Over the past decade, there have been countless technological leaps forward in healthcare education for clinicians and other personnel. And in the last 18 months, the COVID-19 pandemic spurred even more rapid, and transformational, change. As just one example, online and distance learning became even more widespread, and will likely remain as now primary, rather than secondary, educational platforms.
Whether it's onboarding, continuing education, or learning how to use new tools, keeping abreast of technology in healthcare education is more vital than ever to healthcare clinicians and administrators. Doing so serves many goals:
How providers tap into healthcare education technology is also rapidly changing. What used to be called "e-learning, "a term which calls to mind a traditional classroom setup with desktop computers, is now much more portable. A wide range of training and educational offerings can be (and are) streamed through tablets, laptops, and smartphones. Meeting students where they are in this manner has improved both compliance with required training as well as engagement with optional coursework.
Other influences also include the gamification of training, with a social-media component, which leads to friendly competition as well as a sense of accomplishment and pride when tasks or courses are successfully completed.
Another way that healthcare technology education has moved forward is through single platforms that provide options for multiple different roles. This helps provider organizations get away from having multiple vendors to provide coursework, and instead offer a single portal or platform. This boosts clinical professional development by giving staff a common point of reference for everything from remedial training and content libraries to mandated, annual proficiency exams and even optional professional development for those seeking to obtain a specific certification, move into management, or achieve other career goals.
What's next for clinical education? It's already here. Artificial intelligence, or AI, has debuted on the healthcare education stage and is taking learners to the literal next level. For instance, HealthStream's product Jane®, the first clinical competency system with AI, enhances learning in multiple ways:
Jane is the result of decades of research and millions of competed assessments. Its goal is to both ensure that providers get the customized, tailored continuing education they need to succeed, as well as spur an interest in those "next steps," the pathway to lifelong learning.
Above and beyond improved competency and performance, these surges in technology are twofold: higher job satisfaction and employee retention, which is essential to operational efficiency and improved patient outcomes. It will be exciting to see what comes next, and how that as-yet unknown technology will provide even more educational opportunities for today's clinicians — and tomorrow's.
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