Six Trends for Effective Healthcare Training
Over the past two years, many industries were compelled to revamp their processes, systems, and cultures to overcome unprecedented challenges. Given the number of people affected worldwide by COVID19, both physically and psychologically, healthcare industries were impacted the most. They also evolved the most with the help of rapid digitization of patient data and other advances in medical technology, such as wearables and sensors that track patients’ vital signs.
Healthcare continues to bear the brunt of such risks and challenges, including pressure to prepare for future crises. Hospitals are seeking to ramp up recruitment to improve patient-to-healthcare professional ratios—hiring and training a large number of employees at all levels in a relatively short period. Existing employees may need upskilling or reskilling to make efficient use of emerging medical technologies, equipment, and procedures. All the while, medical facilities must protect themselves from cybersecurity breaches, such as unauthorized access to digital patient information.
Lack of effective training programs for healthcare workers could result in a substandard or poor patient experience, while putting themselves, their employers, and the public at risk. The following trending innovations in workforce learning can help global healthcare overcome many of these challenges.
With increased priority to recruit qualified employees at medical facilities, the demand for virtual onboarding is also rising. Effective online training is key to a seamless onboarding experience for new hires. This helps to expediate the onboarding process while ensuring consistency and standardization of information and the new hire experience. Similarly, with advances in telehealth, many healthcare professionals are providing remote patient care through virtual platforms. Online cybersecurity training can help safeguard against phishing and other scams and protect sensitive medical data. Effective diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training that uses relevant workplace examples and practical lessons can help eliminate unconscious bias, create an inclusive work culture, and increase employee morale.
Microlearning and Mobile Learning
Bite-sized solutions that are easily accessible on smartphones are the future of learning. They are a great way to empower healthcare workers without overwhelming them with too much content. Short animations, micro scenarios, and live action videos that demonstrate effective ways to interact with patients can help healthcare workers improve their communication, medical, technical, and soft skills. This training will lead to more positive patient experiences and better feedback while reducing the time away from patient care.
The healthcare industry can support its traditional in-person training with online learning for better reinforcement and more flexibility for learners. Blended learning programs combine in-person training and preliminary discussions with self-paced online courses and microlearning. This combination of instructor-led and self-paced training can give learners the benefits of social learning while also making the content more engaging, facilitating better knowledge retention.
Patient safety is paramount for healthcare professionals. To ensure consistent best practices, they must be well-trained on standard procedures like ambulating a bed-ridden patient or administering IV fluid. Simulation-based learning can help healthcare workers learn or revisit these procedures in virtual scenarios that replicate real-life clinical situations. Learners can make certain choices in these scenarios without the risk of real-life consequences, while learning from mistakes and perfecting their technique.
Augmented Reality (AR) solutions have redefined healthcare education and training across the globe in the past few years. Lab technicians and pharmaceutical factory workers can be trained to carry out complicated procedures with AR experiences, which combine the learner’s physical environment with overlaid virtual elements. For example, smartphones—when held over certain medical manufacturing equipment—can allow the practitioner to perform the steps of a procedure with the help of virtual text and 3D images overlaid on the equipment. AR experiences can also enable learners to interact with virtual elements and learn more about human anatomy, medical equipment, and any number of professional techniques.
Virtual Reality (VR) technology has likewise revolutionized healthcare training. VR training programs can help healthcare professionals practice procedures in a low-pressure environment, enabling them to provide immediate treatment and patient care in medical emergencies. Advanced VR technology can also be used to help learners practice complex surgical procedures safely and with no risk in a virtual space. These immersive environments compel learners to imitate the exact hand movements required for a surgery, allowing them to gain the necessary experience without the grave consequences of mistakes in real-life situations. Advances in VR technology are now also making multi-user access available, where multiple individuals can be in a virtual operation room and perform a simulated surgery collaboratively as a team in real time.
To find out how KnowledgeWorks Global Learning can create effective learning solutions for your healthcare workforce, please contact: Kelly.Lake@kwglobal.com.