Leveraging Training to Shape Healthcare Paradigms in the USA

The continued implementation of the Affordable Care Act  (ACA) is changing the delivery of healthcare and the key patient quality and business metrics.  The ACA is driving an unprecedented move from volume being the key variable of success to value and population health management.  What will accelerate provider’s preparation for these systemic changes?  Training.

Providers will need to migrate from orientation and compliance based training to innovative training designed to scale organizational change.  Key elements to this training shift should include:

  • Unwanted variability – There are approximately 8 million new people entering the healthcare system. And, according to a recent report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, healthcare spending is expected to rise over the next year. Consumers who did not have insurance and/or put off treatment during the economic downturn are now flooding into the healthcare system. And, providers are preparing for the new influx of patients.Part of that preparation includes evaluating existing training  and related protocols at all levels of the organization – from  patient intake, to billing to new hire onboarding – and can include various methodologies (e.g. simulation training, virtual training, instructor led training). As organizations begin to ascertain what their futures will look like, and how to manage unwanted variability being introduced into their operations, training will need to a take front seat in driving organizational change. Putting training at the forefront will allow organizations to more effectively plan for the institutional changes on the horizon, which includes addressing the inevitable provider bandwidth issues and the financial concerns that come with such a surge of people.
  • Hiring challenges– With such a large number of new patients entering the system, there is a push to hire more providers, support staff and executives to meet their needs. Once the right people have been found for the jobs, organizations will need to train them to ensure they can comply with healthcare regulations and employer standards. Onboarding new employees, in some instances, is a continuation of their formal education experience. For example, hospitals can employ simulation training to prepare nurses for delivering medications on the patient floor in the midst of ongoing distractions. It allows them to hone their skills in a low-consequence environment before being faced with actual high stress situations.
  • Organizational Efficiency – In order to continue to provide quality care and do so profitably, healthcare organizations will need to review their internal processes to ensure they are operating at the highest levels of efficiency. The right tools and processes, in addition to training, can help to significantly drive operational efficiency and effectiveness.

Their people, processes, and systems will equip providers to thrive in the ACA environment.  Well focused training will be an accelerant.  The lack of appropriate training, an obstacle.