In keeping with its commitment to find new, more efficient ways to deliver to our customers the information they need, COLA launched a new webinar program in February 2010. In a little over a year, it has grown from a fledgling idea into one of the staple services COLA offers.
Each COLA webinar features an engaging and informational 30-minute educational session. Selected topics are based on the current top ten citations as cited and extracted from COLA lab survey results. The typical COLA webinar includes between 50-60 enlightening, information-packed PowerPoint slides covering a particular lab topic, and COLA educational products that can be used to further a laboratories’ understanding of the topic.
At the end of the presentation, COLA’s topic experts host a 15-minute question and answer period for the benefit of participating lab personnel. Alternately, webinar attendees can also call COLA’s Information Resource Center with follow-up questions.
New COLA webinars are presented six times a year, giving COLA labs the effective tools they need to offer the highest quality care and service to their lab patients. In just one year, the 45-minute educational sessions have grown ten-fold, from 11 participants in the first session (February 2010), to 112 people in the February 2011 webinar on evaluating Quality Control. Perhaps more telling is the fact that over 400 people attempted to register for the February 2011 webinar, just to have access to the archived version when it became available for viewing.
Each webinar is enhanced by additional resources available shortly after the live presentation. Handouts of the PowerPoint presentation, and resources referenced during the presentation, are available in a PDF format on www.COLAcentral.com. A recorded version for playback at the viewer’s convenience is also posted within days of the live presentation.
The popular live webinars and the archived versions on COLAcentral are free. Beginning in March 2011, COLA offers one PACE credit to those who purchase the Webinar CEexpress course on LabUniversity and pass the competency test. This provides the benefit of nationally recognized continuing education credits to both COLA and non-COLA labs.
The COLA webinars have quickly become so popular that they often sell out all the available participant spaces in one day. COLA is working to increase these participant size restrictions (based on computer bandwidth) for each session, allowing more labs to participate. Currently, the top ten participating states are: Texas, North Carolina, Florida, Minnesota, Ohio, California, Georgia, Michigan, Iowa and Alabama.
Upcoming 2011 webinar topics will include:
Topics include Calibration and Cal-Ver. This webinar will explain the difference between calibration and Cal-Ver, walk through the COLA criteria and provide examples to help explain the concepts.
August, October, December
These webinars will focus on Quality Assessment (QA). The content will be divided according to the Path of Workflow: QA for the Pre-analytic, Analytic and Post-analytic phases.
The webinar topic will be a webinar on quality assessment of General Laboratory Systems.
Participants from all the COLA webinars are surveyed after the sessions to ensure the content is meeting their lab’s educational needs and is presented in an engaging manner. On average, 90-98% of participants say they would recommend the COLA webinar program to others. This is a strong endorsement of the effectiveness of this program and speaks volumes to its inherent value for COLA labs.