The Ma’ayanei Hayeshu’a Medical Center is one of the most advanced health centers in Israel, with approximately 2000 medical staff treating 200,000 patients every year. The professionalism of the medical center’s staff, and a constant desire for excellence, have given it a reputation and built up high-demand among the Israeli population.
In recent years, the Ma’ayanei Hayeshu’a Medical Center has tripled the scope of its operations, setting a new precedent among hospitals in Israel. The accelerated growth of the hospital, the need to provide health services of the highest standards to the target population, and the need to deal with a new reality that COVID-19 brought with it – among other things, significant regulatory changes in the field of health – created new challenges for the organization.
To tackle these many challenges, Ma’ayanei Hayeshu’a Medical Center were looking for an innovative new solution to help them not just reduce administrative overheads by streamlining the management, delivery, and tracking of individual training and development programs, but also to improve the accuracy and speed of reporting available to managers across the organization.
Here’s how they did it…
The ‘Big Picture’ Challenge – Nurse Recruitment & Training
One of the main challenges faced by healthcare organizations concerns the recruitment, onboarding and training process of nurses.
At the end of her studies, a nurse receives certification as a Registered Nurse (RN). After that, she specializes in a specific field, completes additional training in Advanced Practices in that field, and receives certifications recognizing the new skills (supposedly) developed by virtue of that specific training.
After completing the Advanced Practice training and becoming certified as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), the nurse moves to another stage of her professional development program, this time as an APRN in a relevant medical field.
It is a multi-stage, complex onboarding and professional development process, which includes elements of learning, certification and developing new skills – all integrated within a rigid regulatory process that requires the nurse to have an in-depth knowledge of complex regulatory processes and procedures.
3 Core Problems to Solve
The accelerated growth of the hospital and the frequent regulatory changes that the Coronavirus epidemic brought with it, forced the hospital to face the following challenges in the process of recruiting, onboarding and training nurses in the hospital:
- How to design and build an automated and scalable continuous professional development (CPD) that is specific and adapted to each nurse based on the specific field in which she works. CPD is a customized process that includes admission files, apprenticeship, training and certification courses that are personalized to each nurse according to her professional knowledge, background, experience and how she progresses within the process
- How to achieve just-in-time tracking, monitoring and supervising the nurses’ work. The need for just-in-time monitoring and supervision of the nurses’ work to ensure compatibility between the medical activities carried out and their training and competence – including the ability to act independently – without accompaniment and without relying only on periodical updates from the nurse’s team manager. Getting up-to-date feedback directly from the nurses was going to be important.
- How to create an intuitive user experience and increase employee retention. There was a need to simplify the absorption and subsequent training processes and create an intuitive user experience that connects the whole of the processes and systems into one integrated and unified system.
The Solution – A training platform with an in-built Record of Achievement
To address these challenges, the hospital chose Ekko – a custom version of the Totara Talent Experience platform built for organizations with large numbers of deskless workers.
Using Ekko, they were able to streamline the delivery and reporting of nurse training programs in a number of ways:
- Each nurse is characterized by type of her qualification (for example: registered nurse/nurse midwife/clinical nurse/CRNA, etc.) and automatically assigned to dynamic audience groups according to her specific training and professional development.
- 20 different professional development programs were built that include the various advanced practices relevant to each department, which could then be associated with the nurse from her first day, in line with her unique skills and experience
- 24 different professional development programs were also built for nurses who do not have Advance Practice training, each of which can be adapted to individual nurses according to the department in which she works.
- Automated Continuous Professional Development (CPD) plans were created for both newly recruited nurses as well as existing nurses who needed to advance in their professional field. Each CPD plan is specific to the nurse’s competencies and departmental affiliation.
- 24 digital initial intake processes adapted to each department were built for systematic and continuous collection of data that allow the organization to follow up, monitor and supervise the initial intake process of the nurse, her training and the development of her skills. During this process, the nurse digitally documents what she has performed and these actions are then digitally validated by her Mentoring Nurse and her Department Manager, all within the Ekko platform.
The benefits of an intelligent platform and intuitive interface
With the help of the Ekko platform, Ma’ayanei Hayeshu’a Medical Center was able to automate and simplify the process of recruiting, onboarding and professionally developing nurses to perform various complex medical roles safely and compliantly.
The continuous professional development plans in the system consist of courses, certifications and skills that the nurse must carry out. It also includes digital apprenticeship tracks that allow nurses and their mentors to carry out a detailed apprenticeship process, while electronically monitoring the nurse’s progress in the process and its validity.
The hospital has also started using Ekko’s next-generation policy and procedure management module. This enables the hospital to connect the process of the nurse’s professional development and training, including apprenticeship processes (OJT), and the need for regulatory compliance auditing in one unified and integrated system.
This approach results in an intuitive user experience that:
- Reduces the need for the nurses to use several cumbersome, often siloed, applications
- Helps decision makers at the hospital to see an up-to-date view of the status of the certifications, the training and the level of compliance of the medical teams with the regulatory requirements.
Since first rolling out Ekko in late 2019, the Medical Center Ma’ayanei Hayeshua has:
- Improved the ability to meet the deadlines for submitting the intake process files for a period of up to 3 months from the moment the nurse is admitted to the organization/department/unit
- Produced a digital, scalable, and automatic induction process that manages the stages of the nurse’s induction and allows the mentor and department managers to track, monitor and follow-up on the fulfillment of this requirement.
- Significantly reduced administrative overheads
In addition, Ekko’s innovative feature set introduced new capabilities that did not exist before, making the ongoing operation of the collection processes far easier. For example:
- Digital Signatures by mentor nurses over the nurses’ digital intake and professional development processes and stages
- Just-in-time feedback on the onboarding process enabling immediate data analysis
- Creating, uploading, and distributing interactive learning content that encompasses all the content from induction to professional development (Previously it was managed in the document or face-to-face meetings that were not tracked and could not be monitored)
The hospital is now working on mapping and automating its skill and competencies development program. These competencies will be connected to the intake files in the system, which the nurses today use to digitally sign all their medical actions. These actions are automatically recorded in the system, and the nurse (or the mentor) can comment in the system as to whether their knowledge was learned theoretically or via a simulation.
Speaking of the impact Ekko has had on the hospital, Ortal Yafet, Professional Development Manager at the Ma’ayanei Hayeshua Medical Center, said:
“With the help of LearningZone’s Ekko platform, we were able to build automated and scalable professional development programs were personalized for each nurse.
Today, each nurse has her own customized professional development programs that are automatically and accurately obtained from the system. This capability helps us to significantly optimize critical operational processes for a healthcare organization like ours.
One of the significant goals we achieved is our ability as an organization to reach each nurse individually and accurately and see if the nurses enter and complete their intake process and professional development plans and declare if they perform the skills in the field independently or required assistance.”
In a recent Ministry of Health inspection, the Ekko system was presented to key stakeholders from the Ministry who were reportedly very impressed with the system, the implementation of automated onboarding and professional development process and the system’s advanced technologies.
The Ministry representatives were especially impressed by the innovative way that Ma’ayanei Hayeshua Medical Center were able to integrate onboarding, professional development and compliance management using a unified platform that connected to their frontline medical workforce to provide a single source of truth.
What next? Enhancing engagement across a mobile workforce
Having initially only used the desktop platform, Ma’ayanei Hayeshua Medical Center has now started using Ekko’s intelligent mobile application.
Harnessing artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, the Ekko Mobile App provides the hospital’s frontline medical workforce with access to policies, procedures and knowledge at times they need it most. Plus, it’s all contextually relevant to individual employees’ roles, competencies and physical location.
Using the Ekko Mobile App opens up additional benefits such as:
- Next-generation technology that aligns organizations’ policies, procedures, and learning with their frontline medical workforces’ daily routines, and empowers them to become experts anytime, anywhere
- An AI-driven assistant that allows medical staff to ask a question using chat or voice on issues related to processes and/or procedures, and receive an immediate answer with which they can interact in real-time
- Use of QR technologies that allow super-fast access to learning, knowledge, and other experts
- Ability to monitor the attendance status of medical staff in face-to-face training conducted by team managers and professional experts while in the field
In addition, the hospital has started to make use of Ekko’s advanced knowledge management capabilities to allow various subject-matter experts to build, curate and share knowledge and information, utilizing various built-in communication channels such as collaborative workspaces and playlists.
These features will further allow Ma’ayanei Hayeshua Medical Center to maintain ongoing communication with its frontline workforce and increase overall employee engagement.