Bring Efficiency and Personalization to Healthcare Training with Adaptive Learning

April 1, 2021
April 1, 2021

Employers recognize that, moving forward, staff education and development activities need to be more efficient and personalized to individual employee needs. Thanks to advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence in the healthcare industry, leaders can now use an approach called “adaptive learning” to improve the way learning is delivered. Through the use of various assessments and tests, an organization can now tailor learning to the exact needs of the group or individual. There is now no need to waste staff time taking courses that cover material they already know or that do not apply to their specific work needs.

Where Employee Education Leaders Stand on Adaptive Learning

HealthStream recently surveyed industry decision-makers in the areas of employee education and development to determine their opinions of adaptive learning and their status in adopting this new approach. The following is a report based on replies from 214 leaders that were collected by HealthStream using an online survey administered in July 2020.

Summary of Survey Findings

According to the healthcare leaders who participated in the HealthStream survey, their organizational education and development programs are challenged by assignments that can be difficult for staff to take and by employees who are frustrated by having to repeatedly train on the same material.

  • Organizations are relying on a number of different internal sources to determine what training to assign in the upcoming year. Assignments are not likely to be informed by assessments that can pinpoint individual learning needs.
  • The healthcare leaders we surveyed saw many advantages to using an adaptive learning approach, including improved efficiency, learner satisfaction, learner engagement, and time savings.
  • Healthcare leaders strongly agreed with these statements:
    • I would like to see more options for employees to opt out of course material they already know.
    • An adaptive learning approach will improve the quality of patient care delivered by our organization.

HealthStream’s Approach to Adaptive Learning

Adaptive learning involves a focus on the individual and meeting them where they are in terms of skill sets and competency. That translates to tailored programs that, if properly thought out and implemented, can result in heightened employee satisfaction — especially with Millennial and Gen Z cohorts. A bonus is that Gen X and Baby Boomer staff also benefit from the opportunity to demonstrate their years of expertise to test out of areas in which they are fully competent.

“Today’s learners desire a better way to learn, especially in compliance and mandatory content,” says Vanessa Hoevel, Senior Director of Product Marketing, People and Growth Solutions, HealthStream.

“It’s really the organizations who have been overly cautious. Learners want microlearning; they only want to learn things that they can’t demonstrate knowledge on currently. They want to fast-track through content that takes into consideration their years of tenure and competency. They are challenging their organizations not to assign everyone the same thing, but rather give them an opportunity to test out and show their knowledge, their competency and their proficiency.”

Learn more about HealthStream’s adaptive approach to learning.

This post is the first of two based on our article, “Efficiency and Personalization with Adaptive Learning,” by Robin L. Rose, MBA; Vice President, Healthcare Resource Group, HealthStream. The follow-up blog post will present some specific survey findings about adaptive learning in healthcare.
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