Today, one of the most important business needs for organizations is to create a sustainable and scalable learning ecosystem for the ever-evolving workplace. No longer can L&D departments afford to work in silos. The key job that L&D leaders have on their hands is to keep their (remote) workforce engaged by instituting learning in the flow of their work and to create measurable business impact through learning. All of this leads back to delivering the right content to the right person at the right time in the way they want it, to improve business outcomes.
As a 105-year-old privately-owned company, Midmark Corporation, a leading manufacturer of medical, dental, veterinary products and related services, has been through many transformations in its lifetime. Sometime back, they decided to expand their focus from products to providing seamless solutions that improve the experience between the patient and the caregiver. The Professional Education team at Midmark was tasked with the responsibility of accomplishing this organizational level change initiative through implementation of remote learning solutions. The team realized that to achieve the end goal, it was important to help Midmark teammates understand the clinical and patient experience and how their products help improve patient outcomes. To facilitate the required learning, Midmark strategized and selected multiple methodologies.
Details of the components used in their blended learning program are shared below.
- Introductory video
To begin with, the Professional Education team sent an introductory video by their Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Tom Schwieterman, explaining that Midmark was going to focus on COPD and Spirometry. The reasons for this choice (listed below) were shared with learners via multiple mediums – posters, on stage with patients, through patient video, etc.
- COPD is the 3rd leading disease cause of death in United States.
- There are 160,000 COPD related deaths in the United States every year.
- It is estimated there are 12-14 million people in the US with COPD that are undiagnosed. And Spirometry is the most effective and common method for diagnosing COPD.
- Only about half of Primary Care offices have spirometry test equipment, and if they do, they may not know how to get it into their workflow or interpret the results.
- COVID-19 has left many people with permanent lung damage that moves them into the COPD realm of care.
- Midmark believes they can help more clinicians learn how to incorporate spirometry testing into their daily practices and hopefully make a positive impact for patients with COPD.
2. eLearning module
The talking head video was followed with a “What is COPD?” eLearning module. This module provided an overview of what causes COPD, profiles of people with COPD, and Midmark’s solution set.
3. Live presentation
At their annual Commercial Summit, Dr. Tom gave a live presentation on the need to address COPD as a company. This was to reiterate the importance of addressing COPD. They also had posters on the walls around the presentation room with key facts about COPD.
In a remote learning setup, Dr. Tom’s presentation could have been handled via an interactive webinar.
4. Q&A session
And then Midmark brought on stage two patients with stage-4 COPD, to hold a Q&A session with the audience. The Professional Education team had also made a video of the patients telling their stories that was shown before bringing them on stage.
In a remote learning setup, the video could have been streamed remotely and the Q&A could have been held online.
5. Hands-on training session
The team then had the learners rotate through hands-on spirometry testing sessions where they learned to use the spirometry equipment and take tests on themselves.
In a remote learning setup, this could be done remotely via a webinar and through individual coaching as the key sales teammates have their own spirometry devices as part of their sales kit.
6. Gamification modules
Over the next few weeks, the team rolled out 4 ‘Day in the Life of a Patient with COPD’ gamification modules where the learner had to make decisions on how to deal with the impact of COPD in daily life activities. These modules, which were produced by Harbinger, comprised 4 topics
- Having a flare-up while doing normal activities
- The stigma of having COPD
- The responsibility to take care of yourself
- Options to keep healthy
Gamification elements such as scores and Patient Wellbeing Indicators were used to increase the engagement level of the modules and emphasize the importance of taking appropriate decisions at right time.
Mid-way through the program, Midmark surveyed a cross section of their sales and marketing teammates. Some of them have very little to do with COPD or selling spirometry products and services.
Here are some key insights
- 91% of them found Dr. Tom’s overview video Very or Somewhat Useful
- 97% found the “What is COPD” eLearning module Very or Somewhat Useful
- 91% found the first Day in the Life gamification module Very or Somewhat Useful
- No one found any of the above “not useful” even though they may not be involved with spirometry
What is interesting is that the videos and eLearning modules were rated higher than the hands-on spirometry workshops that only received an 80% useful score. The fact that the hands-on spirometry training received relatively less approval as compared to the other learning modalities, speaks about how remote/online learning, if planned and structured well, can get us the desired business results.
Here are some key learnings that the Midmark team captured from their whole experience.
- No matter how short a module is, learners like to know ahead of time how much time it will take them to complete the module
- They found that allowing teammates to study topics remotely per their personal schedule allowed for more focused attention
- Learners need to understand how the topic fits into their sales goals and corporate strategies
- And, the learners’ managers need to understand how important it is for them to proactively support the learning
On June 18, 2020, Midmark Corporation and Harbinger Interactive Learning came together to deliver an insightful webinar touching upon all the above aspects. You may view the webinar recording here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oW-IV7yblJs and hear it directly from Cleon Wellington, Professional Education Director at Midmark Corporation. For any further queries or to have a discussion, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.