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HealthStream and the Iroquois Hospital Association – The Caring Gene Academy

November 7, 2022
November 7, 2022

This blog is taken from a recent HealthStream webinar that focused on the partnership between HealthStream and the Iroquois Hospital Association (IHA). The partnership was created to provide comprehensive, high-quality training that is specific to the unique needs of long-term care providers. The webinar featured Andrew Nault, Director of Business Development, Iroquois Hospital Association and HealthStream’s Luke Connell, Senior Accounts Manager, National Accounts.


HealthStream and the IHA

Connell and Nault began with an overview of the Caring Gene Academy® and HealthStream’s 15 year partnership with IHA. HealthStream provides tools that address workforce engagement and retention as well as tools that help organizations stay ahead of the constantly evolving regulatory landscape.

Nault shared that IHA is an association of 50 member hospitals in upstate New York. IHA’s main focus is to lobby and advocate for healthcare in upstate New York. In addition to those efforts, IHA had also begun the IHA Workforce Investment Organization (IHA WIO). The WIO focused its efforts on virtual training for the long-term care workforce. Connell went on to share that once being designated as a WIO by the state of New York, they set about their mission of training, re-training, recruiting, and retaining healthcare workers in the long-term care sector. The WIO was supported by grants that ended in 2021 and ultimately resulted in the creation of the Caring Gene Academy.

Beginning in 2021, HealthStream and IHA partnered to create the Caring Gene Academy. The goal of the academy is to replicate the success of the WIO and to support long-term care organizations as they made the transition to virtual learning. The process was quickly accelerated with the emergence of COVID-19 as organizations were forced to pivot from in-person, cNaultlassroom training to virtual training as a safer option during the pandemic.


The Caring Gene Academy – An Overview

The Caring Gene Academy has a number of features that help long-term care organizations provide the very best in virtual training. It provides access to:

  • HealthStream’s Learning Management System (LMS) - which gives users the opportunity to upload self-authored content to address the unique needs of their organization, robust reporting at the department, organization and system level as well as manager dashboards that help managers assess employee engagement.
  • Compliance and safety content – a full range of topics related to required training from CMS, OSHA and other regulatory agencies. This content is automatically updated as regulations change and can be used for orientation and annual review.
  • Continuing education – includes more than 2,000 courses that provide CEUs as well as leadership development and certification preparation courses.
  • IHA Support – IHA is able to offer administrative support for the Caring Gene Academy and is able to offer members assistance with adding and deleting employees, creating reports and making course assignments.
  • Caring Gene Recruitment – in addition to the learning content and support, users have access to a recruiting website that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) in its’ marketing to target people with characteristics of a caring personality and then targets recruitment directly to them. The effort has been tremendously successful and has resulted in more than 2,500 applicants over the last year.

The Caring Gene Academy can be purchased in two different ways – a premium or basic bundle which allows users to create a partnership based on their specific learning requirements.


Value-Based Purchasing Training

As healthcare, including long-term care providers, move to a value-based purchasing (VBP) system for reimbursement, it becomes critical that everyone that works in long-term care understands their role in achieving desired outcomes. The VBP courses include learner assessments and courses that can be assigned to learners based on these assessments. Users can assign courses to employees based on the assessment, job title, unit or organization. In addition, users have access to reporting and analytics that provide test results via the Test Question Analysis Report.

Course titles are aligned with New York State’s Department of Health Quality Measures making it easy for leaders to assign courses to Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) within specific domains such as: Infection Control, Falls Prevention, Improving Communication, Dementia and Other Issues Facing Clients, Nutrition, Incontinence, Pain Management, and Pressure Ulcers. Similar courses that align with VBP domains are available for home health aides and RNs.


The Caring Gene Academy – A Seamless Solution

New users can begin using The Caring Gene Academy at no charge until December 1st. In addition, there are no implementation fees. Connell shared that getting started was as easy as completing a template that captures essential user data which is then uploaded into the system allowing users to begin getting training from IHA. In addition, there is complimentary administrative and LMS training for every facility in addition to the IHA support and a complimentary HealthStream Success Management team.

Users will also be able to participate in user groups to network and share best practices and be able to use the Caring Gene Academy Recruitment tool. And lastly, users have the opportunity to participate in IHA’s group purchasing program which provides discounts on a wide variety of products and services.

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