As a leading teaching hospital in Australia, Epworth Healthcare is responsible for educating the next generation of health professionals through its medical, nursing, and health professional 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 (Sharable 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.
D2L is very flexible. The ability to build things in D2L works nicely as it allows us to effectively do rapid prototyping of our learning.James Quealy, Group eLearning Manager, Epworth Healthcare
A Need For Greater Learner Engagement
A key requirement for Epworth was that its elearning system needed to support its current corporate compliance training process managed by Janison’s cloud-based learning system. It had to be careful not to blow that system up while, at the same time, opening it up to offer staff greater opportunity for learner engagement.
“None of the platforms we looked at covered the whole thing,” says Quealy. “However, having worked with D2L over the last 10 years, I trusted in the integrity of the company.”
A Complete Solution From Compliance, To Communities Of Practice, To Learner Engagement
Initially, D2L operated in the background as a course repository, handshaking with Janison. “D2L is home to 30-plus courses and we use Yammer for discussions forums, Vimeo for video, and Wufoo for surveying,” explains Quealy. “The total solution lets us build communities of practice. D2L fits in beautifully and appears like one of our own systems to our users which is pretty impressive.”
D2L Plays A Key Role In Cultural Transformation
Quealy’s greatest challenge was to transform Epworth Healthcare from a compliance focused learning organization into a full-fledged learning organization. By working with D2L, Epworth boosted its staff engagement around training by making learning learner-led. For example, it used its new elearning solution to give clerks across its 70 wards the opportunity to be considered a crucial part of the professional organization.
“D2L was used in a blended way to run a series of faceto- face workshops where we asked them about their training needs,” says Quealy. “From there we built a reference site which would be used for orientation of new ward clerks resulting in greater engagement. And it was driven from the learner on up, versus compliance training which is imposed from the top down.”
“D2L is very flexible. The ability to build things in D2L works nicely as it allows us to effectively do rapid prototyping of our learning.”
D2L makes our learning process more efficient by taking the pieces of learning that you can online. That allows you to get greater value out the human face-to-face interactions when they do happen.James Quealy, Group eLearning Manager, Epworth HealthCare
5X Faster At 30% Of The Cost
Prior to D2L, Epworth was outsourcing development of its elearning. By partnering with D2L, the healthcare enterprise has cut learning costs by two-thirds and is able to deliver elearning modules and content five times faster than before. Delivering learning online accounts for only 25% of the cost of running face-to-face training courses, and Epworth isn’t tying-up valuable meeting space across its facilities.
“[Face-to-face] training across our organization consumes up to 30,000 hours,” says Quealy. “We just don’t have the meeting space to dedicate to that.”
“The ability to challenge people, to encourage them to think and reflect, is very important to our medical staff, as is the ability to customize what is being presented and to modify it as things change. D2L makes our learning process more efficient by taking the pieces of learning that you can online. That allows you to get greater value out the human face-to-face interactions when they do happen.”