Driving Organizational Change Initiatives Through Remote Learning: A Case Study

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.

  1. 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

  1. Having a flare-up while doing normal activities
  2. The stigma of having COPD
  3. The responsibility to take care of yourself
  4. 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.

Outcomes

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.

Learnings

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 info@harbingerlearning.com.

Hospitals Count on Digital Healthcare Training Amid COVID- 19

Digital Healthcare Training

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages across the globe, most industries are facing unprecedented challenges. The healthcare industry is no different. Hospitals are struggling to find additional beds, ventilators, and creating new space for patients. Amid all this, hospitals have started relying on digital healthcare training modalities to protect patients and healthcare workers from contracting the disease. Remote monitoring, telehealth platforms, and Artificial Intelligence(AI)-powered assessment apps and devices have become the new norms.

Following are some ways hospitals are leveraging digital healthcare training to educate their staff as well as patients.

  1. Synchronized Just-In-Time Digital Healthcare Training

In order to prevent and reduce coronavirus exposure to emergency first responders and other hospital staff members (who are at higher contraction risk through their work duties), hospitals are offering synchronized just-in-time digital training in the form of micro-learning videos and simulations.Some popular training topics are:

  • How to monitor patients for signs and symptoms of COVID-19
  • How to keep patients, visitors, and healthcare professionals safe by using correct infection control practices including proper hand hygiene and selection and use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • How to properly clean and disinfect environmental surfaces and equipment
  • Recommended actions for unprotected exposure (e.g., not using recommended PPE or an unrecognized infectious patient contact)
  1. Telehealth and Telemedicine Training

Telehealth and telemedicine have undoubtedly become mainstream during this period of crisis. Hospitals have been very quick to train their doctors and nurses to adjust to this change, as patients are now more accepting of this comparatively safer and more convenient form of care.

Doctors and nurses are virtually trained on topics like,

  • Telemedicine modes- audio, video, chat, store-and-forward, Prescription of drugs over telemedicine
  • Using technology to conduct nursing and deliver care from a remote location, Monitoring a patient’s oxygen levels, heart rate, respiration, blood glucose, and more in a telenursing setting.
  • Patient safety and informed consent in telemedicine
  1. Augmented and Virtual Reality for Healthcare Training

Hospitals have increased the use of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to train patients and healthcare professionals in slowing down and preventing deadly outbreaks.

For instance, there is specialized AR/VR training being designed for pathological scenarios, which is immensely useful.  New AR innovations are helping doctors and surgeons to diagnose, treat, and perform surgeries on their patients more accurately by giving them access to real-time data and patient information faster.  With the help of AR/VR, doctors can precisely study their patients’ anatomy by entering their MRI data and CT scans into an AR/VR headset and overlay specific patient anatomy on top of their body before actually treating them. 

  1. Nudge Learning

In the current situation, sharing updated and accurate information with required stakeholders as quickly as possible, is crucial. Hospitals are looking at smart tools to nudge their staff on latest safety measures, updates on Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), government regulations, and other best practices. These nudges are basically short micro-learning nuggets which use various media elements (image, text, audio, or video). Nudge learning can also be used to reinforce learning from critical training modules by quizzing the learners and redirecting them to a micro-learning video or a course in case they answer incorrectly. For example, if a nurse takes a quiz on donning and doffing of PPE and gets a step wrong, they will be redirected to a video to correct their understanding.

With no clear end to the COVID- 19 crisis in sight, hospitals are strategically evaluating innovative approaches to fuel their digital training initiatives. Are you working in a hospital? What digital training initiatives have you being working on? Write to me at info@harbingerlearning.com to initiate a discussion.