Getting the Most out of Annual Mandatory Training
Read how Swank HealthCare helped an Illinois hospital minimize costs while positively impacting quality of care
Powerful reminders of why regular training is important for healthcare employees
Test your knowledge of workplace and patient safety
* All available January 1, 2016
When was the last time you were tasked with extinguishing a fire or evacuating an area due to a fire in your facility? Hopefully, you haven’t been involved in either of these situations unless it was during a training or drill. However, fires and other hazardous situations do occur in healthcare facilities and when they do, staff must quickly put what they’ve learned during education and training into action. According to a 2012 report from the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 6,200 structure fires in or on health care properties per year.
A new cycle of annual, mandatory education and training will soon begin in organizations nationwide. Some common topics for healthcare facilities are: Fire Safety, Hazardous Materials, Bloodborne Pathogens, HIPAA, Electrical Safety, Infection Control, Back Safety, Patient Rights, Mandatory Reportable Incidents, a host of patient safety topics, and more.
It’s easy to understand why employees consider it a chore to complete the myriad of modules they’re assigned. Year after year they review the same information with only a few changes or updates, but it’s important to have regular training on these high risk topics that could serve to save a life or prevent serious harm to themselves, patients, visitors, co-workers, the public, and the organization. Although information covered in some topics, like Fire Safety for example, may never be needed by many employees, if or when a hazardous situation arises, they will need to be able to immediately recall the various emergency action steps necessary to keep themselves and others safe. Without regular training updates, those details could easily be forgotten. Organizations are required to provide regular, ongoing training on a variety of topics to comply with federal and state regulatory entities whose primary purpose is to ensure safety and prevent harm, such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Joint Commission, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Creating a culture of safety begins with a well-trained workforce. Here are ways leaders can get the most out of annual training and make the process more meaningful for staff.
No, you won’t receive any applause when you announce that it’s time to complete annual training again, but it might be met with less disapproval when you acknowledge the task, approach it with some enthusiasm, and set a positive example by being one of the first to complete it. When staff see your commitment, it sends the message that it’s important.
Let them know in advance what topics will be included, where to find the training, when it will be available, the length of time it will take, the deadline for completing it, and any other pertinent information. When staff know what to expect from the process, they’re able to anticipate, adjust, and accommodate.
When staff understand why mandatory training is important, they’re more likely to embrace it, take it seriously, and pay close attention. Use stories that are relevant to the topics. Make it meaningful by discussing ways training has led to positive outcomes or has prevented harm for staff and patients within your organization.
It’s true that your staff wins when they use continuing education courses to learn more, but how about giving them a little extra incentive to complete their training? Contests, drawings and challenges can be a fun way to encourage training knowledge, so get creative. Hold a contest by unit or department to reward the first 20% that complete their training, offer the chance to win a hefty gift basket if training is completed by a specific date or create a contest asking staff to share a time when they used the information learned in annual training.
After attending the ICAHN Conference on November 11-12 in Springfield, IL, Swank HealthCare worked with Clay County Hospital (CCH) in Flora, IL, to develop a case study on their new LMS solution. The hospital is now able to offer continuing education to all staff for the first time and within the first year has obtained over 400 CE’s. Read how Swank HealthCare’s solution minimized costs while positively impacting CCH’s quality of care.
Want to highlight your hospital in our next case study? Contact your account manager and we’ll work with you to tell your story.
Here are some sobering statistics that serve as powerful reminders of why regular education and training on common topics are important for healthcare employees.
Test your knowledge of workplace and patient safety by answering the following questions.
A. 1 hour
B. 1.5 hours
C. 2 hours
D. 2.5 hours
A. Alarm hazards: inadequate alarm configuration policies and practices
B. Managing patient violence
C. Inadequate reprocessing of endoscopes and surgical instruments
D. Inadequate patient handoffs related to patient transport
Share your story, tell us where your hospital will be this month or
what topics you would like to see in upcoming newsletters.
B. 1.5 hours×
A. Alarm hazards: inadequate alarm configuration policies and practices×