Physicians are some of the most time squeezed professionals on Earth. Whether practicing at a hospital, or as part of a care delivery organization, physicians must keep up to date clinically while they serve their panel of patients. Additionally, many physicians are doing research or have management responsibilities within their organization. Lastly, in order to be a practicing clinician within their organization, these same physicians are required to learn the technology systems used in order to document their clinical encounters (mostly EHRs). How do most organizations train their physicians? In classrooms watching trainers move through PowerPoint slides while lecturing. Do we want our physicians spending up to 20 hours of their time in classrooms learning to use an administrative system? Physician staffing shortages are a reality. Utilizing their time for non clinical activities only exacerbates a bad situation. Most believe there are not enough Primary Care Physicians in the U.S. today, and the situation is only getting worse. (See Chart) According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, there were 744,224 licensed and active physicians in the U.S. in 2011. Of those, 208,802 were aged 60 or older. At the same time there were 80,279 enrolled in the 137 accredited U.S. medical schools. Assuming no attrition, medical school graduates transitioning into their clinical residency (3 to 7 years) will average 20,070 per year, fewer than those retiring. There must be a better way to train physicians then spending the equivalent of 1,875,000 eight hour shifts (750,000 physicians times 20 hours training divided by 8 hours per shift) learning how to properly document a clinical encounter. Virtual Immersive Learning is one solution. Can you recommend others?
Recently, I was talking with a top tier EHR trainer at a very large regional health system. She told me that while their EHR vendor had a strict requirement for all trainees to take the standard EHR training courses, including eLearnings and classroom training, when a team of Emergency Department clinical staff began to use the new EHR they were unable to efficiently and effectively apply what they had learned. Why? Because they were so lost they didn’t know where to begin. According to Wikipedia, “E-learning(or eLearning) is the use of electronic educational technology in learning and teaching.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-learning ) But “e-Learning” is frequently as simple as a few PowerPoint slides with a simple test to take at the conclusion of the slides. Static PowerPoint based eLearning gives you assurance that your staff has seen the material. They have probably even understood some of the information. But this modality gives you no insight into whether or not the staff can apply what they’ve learned in a realistic, job-oriented scenario. In contrast, adaptive or virtual immersive training provides adequate integration, realism and immersion (the learner must engage with their full focus to make it through the training) that you will know for certain that your staff is ready to go.According to Wikipedia, “immersion into virtual reality is a perception of being physically present in a non-physical world. The perception is created by surrounding the user of the VR system in images, sound or other stimuli that provide an engrossing total environment.” In layman’s terms: when your staff has experienced Virtual Immersive Learning they have already worked with your new EHR in their actual work role.
Many hospitals are implementing or updating EPIC EMR software. When we inquire as to what clients need they tell us that they need training that is engaging, effective and efficiently delivered. Historically, go-live has meant resources working at sub-optimal levels as users ramp up their knowledge and comfort with the EPIC system. The cost, in efficiency, of this learning curve is substantial and incremental to the already extraordinary out-of-pocket costs associated with the classroom training that is the current industry standard training approach. There is an alternative. WP Virtual Learning has built and delivered a virtual, interactive training capability that replaces classroom training. Where individual instruction is required, avatars, videos and scenes with voice overs replicate the true-to-life where the learner actually works. This is far more realistic than a classroom setting. The learner responds to “live” patients, the actual screen they will be using and the correct workflow exactly as they will be doing when the software is implemented and “live”. A few reasons why this approach is more effective and cost efficient: • In one example, we reduced a 4 hour classroom training session (exclusive of travel time) to 2.5 hours • The training will be available for refresher courses, new hires, job changes, etc. • The learner is fully engaged at all time, not waiting for instructors or classmates to catch up, not checking email or texting a friend. The learner must stay engaged throughout the training to move forward with the session This new-to-healthcare paradigmof training will change the way training is delivered throughout the industry. Why? Because the current classroom-based training is just not up to the task of delivering what healthcare organizations need.
If your organization, like most, is now dependent upon an “Electronic Health Record” (EPIC, Allscripts, Cerner or Meditech) then you really need to be looking at changing the way you deliver training to the clinicians and schedulers who are now reliant upon the system for doing their work. Classroom training, the current standard for most training delivery, is extraordinarily expensive. Because it’s expensive, many organizations cannot devote enough staff time to training, leaving those who use the system frustrated and inefficient during patient interactions. Introducing Virtual Immersive Training for Healthcare System Training Using a virtual instructor and avatars, virtual training: 1. Measurably improves the effectiveness of training, whether complex or simple 2. Significantly reduces the time spent by your staff engaged in training (travel and training time) and allows self-paced 24/7 access 3. Significantly reduces the cost of training delivery (trainers, rooms, computers ) 4. Increases staff satisfaction by training them on their actual job versus generic transactions 5. Frees up resources to help clinicians personalize the use of their systems to increase their personal productivity While virtual training for “go live” will deliver significant benefits, having virtual, high quality training available as needed can deliver consistent and long term benefits to the bottom line of your institution as new hire and refresher training needs are met with no incremental costs. If you’d like to see a short video of the virtual capability, please click here.