Lack of training in healthcare is a challenging problem. But, there are several low-cost training options to improve staff competency, quality of patient care, and business profits.
Official training programs are an integral part of hiring new employees and integrating them into a company. But sadly, the training often stops soon after orientation. With growing demands and constantly changing insurance requirements, healthcare is a fast-paced industry that requires ongoing comprehensive training programs. When there is a lack of training in healthcare, the results are unhappy employees, an unsafe work environment, low patient satisfaction, and increased business expenses.
Consequences of a Lack of Training in Healthcare Facilities
Sadly, many corporate business owners and managers give little thought to staff education. Making training a low priority can result in the following consequences:
- Data privacy and security breaches
- Inadequate documentation, impacting reimbursements
- Compliance risks
- Patient safety risks
- Low staff morale and high turnover
- Reduced employee productivity
- Stress on management
- Legal issues
Benefits of Staff Training in Healthcare
Staff training takes a lot of time, effort, and patience. But, it’s well worth it, especially in the healthcare industry. With effective and established training programs, a company can improve retention and increase staff morale, thereby creating a positive, motivated, and competent workforce. This, in turn, improves patient satisfaction and profitability of the practice.
Overcoming a Lack of Training: Identify The Problem
It is often hard for businesses to recognize that a gap in training exists. But, when a facility is seeing a particular kind of issue on a reoccurring basis, then there likely is a problem – whether it be due to an existing policy or knowledge deficit. Once the issue is identified, you can work to find a cost-effective solution, and implement a proper training program.
Cost-Effective Options to Combat Lack of Training in Healthcare
There’s no getting around it, training staff costs money, but formal training has a very high return on investment! The payoff includes employee retention, increased morale, practice efficiency, job competency, and higher patient satisfaction scores. The bottom line is a healthcare business will not improve profits without having excellent, caring, and highly-trained employees.
The good news is there are ways to train staff with minimal to almost no extra cost to your facility. According to research published in The Journal of Oncology Practice, there are several low-cost training options that benefit healthcare practices:
- Hospital programs. Many clinics or hospitals do free seminars, webinars, or workshops on topics of interests to staff.
- Journal clubs. A staff development option that incurs no cost is a journal club, which can include books and medical journals.
- Government grants. Federal and state grant programs serve specialized populations and provide staff education. To find out about education or grants that may be available to your practice, look for state and county programs funded by the federal Workforce Investment Act.
- Vendor-sponsored education programs. Vendors often offer workshops on topics such as customer service or dealing with generational differences, in addition to their product-related training sessions.
- In-house education program by subject matter experts. Providing regular in-office educational programs offers a way to improve efficiency and remediate problems.
Utilizing a learning management system is another great option. A learning management system (LMS) allows businesses to provide online educational courses for their employees at a fraction of the cost of standard classroom-based training. Employees can easily access training materials and can take courses at their leisure.
Take Advantage of Continuing Education
Most healthcare professionals are required to have continuing education prior to renewing their professional license. According to researchers, healthcare professionals need quality CEU options “to help them keep abreast of advances in patient care, to adopt new more-beneficial care, and to discontinue use of existing lower-benefit therapeutic interventions.” Therefore, healthcare facilities can take advantage of this by offering continuing education courses to their personnel. This is a win-win as providing continuing education saves both the business and the employee valuable time and money!
- Gesme, H., Towle, E.L., Wiseman, M. Essentials of Staff Development and Why You Should Care. Journal of Oncology Practice. 2010; 6 (2): 104-106.
- Garzonis, K., Mann, E., Wyrzykowska, A., Kanellakis, P. Improving Patient Outcomes: Effectively Training Healthcare Staff in Psychological Practice Skills: A Mixed Systematic Literature European Journal of Psychology. 2015; 11 (3): 535-556.
- Swedberg, L., Chiriac, EH., Tornkvist, L. Hylander, I. From risk to safer home care: health care assistants striving to overcome a lack of training, supervision, and International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Wellbeing. 2013; 8: 10.
- Int J Technol Assess Health Care.2005 Summer;21(3):380-5.