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Case Study: Advanced Certification Institute Medical eLearning Website – 2015

Advanced Certification Institute makes its debut in the field of automated online medical certifications with this comprehensive eLearning platform by DDA.


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Advanced Certification Institute (ACI) was a relatively new business based upon the expertise of a long-time practicing anesthesiologist that saw an opportunity in the field of medical certifications, specifically certifications for Basic Life Support (BLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS). While the field for online eLearning platforms offering medical certifications in these areas is highly competitive, ACI felt that they could beat its competitors through a combination of low prices and high value. But, they would need a skilled eLearning development team to bring the platform into being. ACI reached out to DDA, a long-time developer of Continuing Medical Education (CME) and online eLearning applications of all kinds.


In order to make its entrance into the highly competitive market of automated online medical certifications, ACI knew that they would need to do more than provide access to certification on a comprehensive eLearning platform at a low price. ACI would need to demonstrate an exceptional value through a combination of features unique to itself. A comprehensive eCommerce system would facilitate purchases of courses, allow the client to apply special discounts to all the initial subscribers, and also allowing individuals to purchase multiples of each course on behalf of a group at automatically calculated discounted pricing tiers that could be set by the client via backend administrative area. The platform would also feature clinical pearls on the public-facing portions—short statements summarizing the key points behind each course of study offered on the platform to demonstrate the comprehensiveness of the eLearning program. ACI further differentiated itself by offering free access to its BLS modules with each purchase of either ACLS or PALS modules, allowing the many clinicians who typically are required to maintain both simultaneously to both acquire and maintain these certifications easily, inexpensively, and in a coordinated fashion.


Since DDA knew ACI was already planning on scaling the platform over time to include additional certification and recertification modules, DDA decided to program the platform on a robust Content Management System (CMS). Not only would this allow the client to add courses and update course content on an as-needed basis, but discounts and pricing would also be easy to change. The platform was built on a responsive web design to allow users of any device to get the optimal experience. Links were built on all public-facing pages that would allow the user to click through immediately to purchase the certification or recertification of their choice, and users could access their dashboards upon signup that would allow them to view any modules they had purchased and to purchase additional modules or modules for a group of individuals. DDA even developed a tag line to help drive ACI's value proposition: "Save Time, Save Money, Save Lives."

Each eLearning course was comprised of comprehensive educational materials based upon the latest American Heart Association's Standards and Guidelines divided into scores of sections. Users could sign out and return to where they had left off at any time during their review of these study materials. Users could also look through the index of the sections of the Study Guide to look at specific topics of interest. A Resource Center was included with every course, including images, documents, and spreadsheets, with certain sections affiliated with resources specific to that section's topics. After users completed their review of the Study Guide, they can then proceed to the test area, where they are required to pass a predefined percentage of multiple choice questions. If they get a question wrong, they are given a link reference to the specific section in the Study Guide that explains the material further and are allowed one more chance to answer the question. After their answer is established, they are given additional information on the topic. Users can take the test as frequently as needed until they pass.

Upon successful completion of the test, users are given their score and offered a personalized certification card with their own individualized certification code. DDA also programmed a public-facing  certification verification feature that can be used to verify that an individual claiming certification through the platform has indeed attained it. Users can download, print, or purchase a hard copy of their certification card at any time upon successful completion of the test. Automatic email notices are distributed to remind users when their certifications are about to expire so that they can ensure no lapse in their accreditation. The backend administrative area keeps track of all purchases, including purchases of hard copies of the certification cards. Administrators can review metrics on user performance as filtered through a total of 11 fields as well as by date range and affiliated purchase group. ACI then decided to embark upon a Pay-per-Click Google AdWords campaign managed by DDA to help market the new medical eLearning platform to those that sought the unique combination of quality interactive features and bottom-line value that the ACI platform delivers.



The final platform was launched in early 2015. A large team of nurses tested the medical eLearning platform thoroughly, and ACI provided very positive feedback, saying: "I'm really happy with how things turned out. It looks great." With the wide range of interactive features, the easy scalability offered by the Content Management System (CMS), the responsive web design, and the exceptional value at which courses are offered, ACI has positioned itself very well to grow in a highly competitive market.