According to our recent survey on how HR and learning management best practices impact nursing excellence, 54% of healthcare organizations rely on a learning management system to offer more professional development opportunities to their nurses. However, the other 46% are either not using their system effectively or they’re still relying on a manual process to deliver and track education for their nurses. Meanwhile, as a healthcare learning administrator, helping your education and nursing leadership team improve your nurses’ professional development might seem like an ambitious goal if you’re still buried in files and paperwork trying to keep track of your employees’ basic education requirements. Furthermore, besides tracking employee education, if you’re still tracking your healthcare organization’s mandatory training requirements for The Joint Commission and OSHA with pencil and paper or struggling with an LMS that’s difficult to use, you may want to consider a new system.

Since tracking employee education requirements and organizational compliance requires constant vigilance and significant amounts of record keeping, implementing an easy-to-use LMS can help you prepare for a visit from a regulatory body and go beyond delivering the minimum education requirements to your employees, which should contribute to better patient care and increase employee engagement.

If you’re considering implementing an LMS for the first time or deciding on a new one, here are eight questions to consider as you evaluate different systems:

1. Is the system designed for healthcare?

Healthcare has unique challenges when it comes to training and education. An LMS that is designed for healthcare is more likely to meet your needs out of the box and require less reconfiguration and modification.

2. What options for courseware authoring are required or available?

Many healthcare organizations leverage on-site subject-matter experts to create course content. A flexible LMS offers an open authoring platform, which enables organizations to import their courses regardless of format.

3. Can training information be submitted electronically for compliance reporting?

Continuing education agencies in some states (e.g., Florida and Alabama) require electronic submission of employee training data. An LMS that has this functionality minimizes the need for custom interfaces.

4. What type and level of customer service and support is provided?

It’s important to have a support team that’s knowledgeable about the needs of healthcare clients. For example, will the vendor’s customer service team be able to respond quickly to questions that may arise when surveyors for The Joint Commission or the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services are on-site for an accreditation audit? It’s also essential to have support specialists who can work with people who have differing levels of technical skills who will use the LMS. HealthcareSource has a long standing reputation for delivering return on investment and customer satisfaction. In fact, ourcustomer satisfaction and renewal rates are over 96%. How do we achieve such high customer satisfaction and success? Well, a significant portion of our Client Services organization joined us from healthcare organizations, we have the expertise and knowledge to work with your daily needs and challenges. Our Customer Success Managers, many of whom are former clients, will provide you with solutions to ensure compliance, performance and delivery of a great patient experience

5. Does the system support measurement, tracking, and reporting of competencies?

Look for an LMS with an integrated competency solution. This enables organizations to assign activities, measure progress, and generate reports that help manage improvement in staff knowledge, skills, and abilities.

6. How does the system support tracking certifications and licensure, and how does it keep staff informed?

It’s essential for employees to keep their certifications and licensures up to date. For example, can employees attach scanned images of their licenses and certificates to their records? Are employees proactively notified when their licenses and certifications are due to expire?

7. How does the system integrate with other information systems?

It’s much less time-consuming to implement and maintain an LMS when it integrates with employee-profile systems of record, such as HR and ERP systems.

. Does the LMS vendor offer eLearning courses designed specifically for healthcare employees?

Many healthcare organizations simply don’t have the time or resources to create their own courses for employees, whether it’s basic compliance training, specialized clinical training for various departments, or offering CE opportunities for employees’ professional development. Consider choosing a vendor who can offer eLearning courses for healthcare, specifically a vendor whose courses are updated periodically. For example, courses may need be updated to meet compliance regulations or new CE requirements─purchasing an LMS with courseware means that you won’t have to spend valuable time and resources managing the courseware creation process.

With the help of a learning management system, healthcare organizations can create more efficiencies in their employee education and training processes. The time that education and organizational development professionals spend manually tracking and monitoring employee education completions or struggling with an inefficient system can be reallocated to focus on delivering more education to your employees in order to improve patient care.

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About The Editorial Staff

The Editorial Staff is a team of writers with a passion for helping healthcare organizations manage their biggest and most important investment: their employees.