Small In-Home Care Providers Leverage Training Better

Smaller in-home care agencies may not always have the same resources as their larger counterparts, but they’ve worked out one way to get the most bang for their buck when it comes to training staff.

Though larger organizations, with more than 1,000 employees, tend to have more sophisticated training technology, small organizations, with 250 or fewer employees, have stronger methods for evaluating if skills taught during training are applied in caregivers’ day-to-day work, according to a staff development and training survey conducted by Relias Learning, an analytics company that provides learning solutions to health care organizations.

“The methods that smaller organizations may use to assess whether skills learned in training are being put into practice on the job may include assessments, observations before and after, and analytics,” M. Courtney Hughes, Ph.D., M.S., author of the survey and senior researcher at Relias Institute, the research division of Relias Learning, told Home Health Care News.

The report includes responses from more than 700 post-acute care professionals from home health care agencies, senior living communities and skilled nursing facilities, 16% of which hold executive or senior management positions.

Eighty-six percent of these respondents reported that their organizations use online training methods for at least half or all of their training. Over half surveyed use learning management systems (LMS) software and a formal analytics program.

“Our study revealed that the greatest perceived strengths of current staff development and training programs include flexibility, the variety of courses and individualization of methods,” Hughes said. “Online training software provides such benefits to learners. A 2016 study by the Brandon Hall Group showed that 40% of companies saw an increase in revenue and 53% saw an increase in productivity and engagement after implementing a new online training platform.”

The most important outcomes of training for post-acute care organizations are improving clinical practice standardization, clinical competencies and service or program outcomes, according to the survey.

“The main perceived weaknesses of current staff development and training programs for these organizations are staff shortages and lack of time,” said Hughes. “This is not surprising given the high staff turnover rates and increasing demands placed on staff, including higher patient acuity levels.”

Written by Elizabeth Jakaitis

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