The health and healthcare industry, like many other sectors, has transitioned many of their training, education, and professional development to eLearning. The reasons are simple. eLearning provides access to educational content and training materials from anywhere with an internet connection. It is more cost-effective and scalable than classroom training and allows a consistent delivery of content and training materials. eLearning also more easily supports a multimedia and multi-language experience to meet a broad range of learning needs.
In this article, we discuss how eLearning offers a versatile and effective approach to education and training and tips for building effective eLearning for health education programs.
How the health industry uses eLearning
There are many ways that eLearning is used to educate clinicians and patients and deliver effective healthcare industry knowledge. eLearning is an effective way to deliver clinical training to healthcare professionals on new medical advances, diagnoses and treatment techniques, medical equipment, surgical techniques, on the use of electronic health record (EHR) systems and much more.
It can also be used to deliver continuing medical education (CME) to help doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to stay up to date with the latest research and best practices. When hosted on an LMS that tracks course completion and assessment results, eLearning is a convenient way to deliver CME-approved training and credits for maintaining licenses and certifications.
eLearning is also effective for patient, public health and health-awareness training. The modular format along with self-paced videos are an easy way to educate patients about their conditions, treatment options, and how to manage chronic illnesses. Since eLearning can be hosted on websites, they are highly accessible and customizable.
Healthcare compliance and regulations can be highly complex and in need of constant revision, eLearning is well suited to be used to deliver small chunks of learning (microlearning) for easier comprehension. It is also typically more cost-effective for creating new learning or updating content as regulations change.
Looking at healthcare facilities, eLearning is a cost-effective way to onboard and orient new employees, deliver telemedicine, telehealth, pharmaceutical, medical device, billing and patient record technology training, and educate healthcare staff about quality improvement methodologies, patient safety protocols, and initiatives to reduce medical errors.
As these examples have demonstrated, eLearning is a versatile tool for training, education, compliance, patient engagement and healthcare industry knowledge.
Health learning centers
Health learning centers, also known as health education centers, are facilities or online platforms designed to promote health literacy and facilitate education on various health topics. These centers take many forms including:
- Facilities in hospitals and clinics that may offer informational materials, workshops, and seminars on various health topics such as nutrition, chronic disease management, mental health, infection prevention and control and more.
- Community centers, schools and universities that offer classes or training on health topics, self-care, fitness classes, and preventive health screenings to the local population.
- Websites, online platforms, mobile apps or health learning apps that deliver articles, videos, webinars, interactive lessons or guidance.
Health learning centers play an important role as these often provide many resources to promote health literacy, help individuals to understand and manage their health more effectively and engage in community outreach. When done well, they not only empower individuals to take charge of their health, they also play a crucial role in promoting community health and wellbeing.
Given their broad reach, it is no surprise that eLearning is an often used tool by health learning centers to deliver effective and cost-effective training to a diverse set of populations and those with different learning needs and preferences.
How to build eLearning courses for health
Creating eLearning for the health sector not only involves careful planning and a structured approach, but it also requires special attention to ensure that the content complies with healthcare standards and regulations. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to create eLearning courses for health:
First identify the target audience which may be clinicians and other healthcare professionals, healthcare administrators, students, and/or the general public. Set clear and achievable learning objectives for each of your audience types.
The next step is to design a structured curriculum that breaks down the learning material into manageable units. Plan your learning paths, which is the set and order of educational resources, courses and activities that a learner needs to complete in order to achieve the learning goals. Once you know what content and the learning journey, you can decide whether you’ll use video lectures, interactive modules, microlearning, simulations, etc in your eLearning.
The next step is to create the content. eLearning authoring tools like LEAi makes it easier to use the existing documents, presentation and video recording into training content, assessment questions and microlearning. Don’t forget to use case studies to illustrate real-life applications, high-resolution images, diagrams, and infographics to illustrate concepts, quizzes, simulations, and interactive diagrams to enhance engagement and design for different learning styles.
Ensure that your course complies with healthcare standards and regulations and that you use trusted sources such as peer-reviewed journals, government health organizations, and accredited educational institutions. Collaboration with trusted healthcare professionals or subject matter experts to review and verify the content will ensure that the content is right and credible.
Once you have the content, you can now produce and publish your eLearning courses. Many Learning Management System (LMS) offer the ability to create, host and manage courses. They will track engagement, completion rates and test scores. Before going live to a broad audience consider pilot testing with a small group of learners to gather feedback and make necessary adjustments.
Once you have your initial courses, launch the course(s) to your larger audience. Increase the reach of your courses by marketing and promoting the courses through various channels to reach your target audience. This may include word-of-mouth, online and social advertising and promotion through health practitioners.
Don’t forget to collect feedback and look at the analytics to identify areas for improvement. Plan to regularly review and update the course content based on feedback, new research and changing healthcare guidelines.
Choosing an LMS for healthcare
Choosing a “health LMS” involves considering factors such as compliance with healthcare regulations, ease of integration with existing systems, and the availability of relevant content libraries. Here’s some features to consider when looking for an LMS for health applications:
- User-friendly interface – Does the LMS offer an intuitive, user-friendly interface that allows easy navigation for users of all skill levels. Ensure it also offers a responsive design for mobile learning?
- Content authoring and management – Does the LMS should allow users to upload and organize course content, create quizzes and assessments, and build learning paths based on the audience and the learning objectives?
- eLearning package upload – Does the LMS support SCORM, and xAPI (Tin Can) packages?
- Data protection and compliance – If required, does the LMS should comply to regulations like Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the U.S. and Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) in Canada to protect sensitive patient data?
- Certification tracking – Does the LMS manage and track course completions and certifications, such as CPR or other mandatory training? Also does it track and report on employees’ completion of compliance courses, generate compliance reports, and send automatic compliance reminders?
- Interoperability – Does the LMS integrate with existing systems such as HR software, CRMs or electronic health record (EHR) systems?
Some LMS providers who have health-specific solutions include Relias, Docebo, Paradiso, Tovuti Totara, and HealthStream.
LEAi – Health eLearning made easy
LEAi is a content creation tool that is used to create eLearning, presentations, microlearning, videos scripts and more for health training. You don’t have to be a seasoned training professional or instructional designer to use LEAi. Using the power of AI and our templates, our tool ensures that the course content you create follows best practices for optimal learning.
Try our training content creation calculator to see how much time and money you can save with LEAi when compared to traditional learning creation methods. Better yet, ask for a demo. We will show you how LEAi works with your content and how it can meet your specific requirements and constraints.