Canadian Hospital Uses Suite of Knowledge Management Applications to Improve Staff Training and Education While Reducing Costs
Windsor Regional Hospital
By Andy Shaw
“Because e-learning is so easy to do and manage, we’ve had an 85 percent compliance with mandatory training rate since we switched from our paper-based system,” says McCullough. “That rate is off-the-chart high. Also, we now have electronic proof that an employee has indeed had the proper training.”- Karen McCullough, Interim Vice President of Acute Care and Chief Nursing Executive, Windsor Regional Hospital – ON
Mark the Windsor Regional Hospital (WRH) down as an early believer in e-learning — even when keeping the faith in computer-based training and education wasn’t easy.
“There’s a real business case for it, so we made a strong commitment to e-learning some time ago,” says Karen McCullough, now WRH’s interim vice president of acute care and its chief nursing executive. “Doing all our training in the classroom had become just too labor intensive and costly. That’s why we made e-learning part of our survival strategy. We tried several e-learning products but we were never really satisfied with any of them. So for eight long years we searched for something better.”
Then the Learning Management System (LMS) from Medworxx came on the scene.
WRH was already happily using the web-based Medworxx Content Management System (CMS) for sharing and handling its documents. So McCullough and other hospital officials knew that the Medworxx LMS would likely be similarly robust, easy to operate, and cost saving.
“We have about 2700 employees spread over three sites who each need a minimum of about seven hours training per year,” says McCullough. “And that was costing us about $350,000 dollars annually plus up to $50,000 more moving people to off-site classrooms. Photocopying course materials added no less than another $25,000. But since implementing the Medworxx LMS in 2004, we are doing more training and educating with less money — while our classroom travel and photocopying costs have all but disappeared.”
The Medworxx Learning Management System enables healthcare educators to share knowledge more effectively by surmounting any technology, security, and compliance barriers. It overcomes of an institution’s geographical spread and makes digestible the vast amount of information staff must assimilate.
“Windsor Regional Hospital staff can now simply sit down at their computers and, either through the hospital intranet or from home via the internet, log on to the Medworxx Learning Management System portal,” explains Andre Vandenberk, the chief technology officer at Medworxx. “And that takes them to what we call the Learning Studio. On the Medworxx LMS home page they see a calendar, training alerts from their managers, and various tabs such as a Courses tab, an Exams tab, a Surveys tab, and a Reports tab. So it is intuitive and easy to use.”
From that helpful view, every WRH employee can manage their own learning plans. From a similar view, hospital managers and educational staff can do student surveys, deploy courses, monitor individual student progress, correct exams, and keep statistics on how many have passed, or not yet passed, what.
“We can now keep electronic learning files on every one of our staff,” says McCullough. “What’s more, the quality of the compliance courses we can now generate with the Medworxx software is light years ahead of what we could do before.”
WRH online courses begin with a simple sign on.
“Once someone logs on they will see alerts for courses they must do,” says Corry O’Neill, the Interim Director of learning resources and clinical information. “Down the left hand side they can click headings for courses and the tests. Once they’ve done the tests, they get immediate feedback from the system telling them what they got right or wrong and why. Then it gives them a final result.”
The Medworxx LMS also supports the management of those courses still taught in classrooms. It can set class locations, identify costs, maintain instructor lists, and record results. The Learning Management System has improved WRH results from all its courses significantly.
“Because e-learning is so easy to do and manage, we’ve had an 85 percent compliance with mandatory training rate since we switched from our paper-based system,” says McCullough. “That rate is off-the-chart high. Also, we now have electronic proof that an employee has indeed had the proper training.”
In addition to the Medworxx LMS, WRH uses the related Medworxx Policy & Procedure Management System. It allows WRH to publish its policies and procedures online, giving employees immediate access to all the rules they must follow. It also helps generate compliance courses for the Learning Studio.
As applications, both Medworxx Policy & Procedure and the LMS “live” in the larger content management system: CMS.
“We can use the Medworxx CMS to adapt very quickly to any changes or addition to the hospital’s workflow,” says Kristina Verner, WRH’s intranet/internet coordinator. “For instance, when our new pediatric department joined us, the editors we identified and trained there were very quickly able to generate the information and training content the rest of the pediatric staff needed.”
In short, Medworxx is helping Windsor Regional Hospital keep faith in its future.