We continue sharing with you incredible stories of entrepreneurs who have built their businesses on the basis of a Learning Management System. Mistakes and challenges, things they would do differently if they were starting their LMS-based business over, secrets of success and valuable pieces of advice everyone can use to enter the world of eLearning and online training. The examples we bring in our blog are about people who started with nothing but have been working hard to get where they are now. Today’s case comes from the industry of healthcare.
A story how one software company organized a full cycle of learning for over 500 hospitals and thousands of users.
A Learning Management System for Healthcare Industry
Dynamic healthcare environment, technology development, and constant onboarding process provide a continuous need for staff training in the organizations of the healthcare industry. Hospitals, laboratories, and other medical institutions not only need to provide continuous medical education and certification for their employees but also comply with numerous governmental regulations and stay within a constrained budget. Medical personnel, in its turn, due to a heavy workload cannot be pulled from the main job duties to attend lectures, seminars or conferences. That is why medical institutions find the solution in online training delivered with the help of a Learning Management System.
An LMS becomes an ideal training solution both for personnel seeking ways to learn at its own pace and healthcare administrators feeling the need to train numerous employees according to their job duties.
To meet the demands of healthcare industry a Learning Management System needs to be functional, easy to use, customizable and scalable. Among the other LMS requirements are advanced reporting and tracking functionality, certificates management, mobile compatibility, comprehensive user management, a system of announcements, webinar scheduling and an affordable price.
A story of DocuFi Software Company and its CEO - David Wilson
The Germ of an Idea
I spent several years developing and implementing solutions to capture and populate paper documents into various database systems for hundreds of companies ranging from small healthcare practices to large fortune 500 manufacturing enterprises. As data capture technology improved and we’ve entered the “big data” era, I began to look at helping companies make sense of the overwhelming data available to them. One of the industries most laden with data is healthcare.
Through discussions with contacts in the Infection Prevention field I learned of the challenges healthcare professionals face in reducing infection rates. Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) affect over 722,000 Americans per year 1 and lead to 75,000 deaths per year1. Besides the human costs of infections, hospitals are penalized on their reported infection rates, satisfaction scores, and other metrics when applying for reimbursements from insurance providers. Central to the fight against infections is a properly trained cleaning operation as surface cleaning plays a key role in infection control. Thus we began our adventure in developing a Learning Management and Infection Prevention Visualization and Analytics Platform.
After developing a basic data analysis prototype with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) information feeds and our custom alerts, we quickly discovered that the true power of having this information available to hospital executives was to make the data “actionable.” What the community needed was a Learning Management System (LMS) offering entrance based on initial staff competency, targeted retraining based on performance, and periodic reevaluation.
We began to integrate a closed-loop system that incorporated an LMS system with cleaning quality inspections to assess staff effectiveness, a competency assessment system to score users’ knowledge, and information related to equipment, activity, and government data sources. The information is delivered visually in a comprehensive cloud-based dashboard.
Offering A Full Cycle of Learning
This led to integration of human resources reporting structures, inspection data and the LMS into the dashboard for over 500 hospitals and thousands of users. Now users can launch a series of competency courses directly from the dashboard to determine their proficiency. Those failing in certain areas can be automatically assigned to a refresher course for the appropriate topic.
With patient room inspection data integrated through our mobile forms product, environmental services employees failing a set percent of inspections can be automatically flagged, launched into the LMS and required to pass further online course work. An annual or periodic competency review can be implemented and the cycle begins again. Additionally, the LMS reporting was tightly integrated so managers can view training progress and generate custom reports.
Each step on the right side of the screen is associated with a specific infection prevention training curriculum. Based on the pre-test course test results, sections are shown in green indicating “passed” or red indicating “failed”. In this example, the user would be required to take more detailed courses on the failed DOT, Scheduling and Inspections topics.
Mobile inspections and audits can be incorporated into the dashboard to help assess user competency levels before assigning them courses..
Courses can be assigned automatically based on inspection failure percent, or as shown here, managers can assign classes based on their evaluation with a fly out from the dashboard.
What Could We Have Done Better?
As with any new product, there were a few bumps in the road.
- We spent a lot of time in rework because of changing product requirements from our initial customer. We could have clarified the deliverable better and then we would have been able to charge for the “change orders.”
- Much of the client’s prior training was based on lecture-based teaching. Converting this to online learning required converting survey questions into scoreable questions like true/false or multi-choice. If you are delivering the LMS as a framework like us and not providing the content, make sure there is clear communication with the content provider.
- Be sure to have your LMS criteria such as passing grade, question pool sizes, etc. established early on. We discovered that changes to some of these basic parameters caused us issues as users began to use the platform.
The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades
We are continuing to develop our dashboard and make the LMS segment a key selling feature. As we integrate even better infection tracking and inspection data, we will continue to tightly correlate training so healthcare concerns can improve their employee’s skills and infection prevention efforts. With an estimated annual overall direct cost of HAIs to US acute care hospitals of $28 to $48 billion 2, we think the need for “actionable” data and correlated learning will continue to increase.
Advice from Dave for Everyone Thinking of Launching an LMS-based Business
As our LMS implementation was tightly integrated to an independent software product, it was critical to develop a close relationship with our LMS supplier. We purchased personal training for our developers and customizations so that the LMS launches and works tightly within our dashboard. Look for an open platform with data tables you can work with.
- 1. Multistate Point-Prevalence Survey of Health Care–Associated Infections
- 2. ”Economic burden of healthcare-associated infections: an American perspective”, Patricia Stone, for NIH and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
We hope David’s story will motivate you to overcome the challenges and inspire you to change the world around us. If you have any questions to David, he is open for your questions at www.docufi.com and on LinkedIn.
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