Keys to Effective Training in the Healthcare e-Learning Environment

Managing healthcare e-Learning doesn’t have to be difficult, but there are three requirements that you just can’t afford to skip.

  • First: Ensure the system you use is accurate. Misinformation about medicine in the outside world is a significant problem. Unfortunately that is sometimes a problem within the field of medicine and health information management. For this reason, it is important to make sure that whatever system you use is screened for accuracy before using it as a training medium. This ensures that the information given to patients is substantive, and that the education provided is technically accurate and beneficial to patients as well as other healthcare practitioners.
  • Second: Ensure that the e-Learning platform is easy to use. Even if you are proficient in computer navigation, it’s likely that you’ve found a piece of software or website that was simply a pain to navigate. When you are considering one or more healthcare e-Learning solutions, make sure that the learning management system (LMS) is easy to navigate and that the platform is user friendly. This reduces the amount of time spent training employees, and helps them learn how to navigate the LMS with a minimum amount of difficulty. Make sure when considering a healthcare e-Learning solution that the system is easy to navigate, explains itself well so that you aren’t wasting large amounts of time training your employees on how to use the system, and that someone who has little to no computer expertise can navigate the system easily.
  • Third: Ensure that your training program is constantly evolving. This is necessary to keep pace with constant changes in the healthcare industry, and to support the theory that knowledge evolves over time. The information that we use to train healthcare professionals needs to evolve in relation to the knowledge that we gain about new healthcare methods, practices, policies, and procedures. For this reason, it is important to keep training programs up to date as new medical discoveries are made. This also ensures that patients are getting the best possible care, and healthcare employees are given the most accurate medical data to work with, in order to optimize their performance as healthcare practitioners.

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Fostering Virtual Community Enriches Healthcare e-Learning

Healthcare e-Learning can be a solitary and sometimes lonely undertaking. Helping students get to know one another, and form a community, can be beneficial during and after the class. Even if students work in the same building, they may not know each other. Taking a course together can be a bonding experience.

For some e-learners it can be particularly motivating to have a group of friends online to share insights and experiences. When the course is over, these relationships can help reinforce what was learned during the course.

Some students study together live, at scheduled times. Others go at their own pace, on their own schedule. Here are ways to build virtual communities, which address the needs of both types of learners.

healthcare e-learning

Virtual community can help make online learning more fun

Virtual Student Lounge — Having a space where people can gather informally, to discuss material or other topics, fosters community. Facebook groups and Google hangouts are popular options, as are online forums. If the technology is available, create a space within the e-learning portal.

Student Profiles — Invite students to create on-line profiles. Encourage them to include hobbies and interests, so students can discover what they share in common. Short videos, posted on YouTube, are a highly engaging ways for students to introduce themselves to the rest of the community.

Planned Group Activities — Give people a reason to gather online, to discuss a particular topic or work on a group project.

Live Activities – When students are online at the same time, there are ways to increase a sense of community. Among them:

Sidebar — Allow comments and questions during part, or all, of the presentation.

Video “Hellos” – Make time during the classes for everyone to turn on their cameras and say hello to each other.

Breakout Spaces – Where appropriate, create opportunities for small groups to gather in video chat rooms to discuss material.

Motivate Self-Paced Learners — Have regular email communication with students, even if these are automatic emails sent when students reach milestones in the course.

Other ways to make students feel they are part of a community are virtual “office hours” with teachers or knowledgeable leaders, and the opportunity to give feedback, either during the course or at the end.

Everyone’s time is limited. E-learners need to feel, first and foremost, that the course they are taking has value and will ultimately benefit their lives. Community activities associated with e-Learning should be well organized and clearly presented, so students feel these are also good uses of their time.

Avidity Medical Design specializes in the design of engaging, e-learning curriculums for health-related topics. We tailor presentations to the specific needs of our educational and corporate clients. To learn more, including ways to build online learning communities for your students, please contact us.

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.

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.

Hiring a Healthcare Course Writer vs. Creating Your Own Content

A common scenario in healthcare e-Learning goes something like this: A healthcare organization places a strong emphasis on education. For years they avidity medical design healthcare instructorhone their patient education programs, keep staff up to date with certifications, and develop some basic healthcare courses to provide additional training. They watch a live demo, are empowered by what they see, and they begin to move forward with curriculum development. This is where the problems start.

Becoming a healthcare course writer is not an easy task. Oftentimes people know what they want to say but have no idea how to say it. If they do manage to get the words on paper, they get lost in the world of learning management systems and authoring tools. They also discover that they must function as healthcare subject matter experts as well as healthcare course writers to ensure that the course is technically accurate. Before long, months go by and the project is scrapped.

This scenario underscores the importance of hiring an experienced healthcare instructional designer. Ideas for healthcare education often land in the virtual trash can before they ever reach the storyboard stage of development. This happens because the possibility of outsourcing course development was never considered. A talented healthcare course writer can collaborate on ideas and cultivate those that already exist in order to create a comprehensive course that is technically accurate and gets the job done.

Avidity Medical Design expands healthcare training to reach a broader base of clients. Whether you need help preparing staff for the transition to ICD-10 medical coding, or you need to train nurses on the fundamentals of patient assessments, you can have a visually pleasing course created and uploaded to your learning management system.

If you need help developing an in-depth course that accurately meets the learning objectives for your particular healthcare specialty, contact us. We will work with you to achieve your goals for curriculum development.

Hire a Healthcare Instructional Designer for Continuing Education

Finding the time to work on continuing education courses can be difficult within the confines of a medical office or hospital. However, developing the right healthcare courses does not have to be difficult. Working with Avidity Medical Design to create healthcare courses simplifies curriculum development, making it easier for all healthcare professionals to get the training they need.

healthcare instructional designers, healthcare instruction, healthcare certification coursesMany healthcare professionals need continuing education credits to maintain their certification or licensure. This means that healthcare courses need to include the most up-to-date information on changes in processes and procedures for specific healthcare specialties. Medical coders, for example, need to know how to accurately assign diagnosis codes in ICD-10 by October 1, 2014.

We can design continuing education courses for the traditional classroom, the online environment, or both. All training is Just-In-Time (JIT) training, meaning that healthcare professionals are given the essential information they need to get up to speed quickly, while minimizing disruption to their workday. With JIT, everyone gets the training they need to complete certification requirements and to immediately apply what they learn in the clinic, ER, ambulatory surgery center, ICU, or billing department, for example.

Contact us to learn how we can help your staff prepare for certification, maintain their current certification, or expand their skill set.

Avidity Medical Design can prepare your staff for upcoming certification exams or licensure renewal by combining a variety of instructional design methodologies to suit your needs.  With a healthcare instructional designer, every medical office can receive the highest level of training and improve patient care.

Bringing the Online Classroom to Life

The educational system in the United States is changing at all levels, especially at the secondary and post-secondary levels. Some of the changes are due to budget cuts that have hit the educational system especially hard over the past several years.

The U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan stated on April 17, 2013:

Education is more than a set of numbers on the ledger line. Education is not just an expense–it is an investment. In fact, it is one of the most critical investments in the future that we, as a Nation, can make. America cannot win the race for the future without investing in education–it is that simple.

Avidity medical design instructional designerA gifted instructional designer needs to use the right software to develop effective curriculum regardless of budget cuts that may change the shape of the educational landscape. Furthermore, the curriculum must allow students to immediately transfer what they learn in the classroom to the real world environment. Avidity Medical Design uses Adobe Captivate, Lectora, Camtasia, and other e-Learning platforms to develop curriculum that allows learners to immediately use what they learn.

Today’s students have many opportunities for social interaction – opportunities that did not exist 20 or 30 years ago. For these students, online learning is simply an extension of their online social interactions through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media networks. Just as conversations come alive on Facebook, for example, student learning should come alive in the online classroom. Creative instructional design combines elements of various instructional design models to create a vibrant learning experience that engages students on a variety of different levels and in a variety of different subjects.

Contact us to learn more about how we can bring your curriculum to life, stimulate your learners, and motivate them to learn more about the subjects that you are teaching.