The healthcare industry is facing a severe shortage of nurses, and the demand for qualified nursing professionals is only increasing. According to The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industry will need more than 275,000 new nurses by 2030 to quell current shortfalls. Without them, healthcare organizations face a serious threat that will undermine their overall quality of patient care. Fortunately, through the use of e-learning tools, healthcare organizations can mitigate the effects of this shortage and ensure that their staff remains well-trained and capable of providing excellent care.
E-learning tools in healthcare provide a range of benefits that can help reduce the strain on hospitals and other healthcare facilities. They can be used to quickly and efficiently train nurses on new procedures or protocols, as well as provide refresher courses for more experienced staff. These courses can be delivered remotely, enabling nurses to access them from any location and at any time–making it easier for them to stay up-to-date on best practices and regulations. One example is Brightwork Health IT’s SPARC Academy.
According to SPARC Academy’s President Samantha Haney, the on-demand, asynchronous training solution was developed to help healthcare organizations train employees on how to utilize their electronic health record (EHR) environments quickly and efficiently.
“Training staff on how to properly use EHR software is critical for staff retention and patient care,” said Haney. “Unfortunately, many organizations are bogged down by costly, resource-constraining training solutions that aren’t relevant to their specific EHR implementation.”
Through SPARC Academy, training is made available to users at their own pace and can be accessed from anywhere, at any time. And the benefits of this approach are clear. An on-demand, asynchronous training approach promotes efficiency and employee empowerment, resulting in added affordability, agility, and usability.
Haney added that “SPARC Academy delivers engaging, customized training experiences that enable users to learn from anywhere and at any time.”
New e-learning tools can also be used to create remote training environments that are completely immersive. For instance, virtual reality simulations can be used to give nurses and other healthcare professionals hands-on experience in a safe environment, without putting patients at risk. Take Xenco Medical’s HoloMedX for example. It was the first glasses-free holographic surgical simulation platform on the market. With HoloMedX, surgeons can simulate an entire spine surgery in holographic space—no need for headgear or glasses.
This type of technology could also be used to help improve patient outcomes by teaching nurses the most effective ways of responding to medical emergencies or providing post-operative care.
With each of these tools, the sky truly is the limit when it comes to the application of e-learning tools in healthcare. And according to Haney, the benefits are never-ending as well.
“The adoption of e-learning tools by healthcare organizations is beneficial for many reasons; one being that it enables them to quickly scale up their training capabilities without having to hire additional staff or purchase costly equipment,” said Haney. “Additionally, as technology advances, these tools become increasingly efficient and cost-effective—allowing healthcare organizations to save money while still providing their nurses with high-quality training materials. Moreover, there are direct benefits for nurses too; they can access training material quickly and easily from home or wherever they happen to be located—making learning more convenient than ever before.”
Coming full circle, back to the issue of nursing shortages, Haney outlined six ways that e-learning can improve the situation.
1. E-learning Tools Help Reduce Training Time
“One of the primary benefits of using e-learning tools to train nursing staff is that it significantly reduces the amount of time required for training,” said Haney.
Traditional methods such as in-person classes or workshops can be costly and inefficient, requiring students to spend countless hours in classrooms or lecture halls studying material that may not even be relevant to their profession. With e-learning tools, however, students can access materials from anywhere at any time, allowing them to learn more efficiently and focus on topics most applicable to their job duties.
2. E-learning Tools Provide Improve Understanding
“Another benefit of using e-learning tools for training purposes is that they provide a better understanding of course material than traditional methods do,” added Haney.
By using interactive elements such as videos and simulations, students can gain a more comprehensive understanding of key concepts without relying on written notes or lectures from instructors who may not have direct experience with their field. In addition, by providing material in an engaging format, students remain motivated throughout their studies which helps ensure better retention rates for important information.
3. Provides Access to More Resources
Haney noted that “by utilizing e-learning tools, healthcare organizations also gain access to a wider variety of resources than they would if they were relying solely on traditional methods.”
With online courses, students can access materials from anywhere in the world via the internet, which makes it easier for them to study while still being able to fulfill other obligations such as working or caring for family members. Additionally, many courses contain assessments that allow learners to gauge their progress and identify areas where additional study may be necessary—a feature that isn’t always offered with traditional classroom settings.
4. Fast-Tracks Training Programs
Haney says that “e-learning can provide nurses with comprehensive, fast-track training programs that can be completed in a fraction of the time it would take to complete an in-person program.”
This makes it possible for healthcare organizations to train more nurses faster and get them on the job quickly. Additionally, these online programs are often self-paced and allow nurses to learn independently without committing to a traditional classroom schedule.
5. Provides Cost Savings
“E-learning also provides cost savings for healthcare organizations by eliminating the need for physical classrooms and associated costs like rent, furniture, and supplies,” noted Haney.
With fewer physical classrooms, nurses don’t need to travel as much, meaning they can use their time more efficiently and focus on learning instead of commuting. Additionally, e-learning platforms can provide access to valuable resources such as textbooks or journals that could otherwise be too costly or difficult for students or educators to obtain through traditional means.
6. Improves Quality Assurance
“Online learning platforms also offer quality assurance tools that help ensure that nurses receive high-quality training from accredited programs,” explained Haney.
E-learning tools can track student progress, monitor engagement levels in class discussions, and ensure that all assignments are completed accurately and on time. With this data available in real-time, instructors can quickly identify areas where students may be struggling or require additional guidance or support.
The healthcare industry is facing a severe shortage of nurses due mainly to aging populations and increased demand for medical services. Fortunately, through the use of e-learning tools, healthcare organizations can combat this issue by providing more efficient and effective training options for new nursing staff members while also reducing costs associated with traditional training methods such as in-person classes or workshops.
Therefore, investing in e-learning solutions provides an invaluable opportunity for healthcare organizations looking to maintain high standards in patient care despite limited staffing levels—and should therefore be explored further by healthcare executives looking for ways to address this critical issue within their organization.
- Equitable access can improve course completion and student success - June 8, 2023
- A lack of cloud experience could harm students’ job prospects - June 7, 2023
- 4 ways to optimize accessibility in higher ed - June 6, 2023