The Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network (EPN) is a Christian non-profit organization based in Kenya, comprising of 125 members of healthcare providers and professionals. Their members span 37 countries and provide healthcare to communities in the most marginalized and remote areas where national government health services are limited. Church Health Institutions (CHIs) are embedded as a vital part of the health system. EPN influences policies to strengthen these systems and build pharmaceutical capacities where needed. Capacity building and information sharing are key parts of EPN’s mandate, which they have excelled at for the past 4 decades. Recent trends and the advent of the global pandemic influenced EPN to invest in the digital medium for learning and information sharing. EPN decided to begin this endeavour with their flagship course ‘Essentials of Pharmacy Practice (EPP)’ on a learning platform that supports engagement and interaction between its members.
Reaching those furthest from quality health services has always guided EPN’s work. In the past I have organized the EPP face-to-face course with pharmacy professionals from church hospitals and I realized the challenge that this represented for them, to travel for up taking the course and to be accommodated for several days on the training site. I am delighted that from now on this course will be online, with a social learning approach to give opportunity to the greatest number of healthcare professionals not only to learn, but also to create professional relationships that will advance the pharmacy practice in primary healthcare settings.Richard Neci Cizungu, Executive Director, EPN
With these key specifications in mind, Bee Skilled applied the ‘HIVE’ approach in developing a social learning environment for EPN. The EPN platform developed, acts as a Learning System and a social site for its members. Once registered, EPN members can enrol in the EPP courses, as well as make the best use of the social environment where they can connect with other members, chat with them, participate in discussion forums and build their personal pharmaceutical networks. Although EPN’s primary requirement was a site for their own members, the site is also made available for non-EPN members. The user journey is developed keeping in mind the requirements of EPN, where existing EPN network members can register on the site and avail all the courses and services for free, while non-EPN members can participate in the social site and based on demand, request EPN administrators for course access.
With this site, EPN will become the first International Faith Based Organisation to have invested in Social Learning through a digital medium. The social platform makes it possible for instructors to deliver course materials in a virtual classroom environment and keep in touch and follow up with the learners after course completion. Learners can use the platform to showcase their learned skills and how they are applying them in the real world. Moreover, since EPN operates in Francophone countries, the site has been developed in a bilingual mode, where French speakers can access the same services in the French language.
The learning system is intuitive and operates with various types of content, such as Text, Images, Videos, Interactive Content, etc. The courses promote peer-peer interactions through discussions and assess learners at various steps to enhance their learning. EPN also provides Certificates of Completion after learners successfully complete all the steps of a course and pass the assessment.
“We are thrilled to give our members the opportunity not just to learn, but to share their knowledge in an easy way. As a network EPN wants to connect and enable exchange and learning. This platform is an excellent tool, and we hope that it will be used widely to improve the pharmaceutical services of our member organisations.”Susanne Duff-Mackay, Technical Advisor, EPN
At Bee Skilled, we are thrilled to see EPN’s social platform take off and we can’t wait for their courses to begin. It will be a test of our ‘HIVE’ approach, and we aim to learn from these experiences to make our services better suited to the sector. Be part of EPN’s journey. Click here to view their platform in action – EPN Training – Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network (epnetwork.org)