The healthcare industry is constantly changing. Changes in procedures, process and technology mean that healthcare professionals are required to constantly up-skill and upgrade their knowledge to comply with the latest regulations in the medical field.
Providing training for a complex subject such as healthcare can be demanding. Even though classroom training is effective, it is not a viable solution as dispersed healthcare employees are becoming a commonality.
From this we are able to see that microlearning is increasingly becoming popular amongst healthcare professionals.
In a nutshell, microlearning is an educational strategy that provides just the right amount of information to help learners reach specific, actionable goals. Microlearning is also relatively cost-effective and quick to develop.
In this article, we outline the key areas of microlearning that can impact healthcare professionals.
Learning in Context
One of the most important factors that make microlearning effective is the ability to contextualize the content for the learner. This would mean offering real-life scenarios which the learner encounters every day. By utilizing contextual and real-life scenarios, microlearning improves the learner’s critical-thinking skills and behavioral changes required to complete a task or a job.
Including it in the Workflow
The success of the microlearning strategy is heavily dependent on the ability of the learner to access the tool whenever there is a need, and even from their smartphone. Since the content can be quickly consumed in two to five minutes, microlearning is the perfect tool for busy healthcare professionals.
Spacing the Content
A recent study by ATD showed that learners tend to forget nearly 80% of what they learn within 30 days unless the knowledge is put to practice. This ‘forgetting curve’ has nothing to do with the quality of the training provided but rather the way our brains work. Spacing the content and reinforcing it by way of repetition and testing can improve the retention rate of learners. By utilizing this technique, healthcare professionals can increase retention of information and improve on-the-job performance.
Another advantage of microlearning is the amount of data that can be collected through weekly surveys etc. These data points can be used as references to identify gaps in job proficiencies and improve the training program.
As per research by ATC, 92% of organizations plan to utilize microlearning as part of the learning and development strategy in 2019 more than the previous year.
But how can microlearning specifically help the healthcare industry?
Reduce Nurse Turnover
As per the American Nurse Association, the world will require 3.44 million nurses by 2022, which will be a 20.2% increase. With a high nurse turnover, the healthcare space could be under tremendous pressure in the coming years. One of the reasons for turnover is the lack of training and formal onboarding provided by the organizations where they work. Watching a series of short videos on their smartphones or tablets between duty hours will help the nurses update their knowledge. This will provide them with relevant information quickly, without having to sit through hours of classroom training.
Decreasing Patient ‘No-Show’ Rate
Many patients worry about their scheduled procedures or treatments as they are unfamiliar with what is expected of them, resulting in no-show at the last minute. By using microlearning videos, healthcare facilities can help patients learn about these procedures and put the patient’s mind at rest. The videos can cover subjects such as explaining the ailments and required medication, to steps in procedures and post-procedural care.
Reducing Patient Readmission
After a patient undergoes treatment for an illness or condition, he or she may have to make lifestyle changes or undertake specific treatment. Healthcare facilities can combine microlearning and adaptive learning methodologies to create a virtual health coach for patients.
The content can include relaxation therapy, health plans, and health support service. This type of personalized health coach is expected to encourage healthier choices among patients and reduce readmission for the same health issue.
(Note: Adaptive learning is the use of computer-based algorithms to arrange interactions with the learner and deliver learning activities and customized resources that will address the unique requirements of the learner.)
Microlearning functions as a cost-effective tool for pharmaceutical and healthcare organizations that want their employees to access these courses on-demand and to have the ability to be completely trained to ensure peak performance.
If you would like to learn more about how to build the most effective employee training strategy!
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