Implementation Best Practices and Obstacles for Interactive Learning in Healthcare

April 1, 2021
April 1, 2021

This blog post continues a series about interactive learning featuring HealthStream’s partner, EBSCO Health.

The healthcare industry is changing how it educates and develops employees to meet varying learning demands and likely workforce shortages. One new development in this transformation is the use of interactive learning, a learner-engaging approach to healthcare education that redefines the roles of teacher and student and directly involves students in decisions about their own training. HealthStream recently interviewed partner EBSCO Health’s Chief Nursing Officer, Diane Hanson, RN, BSN, MM on the use of interactive learning and trends we are likely to see in this field over the next several years.

Can you share a few best practices when it comes to implementing interactive learning?

Within healthcare organizations, learners are adults. One best practice is to design and implement interactive learning approaches incorporating adult learning principles, such as:

  • Active involvement of learner in the planning and evaluation of learning activities
  • Relevance of learning activities to learner’s role and/or job
  • Learning activities should be experience-based
  • Learning based on problem solving to support critical thinking skill attainment versus memorization

Another best practice is to create interactive educational content solutions using a set of design principles that intentionally support content relevance, increase learner knowledge retention, and strengthen teacher-learner engagement. Some examples would be:

  • Evidence-based material to support quality practice principles
  • Use combinations of multi-media elements
  • Visually design to enhance skill building, content clarification and elicit learner emotions (e.g., context specific images, videos, and graphics)
  • Game-based learning to facilitate decision-making and safely learning from mistakes
  • Realistic situational learning using scenario-based simulation
  • Utilize feedback loops to encourage learning evaluation (e.g., pre- and post-testing, immediate performance feedback, and correction)

What obstacles might healthcare organizations encounter as they try to implement an interactive learning approach?

As with any new concept or approach, deploying an effective change management process and plan will support healthcare organizations in their efforts to implement and fully adopt an interactive learning approach. Performing a SWOT assessment to evaluate possible threats to success could assist organizations in pre-planning approaches to leverage strengths and address obstacles. Possible obstacles could include deeply imbedded historic patterns of teaching-learning, technology infrastructure support, budget constraints, competing priorities, and leadership misalignment. Opportunities for change could include the restructuring of roles in the organization to support interactive learning, redesign of education programs, investment in information technology platforms, and the creation of leadership alignment and incentives to support an interactive learning approach.

About Diane Hanson RN, BSN, MM; Chief Nursing Officer, EBSCO Health, and Editor in Chief, Dynamic Health

Diane Hanson is the Editor in Chief of Dynamic Health at EBSCO Health. In this role she provides leadership direction for nursing and allied health reference and clinical decision support strategies for the organization. After spending several years working in a hospital organization in various clinical and leadership positions, Diane has been focused on improving quality and evidence-based practice at the point of care through clinical decision support, health informatics and analytics. Diane brings over 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry, most recently as Vice President of Product Strategy & Management at Vizient Inc. Previously she served at Elsevier as General Manager within their CDS division and with Eclipsys (Allscripts) in an EVP leadership role. Diane is a published author and speaker on evidence-based practice and clinical decision support. She holds a degree in nursing from Grand Valley State University and a Masters in Management degree from Aquinas College.

Read the complete article from which this blog post is an excerpt.

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