When we try to keep healthcare compliance training as engaging as possible, it is more likely to succeed. This blog post is based on our webinar, “4 Necessities to Building an Indestructible Compliance Training Program,” in which compliance training experts from HCCS, A HealthStream Company, share their insight and wisdom about using compliance education to strengthen the organizational approach to healthcare compliance. Effective compliance training can help every employee understand their compliance obligations and make them extensions of the compliance team.
HCCS Compliance Courseware Developers Debi Hinson and Kathleen Greene-Batt had plenty of advice for making compliance training more engaging and emphasized new ways to think about the training experience. They suggested incorporation of the following key elements:
1. The Value of Stories
Greene-Batt reminded listeners that “Stories and scenarios are effective training tools that can help you sell compliance and illustrate key points.” A realistic scenario serves to put “your learners in someone else's shoes” or help them be more prepared for something they could realistically experience during their workday.” Best of all, stories promote engagement and retention of the information you're trying to convey.
2. Get Personal
Greene-Batt asks educators to share their personal stories. She insisted, “You probably have at least one hair-raising story based on personal experience or from current events that relates to your training.” It doesn’t make sense to offer farfetched or silly examples—instead, you should “rely on real case studies such as actual enforcement actions” or take them from your experiences whenever possible. Greene-Batt reminded listeners to “make sure you avoid mentioning the name of the institution or individual in order to protect the innocent or the not so innocent.”
3. Consider Video
As some of the most valuable available training tools, videos can help keep the attention level high and help break up the training to avoid boredom. Greene-Batt offered that they are “much more stimulating than reading or listening to somebody speaking.” Importantly, they “work well for presenting scenarios that spark ideas and encourage problem solving.” They also inspire and facilitate pauses for asking questions. Greene-Batt insisted on the use of “situational videos with convincing characters in realistic settings, where the situations and the settings are believable.” As in training in general, it is important to be mindful of video length—just long enough to get a point across is ideal. Likewise, staying current is key; outdated videos “may cause the opposite effect, and learners will be turned off.” Greene-Batt warned that while extremely valuable, “Videos shouldn't be used as a substitute for a lecture.”
4. Use Humor
Greene-Batt believes that humor always helps training. She insisted that “If they laugh, they will remember.” She added, “You can inject humor to make a point, engage learners, boost retention, make content harder to ignore, and humanize the content.” One warning is to be mindful of the audience and aware that “What is comical to you may not be comical to them.” Cultural differences, English as a second language, and use of colloquial expressions may cause attempted humor to fall flat. Greene-Batt closed by warning, “You're not there to do a standup routine, so make sure you use humor sparingly.” Given the tendency to reuse compliance training, she suggested, “If you are recycling training or if your employees are required to sit through a training topic on an annual or quarterly basis in which you have incorporated jokes or cartoons in the past, make sure you change them up every year.”
More engaging compliance training is likely to hold the attention of employees and better inspire their commitment to protecting organization. That requires you to keep the training on the shorter side and as interesting as possible with such elements as interactive exercises and video. Efforts to keep compliance learners in mind can make a huge difference towards counteracting their resistance to training. You want to be able to counteract the common question—what does this have to do with me? To do so, Newsholme offers, “You connect the dots for folks and help them understand that no matter their role in the organization, compliance is everybody's responsibility.”
Watch the full webinar here.
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