to a large number of technical staff, with a high degree of reported employee satisfaction.