As I begin to develop my 2016 training plan, I continue my purposeful path and plan to increase my organization's evolution in the use of and adoption of our RLMS system. We've made significant progress over the last couple of years, and I definitely want to keep us moving forward. Here's a little about where we've been, where we are currently, and where we plan to be (as an organization) in terms of using the RLMS for training.
Where we've been (2007ish - 2013ish):
- Not enough computer terminals; training computers "re purposed"
- Perception that online training is inferior
- Early elearning experiences of over assigning courses, poor computer literacy among frontline staff, lengthy course completion times for those frontline staff which increased training hours and overtime, and frustration; this nearly resulting in our organization abandoning elearning at one time.
- Overuse of the system as a data entry tool for every training given in every location (67 SNFs & ALFs) that bogged down the system resulting in the inability to generate reports on training with efficiency or any confidence in the integrity of the data
Our progress to date:
- Migration to RLMS; Linda now VP with sole "ownership" of the Education program!
- Significant increase in computer work stations with the introduction of EMR (whew!)
- Recognition that standardized content offered in an elearning course is an effective means to provide training, and that blended learning approaches that account for the audience, topic, and delivery method are the most effective ways to provide training.
- Judicious use of assignments based on an annual training plan. Our focus to date has been compliance and regulatory trainings mostly with the addition, in the last 2 years, of more online professional development content for our professional staff such as nurses, therapists, regional staff and corporate staff.
- Integration of clinical content courses for special circumstances such as a Center who wants to develop their heart failure program; a Center who needs special training as part of a plan of correction, or a specific nurse who had a medication error or needs wound training etc. This has helped foster the perception that the RLMS is "helpful" and assists in providing "just in time" education. It also promotes the recordkeeping and report capabilities of the system as the helpful tools they are.
- Integration of courses for new hires. Most orientations are conducted in the classroom; however getting brand new staff to log in and complete certain orientation trainings in the RLMS introduces the new employee to the system early on and sets the expectation that this is a job requirement. We also created an online orientation equivalent in the RLMS for use when there is an urgent hiring need and an orientation is not scheduled; or a professional staff member is starting and could be onboarded more quickly with the online orientation. This has made the perception of the RLMS that of a "quicker" method to orient a new employee and a "convenient" option when an orientation is needed but there is not one scheduled or no one available to conduct the orientation.
- Reporting, communicating, following up (oh, the follow up!), and getting support from key leaders and influencers in our organization. Centers know that their results are frequently emailed to the region with reminders on training due; progress made; resources available etc. This data and progress is often reinforced by Regional team consultants, during business review meetings, etc.
What the future will hold:
- Judicious addition of more training. In 2016 I plan to add in a training plan for the food & nutrition department in collaboration with the VP of food & nutrition. There will be a few more courses added to those taken by nurses and therapists; more online versions of compliance training for department managers & Administrators, and I plan to add in an introductory course (MAYBE 2!) for frontline staff such as nursing assistants.
- Continued work on the strategies that have helped us achieve our progress to date above. More "mainstreaming" of elearning among our Centers and staff.
- Select superusers...potential use of the "advanced clinical skills" library (not included in our contract) with select Centers as they strive to give higher level clinical education to their nurses or develop specialty clinical programs.
- Elearning course development of our own content. I'm very excited to develop more in this area and integrate some of the content I'll be learning at ImpactNation 2015! While I love taking advantage of the great content in the RLMS, there are times when it's necessary, effective, and just plain cool to develop organization specific training that can reach the entire organization with standardized content, messaging, recordkeeping, and documented achievement of training objectives.
So, while I am always anxious for us to use more aspects of the system, integrate more courses, complete more online training, and maximize our use of the RLMS, I have to rememer that it doesn't happen overnight. It takes a consistent and progressive approach to change culture, behavior, and minds; but with a good plan, good execution, and good follow up, it will happen...all in good time!