learning and development healthcare

Learning and Development in Healthcare: Training for Patient Safety and Compliance

The needs of learning and development in healthcare are dramatically different from those of other industries, making for unique challenges for the talent development field.

Patient-provider interactions—and the environments in which they take place—vary widely. Technologies are updated frequently, requiring constant upgrading of systems and training of staff and contractors.

Further, privacy regulations like HIPAA and the increasing number of outside individuals involved in the delivery and administration of healthcare services widens the scope for training.

So, how can L&D deliver training in the healthcare industry that considers all stakeholders?

How can L&D design effective training for healthcare employees?

Spending time in instructor-led training sessions takes away from caring for and interacting with patients. As such, L&D leaders need to design flexible, dynamic experiences so that healthcare professionals can learn about the latest in compliance measures along with best practices in diagnostics and treatments.

The following are 7 strategies that can help learning and development in healthcare produce compelling training for ever-changing healthcare environments.

Do More With Less

L&D teams are often under-resourced. They are expected to deliver increases in efficiency, effectiveness, and performance against time and budget limitations. Essentially, doing more with less is the new reality in most healthcare organizations.

According to the 2018 Healthcare Compliance Benchmark Report compiled by risk management consultant SAI Global, only 28% expected increases in their budgets while 50% of respondents expected their budgets to remain essentially the same.

And with limited resources, L&D leaders need to constantly assess training priorities. The biggest priority remains compliance training, one of the top three priorities according to the SAI Global report, as it has been for the last eight of nine years of the survey.

staff training for healthcare employees

Prioritize for Maximum Benefit

With limited resources, L&D leaders need to constantly assess training priorities. The biggest priority remains compliance training, one of the top three priorities according to the SAI Global report, as it has been for the last eight of nine years of the survey.

L&D can ease the prioritization of training demands with an efficient training request intake process. Subject matter experts within the organization can request new training or updates to mandated compliance courses, and the training department can easily prioritize and manage the flow of requests.

A Training Request platform allows you to easily manage and prioritize training requests. Learn more about how a training request platform can ease the burden on training departments in the healthcare industry.

Build to Scale

Healthcare environments vary, as do the backgrounds of the industry’s employees. As such, training often must be developed and delivered to thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of employees.

Training experiences for such a large audience of learners can quickly become overwhelming and complicated. Whether the organization works from a centralized or decentralized training development model, the training department needs to find a way to scale instructional design so courses can be updated and deployed at the speed of business. 

Embrace Mobile Learning

Today’s healthcare organizations are increasingly mobile. A surge in home-health aides and traveling caregivers, along with new paradigms such as telehealth and remote patient monitoring, have fueled the need for reliable communications and training platforms so that health professionals can learn in the flow of work. 

Mobile learning can provide tremendous advantages. Healthcare organizations of all sizes will succeed when training can be delivered in an anytime, anywhere context, available to employees wherever the workplace may be.

According to TrainingIndustry.com, responsive e-learning, responsive LMSs, and learning apps, all of which support multi-device access, have become essential and the mobile experience should be seamless with learning experiences provided via other devices (desktops, laptops, and tablets).

doctor training

Work with Managers

As we have previously written, training has largely moved to the business, driven by subject matter experts in departments who can quickly develop and deliver training to employees.

When they want to learn a new skill, employees first turn to their peers, then to their bosses, according to a report published in Harvard Business Review.

L&D leaders have begun to notice the value of encouraging on-the-job interactions between peers, teammates, and managers. In this year’s Global Human Capital Trends report, HR consulting firm Bersin by Deloitte found that organizations are moving towards a “joint ownership, joint accountability” model of workforce learning, in which L&D and the business share responsibility for developing learning.

As such, to stay on top of ever-changing compliance, technology, and patient safety protocols, individual department managers can serve as a valuable resource.

Lean on Vendors

As yet another resource, L&D can lean on external stakeholders, such as the vendors of medical devices and equipment, to help with the training effort.

Drug and device manufacturers spend billions each year on research and development. They also spend on training their representatives. Offering the most cutting edge devices and equipment is often a competitive advantage for healthcare providers today.

While training hospital or facility personnel on the proper use of devices and equipment is usually a part of the initial process, learning and development in healthcare should ensure that training is delivered continuously, and integrated into the healthcare organization’s overall training programs.

Stronger patient outcomes are the goal and are the direct result of proper training and use of devices and equipment in the healthcare environment.

healthcare learning and development

Work with Subject Matter Experts

Further to leaning on vendors, who are experts, are those who are working within the four walls of the company: your subject matter experts (SMEs).

However, a challenge to working with SMEs is that advising the training department and building courses is not in the SME’s job description. To get SMEs to take the time out of their busy schedule to help in the course building effort, L&D leaders can explain to the expert that his or her input will lead to a specific outcome, and actively involve the SME throughout the entire lifecycle of a learning project.

For example, a Learning Design System streamlines and standardizes the training design process, empowering SMEs to rapidly create effective training.

Want to learn more about how a Learning Design System can help you and your team? Schedule a demo!

The struggle to balance competitive edge with compliance and patient safety training presents an opportunity for learning and development in the healthcare industry to roll out much needed organizational change in how training is viewed, managed, and delivered to employees.

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