Here’s How Post Acute Providers Can Improve Staff Training

Large post-acute care administrators have something to learn from smaller organizations when it comes to training staff.

Though larger facilities tend to have more sophisticated training technology, small facilities have strong methods for evaluating whether skills taught during training are being applied in caregivers’ day-to-day work, according to a staff development and training survey conducted by health care talent and performance solutions company Relias Learning.

“The methods that smaller organizations may use to assess whether skills learned in training are being put into practice on the job may include assessments, observations before and after, and analytics,” M. Courtney Hughes, author of the survey and senior researcher at Relias Institute, told Senior Housing News.

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The post-acute section of the report includes responses from more than 700 post-acute care professionals from senior living communities, home health care agencies and skilled nursing facilities, Hughes said. Sixteen percent of the respondents hold executive or senior management positions.

About 86% of these respondents reported that their organizations use online training methods for at least half or all of training. More than half surveyed use learning management systems (LMS) software and a formal analytics program.

“Our study revealed that the greatest perceived strengths of current staff development and training programs include flexibility, the variety of courses, and individualization of methods,” Hughes said. “Online training software provides such benefits to learners. A 2016 study by the Brandon Hall Group showed that 40% of companies saw an increase in revenue and 53% saw an increase in productivity and engagement after implementing a new online training platform.”

The most important outcomes of training for post-acute care organizations are improving clinical practice standardization, clinical competencies, and service or program outcomes, according to the survey.

Despite the benefits, implementing training programs can be challenging due to ongoing staffing troubles in the senior living industry.

“The main perceived weaknesses of current staff development and training programs for these organizations are staff shortages and lack of time,” said Hughes. “This is not surprising given the high staff turnover rates and increasing demands placed on staff, including higher patient acuity levels.”

Written by Elizabeth Jakaitis

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