How Mackenzie Health Canada standardized and optimized education services to support staff training for diagnostic imaging

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The acceleration of digital transformation in healthcare has unleashed rapid change on health providers and staff. New iterations of devices, equipment, platforms and services are an inescapable part of modern healthcare and the need to keep on top of technology is mandatory to ensure patient safety. Technology is just one component of an operationally efficient organization. The other is a well-trained workforce that feels empowered to be responsible for operating equipment and delivering care to patients.


In this article, I explore, together with my colleague, Clinical Imaging Services manager, Lorrie Turpin, the strategic role of education and training and how it was put in practice at the new Mackenzie Vaughn smart hospital.

 

Ongoing education and training underpins the entire operational performance of a hospital: it keeps the workforce engaged and motivated, equips them with the knowledge, skills and technical ability and mindset to do their important work: providing better, safer care for patients. 

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Education and training is increasingly viewed as a strategic tool in retaining key skills, keeping staff happy and providing opportunities for continuous learning. Health providers know that as pressure grows to manage their operational costs and address chronic workforce shortages in healthcare, staff training starts to become strategically important. Rolling out training/ education services across large health systems, with growing organisational and technological complexity, can be daunting and is often perceived as costly. How do you design and roll out an educational programme to train thousands of staff without disrupting key health services? What education delivery methods best suit the training objectives you have in mind?  And, of course, how can you make sure that your training is future-focused, upskilling the workforce of now and the future?

 

Designing an integrated training programme at Mackenzie Health

Large diagnostic imaging, monitoring, and 3rd party systems need time, space and resources to deliver a training programme across a workforce of thousands.

 

In a Managed Services Partnership, the Education Services provision ensures all staff are trained to safely use equipment, but also ensures that the culture and philosophy around training is determined in the foundation of the partnership. The important first step to deliver an integrated, customized training programme is securing the leadership buy-in.


Executing such a training programme across a large health system is a logistical and operational challenge, as education responsibilities cover not just Philips modalities but also equipment for multiple suppliers. At Mackenzie Health there were over 30 third party technology suppliers and this challenge was exacerbated by a change in hospital sites. During the move to a new hospital site, the team needed to support the existing hospital, aligning to make sure the right people were being trained across both sites, and check where and how people were going to be using diagnostic equipment.

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What a hospital diagnostic imaging training programme can look like.

 

MacKenzie Health is a smart hospital so we had to think about what the interdependencies were to complete the training. For example, is the equipment integrated into the electronic medical record (EMR)? There were many things to consider, such as the number of users, their availability, training time frames, and the operational and implementation schedules of MacKenzie Health. And we had to build this around the schedules of all vendors. We worked collaboratively with our 3rd party vendors to create all the resources the partnership would need, including quick user guides, safe operational training manuals and checklists.


All of these elements were brought together to complete the integrated training program, including an integrated ‘super user’ training schedule and a 12-week recurring training cycle per department. The same training strategy used for diagnostic imaging was then implemented for ultrasound and, in part, patient monitoring.

About the author

Mike

Mike Yrcha,

Clinical Relationship Manager, Canada

Mike Yrcha is the Clinical Relationship Manager for Philips Canada, leading the Managed Equipment Services (MES) team and system integration within the new Mackenzie Vaughn hospital. A passionate advocate of care delivery and innovation, prior to joining Philips, Mike spent 20 years in critical care nursing, working in both academic and acute care hospitals and across a variety of departments, including Emergency room, Cath lab nursing and flight nursing.

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For more in-depth insight on future-fit models of education and training, read my article in full, Examining the strategic role of education and training.

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