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Nearly 60% of healthcare organizations lack well-developed methods to evaluate training

Nearly half, 47%, said their healthcare organizations needed to align all healthcare professionals.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

Almost 60% of respondents to a new Relias survey of more than 5,000 healthcare and public safety professionals say they suffer from a lack of well-developed methods of evaluating whether training is actually being put into practice on the job.

This is down from 74% in 2017, but it alludes to the prevalent gap in the perceived value and the impact of staff development and training. The study also examined the impact of COVID-19, indicating an increase in the adoption of online training methods.


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The third edition of the Relias State of Training and Staff Development Report, which provides a national perspective on five broad staff development and training issues in healthcare and public safety organizations, contains data from two surveys conducted by Hanover Research. The first was deployed in February 2020 to professionals across the continuum of care: acute care, post-acute care, behavioral health, intellectual and developmental disabilities and public safety. 

Due to the major impact COVID-19 has had on the healthcare industry, Relias deployed a second survey in June to draw insights into the impact the global pandemic has had on the industry.

According to findings, more than 75% of respondents believe that staff development and training notably impacts top business goals, and 63% believe training has at least some effect on financial results. Yet just 21% report that staff development programs have had a significantly positive impact on their financial picture.

Another key finding was the growth and adoption of online learning and tracking. In healthcare, 47% reported using a learning management system (LMS) for tracking training early in 2020, compared with 39.7% in 2017. The COVID-19 follow-up survey showed that trend increasing even more, with 24% of respondents noting they had started using an LMS to track training since the pandemic hit.

The COVID-19 survey results also demonstrate an increase in online learning, with 76% of healthcare and 82% of public safety respondents experiencing major or moderate shifts toward online training. Despite the budget crunch felt by many organizations during the pandemic, the majority either increased (33%) or maintained (54%) their training spending. Both healthcare and public safety organizations increased focus on training to help front-line workers respond to the pandemic.


Training on quality and professional development specifically has been found to be lacking in healthcare in the past. In 2019, the National Association for Healthcare Quality asked quality professionals which employees in their organization received training and education and quality, and found the numbers were pretty low: Only 33% of respondents said all staff receive such training.

The survey also asked respondents the one thing they would do to improve quality at their organization. Nearly half, 47%, said their healthcare organizations needed to align all healthcare professionals.

Twitter: @JELagasse
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