With the added stresses of a global pandemic, challenges have been magnified in the healthcare industry. The World Health Organization recently estimated a global shortfall of 18 million health workers by 2030. Employers are facing a changing landscape in their workforce from record resignations, staffing shortages, and budget and resource limitations to online versus in-person presence.  

Now and over the coming years, employers have reemphasized their question: how can we train our people better, faster and more cost effective? Digital learning provides a viable solution. 

Learning and Development teams have always been pushed to find faster, more efficient ways to train staff. Healthcare EHR education is no different. Yet, at the present state of turnover and hiring in healthcare, many L&D teams are struggling to keep up with an increased demand and are stuck in the revolving door of the onboarding cycle. More recently, these teams are being asked to pivot quickly with the organization while weathering their own trainer shortages, but without a supportive plan to also pivot their training practices, teams have struggled to make meaningful change. 

Traditional classroom training is still a popular choice for healthcare professionals. It is an effective way to teach and learn. However, when resources are stretched to the limit, we are seeing greater shifts to digital learning.  Now is the time to revisit the efficacy of digital learning as a component of a greater learning strategy. 

Why you should consider digital learning 

Digital learning requires less resources. It has made it possible for healthcare professionals to get the training they need while allowing them to learn at their own pace, on their own schedule all with the help of instructional technology such as video demos, knowledge articles, professional community forums, and hands-on simulations. Digital learning plans can be tailored to learn short, specific topics to full courses. Rather than having your trainers tied to a rigid class schedule, trainers can develop and publish learning more rapidly. 

With an increase of new hire training needs, what happens when your L&D team is tasked with a special project? What if a department needs to be trained on a new workflow or business process? What if a staff member or physician needs a refresher? What if new functionality was developed and existing staff need to learn? These scenarios are going to be tough to address with physical classroom training as the lone option.  

Digital learning makes it possible to train more people in a shorter period without the constraints of physical space or classroom equipment. With space being a commodity in a healthcare setting and frequent challenge by itself, vacant classrooms can be repurposed, and related budget dollars reallocated, to fund rapid courseware development programs, software licenses, hardware, or other online learning tools and platforms, whether in part or in full. 

Are certain subjects better than others in a digital format? 

When done well, virtually (pun-intended) any subject can be taught in a digital format. At Ellit Groups, we specialize in healthcare EHR systems training and will make your transition to online seamless.  

You’ve tried digital learning before. What makes 2022 different? 

Better technology, competency, and motivation. And these are twofold with both L&D teams and learners. 

  1.  Today, more L&D professionals are skilled at developing digital learning.  
    Digital learning has evolved from more than clicking through a PowerPoint, and there are better tools to build a variety of digital content that best suits the learning objectives. By not limiting within a physical space, the talent pool can be widened to more national searches when staffing new L&D professionals. 
  1. More of today’s active population in the workforce have digital proficiency 
    Today, people have both the technology to access digital learning, as well as the skills and comfort to navigate it. With the increased reach of the internet, mobile devices, streaming services, and social media, more people are comfortable interacting with online platforms. This is quickly shaping the way people consume information, learn, and conduct their daily lives. More and more healthcare organizations are transitioning from paper charting to EHR systems. In the workplace, whether for soft skills or technology training needs, we can harness that technology experience to increase access, engagement, and learning retention. 
  1. Adults want flexibility  
    Many adults have put their formal education years behind them and struggle with the transition back into the classroom, while immersed in their busy lives and work schedules. Being able to train from anywhere offers a more comfortable and flexible setting and is seen as a reward that many enjoy and seek out. This doesn’t mean there cannot or should not be an in-person learning option. Rather, together as a component of a well-thought-out, immersive learning plan, digital learning can increase the reach and appeal of an EHR learning program.  

How to get past constant new hire training 

Considering the turnover and hiring trends we are seeing in the healthcare industry, organizations are resorting to hiring more people at one time and more sporadically throughout a given month rather than on prescribed onboarding weeks. 

Learning and Development teams with a traditional classroom training model have always had to balance trainer availability against classroom availability, and the pandemic has only amplified that challenge. Interestingly with EHR training, it is not always the sheer number of people that need to be trained that causes a challenge, it’s the number of unique classes.  

For example, if you have 10 new hires starting on Monday who each needs a different class, you will need 10 different classrooms and 10 different trainers if all their classes were to be conducted at the same time. That would result in a trainer to learner ratio of 1:1, and assuming a classroom has 10 seats, 9 seats would be empty per classroom. Using that same scenario, if digital, self-led training were to be utilized, the physical classroom space and trainers could be freed for other purposes.  

Whether you can or should utilize self-led digital training versus in-person instructor-led or online instructor-led will vary greatly, but for the purposes of the above example you can see the efficiencies and savings that can come from alternate training methods. Digital training is an excellent option when resources are continually tapped. When a resource scheduling conflict arises, the following are some considerations when deciding how to prioritize: 

  • Digital learning: Can some or all content be offered in a digital format to free up resource constraints. Can the learning objectives be met in a digital format? Is the digital learning content already created or does it need to be developed? 
  • Time constraints: Does one class or group need to be trained before another? Are there limits to time availability during the day that once class can be scheduled in the morning versus the afternoon or evening? 
  • Complexity: Are there certain topics or groups that are more difficult to train than others? Do you anticipate the need for trainer interaction and dialogue?  
  • Business impact: Is there any content that is more business critical than another?  
  • Number of users: How many unique learners will consume the content? 
  • Learner experience: How much existing knowledge or experience do the learners have on the subject matter? Are you adding to or amending existing knowledge, or are you starting from scratch? 
  • Other efficiencies: Can any topics or groups be combined? Can you standardize start dates for new hires? Is any content irrelevant that can be removed? 

Ultimately, when new hire training increases, so does the need to reassess priorities and identify new ways to increase efficiencies. 

How we decide what digital learning option is the best fit for you 

It all starts with a learning needs assessment. Where is your organization right now? What are your challenges and opportunities right now? The answer to those questions will be complex, and so should be your Learning and Development strategy.  

At Ellit Groups, we meet our clients where they are on their journey, and with our professionals and vendor partners, we are changing the landscape of healthcare technology Learning and Development. We have worked with healthcare organizations across the globe and can help you identify skills and knowledge gaps to develop a personalized, adaptive learning solution that provides a better way to learn from beginner to mastery. 

Talk to us today for a free learning needs assessment and how we can develop a training solution that fits your needs! 

© 2023 Ellit Groups. All Rights Reserved.



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