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Monday, September 28, 2015

Looking Back at a Year in Healthcare eLearning

I recently left my job in the healthcare L and D field to start a new pursuit and it got me thinking.....was there a difference?  My job previously was for a chemical company where most of my courses were manufacturing and safety related.  Did I do anything differently or have different struggles?  Here's what I found when I looked back at a year (technically year and eight months but who's counting) in healthcare elearning.

The regulations are as crazy as you'd think

I came into a word of Meaningful Use and ICD-10.  If you're not in the field you probably won't understand my pain but let me try to break it down for you.  If doctors want additional funding for seeing Medicaid and Medicare patient's they had to attest to Meaningful Use to be qualified.  This means that every software developer in the nation had to make sure certain features were available and they were certified.  Then doctors had to change their daily routines, pull reports and add in this extra amount of work. Then ICD-10 is the coding system doctors will soon have to communicate in.  It took a smaller number of codes and turned it into a bigger number of code.  Diagnoses are going to have to be more refined.  Oh and did I mention they already postponed it because they felt people weren't ready?  October is going to be crazy unless another committee decides it should be stalled again. And these were just the major ones.  Add in a various number of state to state regulations and governing parties like the CDC and FDA.

Images are easier to find

I went from having a stock library at my disposal to having nothing. Even though we weren't encouraged to add images into our courses (they were for product training so it was mostly images of the software and branding was strict) I went on the hunt any ways.  For having to stock up on free resources I found that most websites had a nice variety of free images. A lot of them were vectors but at least they were tastefully done and useable. Side note: I'm a bit obsessed with finding free image sites so I have a whole bunch bookmarked that I'm not afraid to sort through if I need to.

You don't have to know it to be successful

I knew nothing beyond what I had seen in trips to the doctors before starting.  I was never a nurse or worked for a similar company. Because I was a fresh slate I had a steaper learning curve but I found that like any field there were common terms and processes that I keep in mind.  I'm blessed with the ability to pick up on things easily especially processes and programs so I felt comfortable in a short amount of time.  I think that's one of my favorite things about L and D.  You don't have to know your subject matter, just the general principals and models and a helpful SME.

Medical staff want it done...right now!

Urgency was even more felt. In my previous position we had a rapid style development where turn around was in days or weeks but it prepared me well for this job. Everyone wanted to see something and see it now.  Add that along with how quickly they pushed out new versions of the software and we were playing a never ending game of catch up.  That was one thing that irritated the never ending crap out of me. Why push out a product that you can't train on? They had sessions were people could see or have the concepts explained more clearly but it was a one time thing that didn't go into much detail.

Everyone struggles with SME participation

I kind of already knew that everyone struggled with SME participation.  Search the internet and you'll see tips trying to help, find stories and and horror stories about what SMEs have done to make a developers day a nightmare. But now I really understand how some problems can be universal.

Did you work creating healthcare elearning? What struggles do/did you face?  What are universal struggles we face?

Disclaimer: This is based on my personal experience and is a generalization of my experience. All opinions are my own and may or may not be shared by my previous employers or other members of the field.


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