As a leading teaching hospital in Australia, Epworth HealthCare is responsible for educating the next generation of health professionals through its medical, nursing, and allied health education and training programs.
Epworth offers a leadership and development program across the organization that supports on-the-job application of skills and knowledge, using coaching, job rotations, shadowing, and acting-up opportunities. Learning and continuing development is core to Epworth’s workplace culture and staff development.
Transforming learning from a compliance focus to a learning culture
Like any healthcare institution, compliance remains a core education pillar for Epworth. It’s also the starting point for a larger mission to transform Epworth HealthCare into an elearning organization where the learning experience is highly engaging, efficient, personalized, collaborative, and continuous for busy clinical staff operating in a 24/7, high-intensity, multidisciplinary workplace.
“We have a requirement to keep our hospital registered and, in particular, our nursing staff registered, so compliance for us was a logical starting point in our learning journey,” says James Quealy, group eLearning manager for Epworth HealthCare. “The big challenge for us was to really embrace being a learning organization.”
Epworth’s obstacles included leveraging its data to change the way it developed its elearning by lining up performance with quality and education, the costs and time involved in effectively bringing together and delivering training to a number of multidisciplinary teams, and digital literacy.
Changing work practices to become more digitally literate
“We have clinical nurse educators who are responsible for helping staff catch up on annual training and practical education, and run through core competencies,” explains Quealy. “We needed to transform their work practices and allow them to become digitally literate in a way they haven’t been able to before.”
In the past, elearning at Epworth consisted of a container for SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model) pieces. “It didn’t allow us any freedom to, for instance, put together a syllabus for a course. It was a closed universe,” says Quealy. “What we really needed was a proper outward looking elearning system that could identify authentic learning tasks, associate those tasks to learning objectives, and provide personalized learning paths to engage our learners.”
Working with D2L, Epworth has been able to evolve its elearning practice into an engaging, data-driven solution that encompasses employee onboarding, technical training, professional development, and leadership development, and is effectively delivered to people throughout the entire organization.