Healthcare institutions spend enormous time and effort to train their workforce. Web-based training can streamline this process to a great extent. The article evaluates the advantages of healthcare professionals with web-based training.
Large healthcare facilities are required to educate their workforce about various regulations and to document this training. Initiatives like the Privacy Rule of the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the National Patient Safety Goals of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) are just two recent examples. In addition, health care professionals require training on equipment, skills and software. Using traditional methods such as instructor- led classes to train a large and diverse workforce is time consuming, expensive and labor-intensive. Webbased training can potentially overcome these limitations.
Web-based training provides learners with any-time access to the training courses, is self-paced, eliminates the need to travel, is less disruptive for the work schedule, and can decrease the time associated with learning by as much as o 30%. Moreover, it can substantially save time for the faculty and instructors since web-based training can be developed once and delivered multiple times across various locations. Published studies evaluating web-based education and training have shown that web-based education is at least as effective as traditional education, that it is likely to be more efficient and that learners enjoy it more. These advantages make web-based training a very attractive option for training healthcare personnel efficiently and effectively. Furthermore, many hospitals and clinics are upgrading their information technology infrastructure as they increasingly adopt electronic health records. This infrastructure can also support the utilization of web-based training.
Training healthcare professionals is not an easy task due to inherent characteristics such as shift work, moderate to high employee turnover, and the difficulty in organizing group-training sessions due to conflicts with clinical responsibilities . Web-based training can be deployed for healthcare workforce spread over different geographic areas, without compromising learner satisfaction. At InfoPro, we developed a comprehensive suite of web-based courses on various therapeutic areas. These courses were developed using print based medical literature and presenation kits used in medical symposiums as reference curriculum materials. Our client was able to train about 18,000 professionals, including physicians, researchers, pharmacists, nurses, nutritionists and trainees in these fields, across different hospital systems within a short span of two months. Satisfaction ration was over three-quarters of the attendants. Learners were very satisfied with web-based training and most of them felt that the course was relevant and helpful for enhancing their understanding of the subject.
In addition to time savings and enhanced 24-hour access to courses, web-based training can also yield a good return on investment (ROI).
Studies suggest that web-based training can reduce up to 70% of employers’ training budgets by eliminating employee travel from offsite locations, cost of updating printed materials, and reducing the amount of time that employees spend overall in the training activity.
Moreover, as institutions increasingly adopt electronic health records, they will need to upgrade their hardware infrastructure, which will also support the deployment of web-based training without incurring significant overhead cost. Thus, we believe that well-designed web-based training can yield an excellent ROI for healthcare systems challenged with perennial workforce training and the need for increased documentation for regulatory compliance.