Improve Efficiency to help Labor Shortage

Improving Efficiency in Education - Help Offset Labor Shortages and Rising Costs

May 18, 2023
May 18, 2023

The pandemic has greatly exacerbated an existing shortage of healthcare staff with an estimated 333,942 healthcare providers leaving the workforce in 2021 according to an October 2021 report. The ongoing shortage has left healthcare organizations looking for ways to maximize the efficiency of existing staff and leverage technology to optimize workloads and achieve workforce compliance in the shortest time possible.

Healthcare Organizations Need Effective Safety Education

Pressures on an already stressed workforce are increasing; particularly as the number of older adults with complex healthcare needs grows. Increases in chronic diseases result in a significant burden on healthcare facilities. Research from the National Institute for Health projects an increase from 71.5 million people over the age of 50 with one chronic disease to 142.6 million by 2050. Those with multiple morbidities will increase from 7.8 million in 2020 to 14.9 million in 2050.

While patient care requirements are expected to increase, the provider segment is expected to either remain stagnant or decrease. It is expected that the healthcare industry will have a shortage of 124,000 physicians by 2034. In addition, McKinsey reports a potential shortage of between 200,000 and 450,000 nurses as soon as 2025.

These significant shortages highlight a need to make learning as efficient as possible while still remaining effective and meeting all compliance requirements.

Patient Safety Education Solutions – Reducing Seat Time with Micro-Learning

To help combat this growing crisis, HealthStream's SafetyQ is incorporating micro-learning courses within an adaptive-learning model. These two learning techniques help to streamline the education process, increase retention, and allow front-line staff to focus more time on patient care.

Administrative burden (defined as non-patient care activities) is a significant source of front-line staff’s daily work activities. An NIH study found that nearly 17% of a doctor’s working hours are spent on administrative tasks. While much of this time is centered around documentation and responding to calls and messages from patients, mandatory education only increases that burden and decreases time for patient care. The end result can be an increase in overall front-line staff stress and burnout.

A micro-learning course in SafetyQ takes just 5 to 20-minutes to complete. Historically, other patient safety classes have taken up to 45-minutes to complete.  Research also shows that learning is more likely to be retained when spread out over time and delivered in shorter bursts. Thus, SafetyQ’s shorter, focused burst of learning can be:

  1. Completed during short amounts of down time.
  2. Delivered via a multitude of modalities (mobile vs. computer based)
  3. Completed at the user’s pace.
  4. Significantly more likely to be retained by the learner.

Learners no longer need to allocate a significant portion of their workday to complete just one course. Now they can complete a topic in minutes, retain the key points of the course, and do it on their computer or phone at a time and place that is convenient for them.

Patient Safety Education Solutions – Adaptive Learning

Incorporating adaptive learning into mandatory training allows for more efficient and highly-personalized instruction. An adaptive learning model incorporates assessments to identify topics about which learners are already proficient and assign training only where further instruction is necessary.  Adaptive learning has many benefits to healthcare organizations. It can:

  1. Incentivize knowledge retention - Learners can reduce seat time by demonstrating knowledge. This makes them more likely to engage with the content the first time.
  2. Allow learners to focus their time on knowledge gaps - As mentioned above, learners are more likely to retain information if it is spaced out and delivered in relatively short bursts. Fewer courses to complete can mean they are better able to space out the learning, and results in higher levels of engagement with those courses.

Automate custom learning pathways - It would be impossible for educators and administrators to tailor individual learning pathways for every individual learner, but the adaptive learning model automates the process, and the use of assessments allows for the determination of what training is needed (or not needed) for each learner.

Reach out to HealthStream for a SafetyQ demo today.

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