The Johns Hopkins Gazette: May 3, 1999
May 3, 1999
VOL. 28, NO. 33


Business of Medicine Program Receives More Awards

By Neil A. Grauer
School of Continuing Studies
Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

The School of Medicine and School of Continuing Studies' jointly developed Hopkins Business of Medicine Certificate Program--winner of the National Creative Programming Award from the University Continuing Education Association in 1996--has been honored twice again by the organization.

The program's distance learning version, launched in April 1998 in collaboration with Caliber Learning Network, has won the Innovations in Continuing Education Award--the top honor bestowed by UCEA. It was cited as an exemplification of the best in instructional design and effectiveness. In particular, the distance learning program was recognized for "breaking new ground" in crossing state boundaries and successfully obtaining licensure from 22 state education agencies.

The program also was singled out for recognition as second-place winner of the UCEA/Peterson's Award for Innovation in Distance Learning.

"Innovation permeates this project, from its program design and development, to its academic/corporate collaboration, to its synchronous distance learning format, to its inroads into the regulatory environment," said Stanley C. Gabor, dean of the School of Continuing Studies.

"The growing demand for continuing professional education and training poses new organizational challenges to higher education institutions and calls for new solutions--which we have found through the 'national classroom' provided by Caliber's innovative network of technology-enhanced learning centers," Gabor said.

The Business of Medicine program was begun at the School of Medicine in 1994 to provide physicians with business knowledge and skills needed to survive in a rapidly evolving managed care environment.

"Given the national concern over rising health care costs, the program was selected by Caliber as the first Hopkins academic offering to be distributed via Caliber's network as part of a pioneering distance learning collaboration with the university," said Catherine D. De Angelis, vice dean for academic affairs and faculty at the School of Medicine.

Since 1994, more than 350 physicians have completed the four-course program at the medical campus in East Baltimore, while in the program's first nine months of distance learning operation, 270 students in 28 cities nationwide enrolled in its courses.

While distance education often is associated with Internet programs delivered to individual, isolated students, the Caliber model instead enables instructors to provide live, "real-time" presentations via satellite broadcast delivery to a group of students who interact with the instructors, subject matter experts and other students via video conferencing and email. Consequently, students in the Caliber classroom centers linked through a national network engage in collaborative learning. PC-based instruction is integrated with live video instruction, and participants access course content from a wide array of high-level sources.

Further enhancing this distance learning classroom experience, the Caliber format promotes a continuous learning model so that classroom lectures, discussion, teaching aids and access to Hopkins libraries and subject matter experts are available via the World Wide Web.

The Hopkins Business of Medicine program addresses key managed care issues affecting medical care delivery today, as well as practical aspects of accounting, financial management and organizational leadership. By acquiring the analytical, financial and leadership skills of the business world, medical professionals can gain greater autonomy within this regulated environment, thereby preparing themselves for growth and long-term success within the evolving health care system.

The program includes four courses--Managed Care: Perspectives and Practices, Accounting for Decision Making in Medicine, Managerial Finance for Medical Services, and Leadership and Organizational Behavior in Medical Settings.

To date, the Business of Medicine program has been registered, authorized or approved to offer graduate credits in 22 of the 26 states in which Caliber has centers. Hopkins is actively pursuing licensure in the four remaining states. The course is available now in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Kansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.