E-Learning Boasts Benefits for the Healthcare Field

Leonardo da Vinci, master artisan and unparalleled inventor, appreciated the fact that “learning never exhausts the mind.” One of history’s most creative personalities acknowledged the liberty, freedom, and benefit that learning not only grants the learners, but also their communities. Considering his fantastic forethought, it is not unlikely that da Vinci envisioned an educational paradigm as powerful as e-Learning.e-learning, e-learning benefits, e-learning healthcare

Students from the Renaissance to as recently as the 1980s shared a very similar experience. They were forced to travel from near and far to live and study at the universities of their choosing. Such restrictive conditions made it impossible for many potential students, without the luxury of placing their lives’ responsibilities on hold, to follow their dreams.

Fortunately, the inventive human spirit designed a much more encompassing educational model in e-Learning, offering a wealth of benefits to all of today’s motivated students. The advantages of e-Learning over the traditional model are quite encouraging for contemporary learners, especially in the healthcare field:

  • Tuition for e-Learning is very cost effective. Dow Chemical was accustomed to spending up to $95 per learner/per course when paying for the traditional classroom setting. When the corporation switched to the e-Learning standard, however, they discovered that they were only paying $11 per learner/per course. By moving their studies into the virtual world, the company saved $34 million annually. Ernst and Young experienced similar savings when they condensed 2,900 hours of classroom training down to 500 hours with the support of 700 hours of web-based learning and 200 hours of distance learning. While the training costs were cut 35 percent, Ernst and Young discovered that employee consistency and scalability actually increased. Individual learners will not only find a relative savings on a virtual campus, but they too will benefit from the quality instruction received.
  • In addition to being cost effective, e-Learning demonstrates an efficiency in time. e-Learners are better able to work at their own pace, so there is never a need to slow down for lagging students. Social interaction, a common delay in any classroom environment, is not a factor in the web-based classroom. Plus, learners do not have to waste time traveling to and from another venue since the virtual classroom is readily available at their fingertips.
  • The American Psychological Society commissioned a nine-year study of e-Learning to determine its effectiveness. The research concluded that “learners learn more using computer-based instruction than they do with conventional ways of teaching, as measured by higher post -treatment test scores.” The types of learning that have been found to be particularly successful in the virtual classroom are those that focus on information and knowledge, and processes and procedures. Indeed, e-Learning students typically demonstrate increased gains in test/certification scores and in the level of mastery displayed on the job.
  • Lastly, e-Learning is advantageous to the environment. Web-based students do not increase Carbon Dioxide emissions when traveling to and from campuses. The e-Classroom also boasts paper free communications, instead relying on such tools as email, PDF manuals, and synchronous classrooms. While such environmental factors are perhaps not the main rationale that most students use to select their higher educational institutions, it is just another layer of the exceptional efficiency offered by the virtual classroom.

The healthcare field is fortunate to be at the forefront of the e-Learning revolution. Like da Vinci’s innate desire to seek out the deepest level of understanding, Avidity Medical Design possesses an unparalleled enthusiasm to equip future healthcare workers with the extensive knowledge they need to be successful in the field’s highly competitive market. Please contact us today to uncover the power of e-Learning.

Applying Healthcare Instructional Design Strategies that Work

If you are responsible for the continuing education of medical professionals, the importance of Healthcare Instructional Design Strategies that Work is clear.  Healthcare workers are busy, and it is often difficult, if not impossible to get a group together during working hours.  How then, do you teach and document new skills, and provide meaningful continuing education?

healthcare instructional designThe answer is to use personalized educational programs, that have been designed just for your needs.  Avidity Medical Design can provide these programs.  If your staff is self directed, and motivated to learn, you can choose mobile programs.   These learning modules can be completed on the employee’s own time.  If your employees don’t want to take their work home with them, choose a traditional program.  This would be completed as a group learning experience. Another option is a combination approach, where part of the module is completed by the individual, and and then a review is done as a group.

Continuing education requirements vary state by state.  Customized course development assures that these requirements will be met.  Staff will stay up to date, and competent.  Nursing Continuing Education Requirement Chart, from the American Nurses Organization, shows the hours required by each state.  Even if your state does not require documented hours, the importance of maintaining competency cannot be stressed enough. Also, nurses are not the only staff that need continuing education. All staff have to remain up to date, and competent.

An article in Propublica.org documents the astounding statistics of errors in United States hospitals.  It is reported that up to 98,000 deaths a year are as result of error.  This number is just from hospitals.  Errors also occur at walk-in clinics, dialysis clinics, ambulatory surgical facilities, etc.  These errors were not intentional, but none the less, lives were lost.  This shows how absolutely necessary it is for healthcare workers to remain competent.

For more information on Healthcare Instructional Design, please Contact Us.

Moodle for Medicine: Choosing a Learning Management System for Healthcare Students That Works

One of the most important decisions you can make for your healthcare students is choosing the right learning management system (LMS). Choosing the right LMS is important because it helps students navigate successfully within each course, and it helps professors fulfill the requirements of teaching the course and facilitating ongoing communication with students. There are many different learning management systems on the market today. Some of the most popular LMS platforms include Moodle, Blackboard, Angel, and eCollege. Let’s look at how each of these platforms can be used in the context of healthcare education.

Moodle for medicine

Moodle

Moodle has all the features of a typical learning management system such as assignment submission and online grading. Moodle also has a discussion forum, instant messaging, online calendars, online news and announcements and can facilitate online quizzes. In addition, Moodle users are continually developing third-party plugins that can be used with this LMS. Moodle provides a centralized location for submitting assignments, taking online quizzes, and participating in discussion forums.
Blackboard

Blackboard is an incredibly popular learning management system that has been on the market for years. It offers seven different platforms for its learning management systems that have been adapted for use by K-12 schools, universities and  companies. Blackboard offers your students a tried-and-true learning management system to facilitate their studies.

Angel

Angel offers healthcare students and professors a very clean interface and extensive real world feedback. Angel’s interface is set up to engage busy students. Its opening screen allows student users to quickly check their course guide, see what’s new, look at current activities, track grades and look at their own personal lists of tasks or to do notes for each class. It has a feeling of activity associated with the student user screens. For professors, it offers real world data and feedback on student progress to streamline communication between instructors and students.

eCollege

eCollege is a learning management system that is produced by textbook provider Pearson. eCollege combines a learning management system with streamline access to textbooks. If your school uses Pearson textbooks to support your learning, eCollege integrates ebooks within its learning management system and offers students interactive ways to use their platform.

Which Learning Management System Is For You?

Moodle, Blackboard, Angel and eCollege are all learning management systems with something to offer your healthcare students. Please contact us to further discuss which of these learning management system will work best for your healthcare students. We can help guide you to the best choice for your students. We look forward to helping you.

Three Ways to Use Facebook to Train Healthcare Students

Facebook has become not only a way to find old friends or learn about the weekend’s events, it is also an incredible learning tool, for students of healthcare and countless other topics.  Teachers can utilize Facebook for class projects, for enhancing communication, and for engaging students in a manner that might not be entirely possible in traditional classroom settings.  Be creating a page specifically for the class, managing the privacy settings to exclude outside visitors, and connecting the class blog or online learning homepage to Facebook, healthcare students have a relaxed, inviting atmosphere of learning that encourages How to use facebook to train healthcare studentsparticipation and engagement.

Facebook encourages participation in class projects and class discussions where classroom learning often fails.  Healthcare students could be instructed to follow current news feeds.  There are dozens of pages related to the medical field, updated daily and broken down into sections for relevancy, keeping current information flowing through the class.  With the wealth of information available to healthcare scholars, students can review assigned topics, then post their abstracts on Facebook for other students to read, discuss, and peer-review.  An excellent way to ensure that healthcare students are more engaged in the learning experience—whether in a traditional classroom or at accredited online colleges—is by strengthening the communication between students and student-to-teacher.

Educators can create groups, schedule events, send messages, share multimedia, post class notes, make announcements, and post homework on Facebook, providing direct communication with instructors, facilitating classmate connections, and allowing shy students a way to communicate.  Healthcare students can even practice doctor-patient communication and bedside manner through Facebook messaging and comments.

Facebook for education offers students the opportunity for active communication on a level playing field.  Since students are likely familiar with Facebook already, implementing it into healthcare education and training provides comfortable, easy student access.  Facebook promotes collaboration, teaches personal responsibility, and keeps schools current in many medical and professional fields.

Please contact us to learn more tips on How To Use Facebook to Train Healthcare Students.

What Physicians Can Do To Fight The Rising Cost of Healthcare and Support Medical Necessity

Everyone’s trying to tighten their belts lately, and the medical field is no exception. One way to fight the rising cost of healthcare and support medical necessity is with smart diagnoses, fewer unwarranted procedures, and a more open dialogue between doctor and patient. Here are some steps the physician can use to determine if a treatment is medically necessary:

  • Collect a complete medical history. Every medical exam has a portion of medical history Q&A to it, but patients sometimes forget a detail here or there. If you think that a few more facts about their past can change whether a procedure is done or not, then ask. Asking a few more questions to flush out the whole story can rising cost of healthcare and medical necessityenlighten you on what may really be going on.
  • Double check diagnosis. The human body reacts similarly to various problem, so symptoms can be present in a lot of differ diseases. Double checking your diagnosis for similar diseases and matching it up with your patient’s medical history can mean the difference between right diagnosis and misdiagnosis.
  • Ask if the procedures are necessary. Certain procedures are necessary, and others are just a precaution. An article Laurie Tarken released in Fitness Magazine noted in 2009, $325 billion of the nation’s $2.7 trillion annual health care bill went to unnecessary medical procedures. This explains why speciality physicians groups are calling on their members to stop reflexively calling for some 200 tests and procedures to be done. Instead, these physicians are being asked to consider the efficiency of the test, and look for more efficient methods to get a correct diagnosis or treatment.

To be fair, it’s not always possible to avoid asking for tests and procedures to be done, especially in specialities with a risk of high litigation. In that case, it may be possible to simply cut back on preventative measures, such as the annual physical exam to get our health checked out. For some people it may be necessary to get their health checked regularly, while others can go for years between exams without harm.

For example, Laura Esserman, M.D., a professor of surgery and radiology at the University of California, San Francisco and the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force say that you can get a blood test for total cholesterol and HDL every 5 years as long as the findings are normal, but blood pressure testing should be done every other year unless it’s higher than the recommended levels for the patient’s age and fitness level.

Gaining the confidence necessary to diagnosis and call for the correct procedures comes with great training and lots of practice. This could help physicians fight the rising costs of healthcare and medical necessity over time. If you’d like to talk about this, or anything else, please contact us.

Bloom’s Taxonomy Brings Your Healthcare Training to Life

Course design is all about pedagogy, understanding how we learn best. But it’s not enough just to learn something to know it, students also need to be able to apply it. Unfortunately, so much of medical education relies on rote learning and memorization. Students may not remember how many hours they spent pouring over flashcards before a pre-med anatomy and physiology exam. Likewise, students may not remember everything they were tested on. That’s because the learning they are expected to do doesn’t involve applying that knowledge in a real world healthcare setting (the cadaver lab doesn’t count).

At Avidity Medical Design, we employ Bloom’s Taxonomy in training healthcare learners to bring your education to life. Bloom’s Taxonomy is the pedagogy sine qua non for Bloom's Taxonomy Training Healthcare Learnersholistic, integrative learning. For a simplified understanding of this concept, consider this excerpt from Wikipedia:

Bloom’s taxonomy refers to a classification of the different objectives that educators set for students (learning objectives). It divides educational objectives into three “domains”: cognitiveaffective, and psychomotor (sometimes loosely described as “knowing/head”, “feeling/heart” and “doing/hands” respectively). Within the domains, learning at the higher levels is dependent on having attained prerequisite knowledge and skills at lower levels.[2] A goal of Bloom’s taxonomy is to motivate educators to focus on all three domains, creating a more holistic form of education.[1] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloom’s_taxonomy)

The idea is to structure learning as simultaneous cognitive assimilation. Using given information, and understanding the intended application, we design our lesson plans to teach intellectual understanding and real-life, physical application at the same time. This approach saves time in the classroom and negates the need for flashcards and hours of homework.

Furthermore, our lesson plans based on Bloom’s Taxonomy are structured to include strategic variables that increase the depth of knowledge on a given topic. Your healthcare learners will be challenged to understand the idea on a cognitive level and to apply that understanding in different settings with different tools. Your students learn key concepts, standard procedures, and effective improvisation techniques all in one lesson.

Today’s healthcare industry is a fast changing environment that demands constant adaptation. Training healthcare learners requires education that can adapt just as fast. At Avidity Medical Design, we are dedicated to ensuring the highest quality education by using the most effective learning tools to produce students who are as detailed as they are innovative. Contact us to learn more about how we can design the most effective and engaging courses to bring your healthcare training to life.

Healthcare Education in “the Cloud” Pours Information Into Our Hands

How does “the cloud” enhance the educational experience of today’s healthcare professional? The cloud gives students unbridled access to the information they need to grow in the profession.

Gone are the days when flashcards were the only way to test a student’s knowledge. Technological innovations such as the smartphone, tablet and apps have transformed the landscape of healthcare education forever. The quest for healthcare knowledge is migrating to apps where information is available 24/7.

healthcare education in the cloudYour Health: There is an App For That

A report released by mobile industry analyst Research2Guidance predicts that by 2017, 3.4 billion people will have accessto tablets and smartphones with access to mobile healthcare apps. Of the 3.4 billion, 1.7 billion people will have downloaded them. To say that healthcare apps are popular is an understatement. That being said, how does the cloud and the mobile movement in general help hospitals train their staff for 21st century healthcare?

Raining Down Information

The cloud allows hospitals to reach physicians and other healthcare practitioners wherever they are. Being “in the cloud” also allows hospitals to train staff year round without the ebb and flow of information that comes from older forms of information sharing such as journals and conferences.The power of the cloud and mobile technology is undeniable. Knowledge is power and technology releases that power for the good of humanity.

Thirst For Knowledge

The availability of healthcare training apps has exploded over the last couples of years. Many nurses and healthcare professionals turn to their smartphones to acquire new information on drugs, diseases and procedures.

A study conducted by Wolters Kluwer Health’s Lippincott Williams Wilkins (LLW) of 3,900 nurses indicated in early 2012, 71 percent of nurses were already using smartphones professionally. Medical practitioners should be encouraged to download reputable healthcare applications and use them to increase their fund of knowledge and reduce the likelihood of medical errors. Here is a short list of apps that hospitals can use to improve patient care:

  1. Nursing Central
  2. NurseTabs: Fundamentals by AusQuinn
  3. NCSBN Learning Extension Medication Flashcards
  4. The Merck Manuals For Mobile
  5. Shots By STFM

 

E-Learning Platforms

The power of e-Learning helps hospitals stay current on emerging trends using the right healthcare platforms. Here is a brief overview of the most popular platforms available:

HealthStream Learning Center – The most widely adopted learning management system in the healthcare industry. An estimated 3.4 million healthcare workers actively use their system.

TidWiT Social Learning Solutions –  A learning platform that offers social healthcare solutions for medical providers. The platform is 100% cloud based.

There are a variety of approaches that hospitals can use to provide continuing education for healthcare professionals, whether they are nurses, physicians, coders, or CEOs. Cloud, apps, and e-Learning solutions are the future. Incorporating these solutions into a comprehensive continuing education program creates durable and long-lasting change for all healthcare professionals. Contact us today to discuss how we can bring your current healthcare training program into the future.