A leading pediatric healthcare provider with three hospitals and multiple neighborhood locations has been ranked among the nation’s best children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report for ten specialties. This non-profit organization offers access to over 2,000 pediatric physicians and allied health practitioners across their 60+ pediatric programs. A Senior Instructional Designer (SID), along with a team of 16 instructional designers and e-learning developers, serves on the Technical Training Team. They provide L&D programming for the organization’s nurses and physicians, and are responsible for the training and development of approximately 15,000 patient-facing employees.
Challenges & Goals
The fast-paced, 24/7 nature of the patient care industry leaves little time for nurses and doctors to participate in training activities. Still, the proper knowledge and application of that knowledge on the job is critical for positive patient outcomes. Unfortunately, 79% of knowledge that’s delivered in traditional learning delivery formats is forgotten within the first 30 days.
The team fully acknowledged that their busy learners, who are dedicated to patient care and want to spend as much time on the floor as possible, needed to receive training in a non-invasive and efficient manner. The organization devised a three-year global digital learning strategy with one goal being to more closely satisfy learner preferences. Bringing in the right technology to help was the cornerstone of their plan.
“We wanted to use resources more efficiently on our end and reduce time commitment on the part of the learner while still keeping learning top of mind and embedding it into our day-to-day approach,” explains the SID.
Additionally, the team lacked the ability to measure the success of learning programs, correlate training with behavior change on the job and tie their efforts to clinical outcomes and overall business metrics.
This pediatric healthcare provider and the Technical Training Team selected Qstream’s microlearning and knowledge reinforcement solution for its low time commitment for busy medical professionals, science-backed approach, actionable analytics and ability to curate a culture of continuous learning.
Medical professionals now receive Qstream’s microlearning challenges via their mobile device every few days and questions can be answered in just a few minutes – either on a break, or coming and going from a shift. This helps nurses and doctors spend the bulk of their time on the floor providing care. Additionally, learners can “test out” of questions that they already know the answers to, and in the event that they answer incorrectly, they receive immediate feedback and the question is repeated again at a later date to confirm mastery and promote long-term knowledge retention.
“This helps us satisfy learner preferences in a way that we haven’t really been able to before,” the SID says. “That’s one thing that’s part of our global digital learning strategy, trying to make learning opportunities a bit more accessible and more convenient to cater to learner preferences more.”
Qstream’s signature spaced learning methodology was developed at Harvard and underwent over 20 randomized peer reviewed clinical trials, proving time and time again its knowledge reinforcement effectiveness. The scientifically proven formula resonated with the SID, who was a doctoral candidate himself, pursuing an advanced degree in learning technologies.
The team also chose Qstream for the solution’s robust learning analytics which hit the higher levels of the Kirkpatrick Model, the L&D standard for evaluating training. Qstream helps the organization reach levels 3 and 4 by measuring behavior change and correlating that behavior change to business outcomes.
“We weren’t able to tap into those higher levels of evaluation prior to leveraging the Qstream software because we didn’t have the data points to provide us with any insight as to how behaviors were changing business outcomes,” they share. “Qstream’s metrics helped to paint that picture in a new way.
They say it also makes level 2 of the Kirkpatrick Model of training evaluation more robust. “You have those proficiency improvements that you can see so it’s a more reliable measure of learning transfer.”
Qstream’s analytics include learner knowledge proficiency and engagement at the team and individual level, as well as content performance metrics to help L&D teams refine programs. Learners can assess their own progress, managers get precise coaching insights and business leaders can correlate learning initiatives with organizational goals. Instead of merely guessing where training is needed, the team gets a clear, real-time picture of learning needs and can easily decide where to focus their efforts to streamline learning for their audience.
The “icing on the cake” for the organization was Qstream’s friendly competition, including individual and team leaderboards, to motivate team members and promote learner engagement. To further encourage learner participation, the team offered continuing medical education (CME) credit hours for completed Qstreams.
The three-month pilot tested a set of 60 physicians on required job skills application. Over the course of the pilot, a total of seven scenario-based questions were delivered to learners, who received one question per day, three times a week. Learners were presented with all questions until each were answered correctly twice, indicating concept mastery.
When the Qstream intervention began, their baseline proficiency sat around 80%. However, over the course of the next few months, they saw a steady rise in knowledge proficiency, ultimately achieving 100% and remaining at that level for many months.
The healthcare organization conducted a similar pilot with 300 nurses and saw double-digit improvement year over year on the success metric being tracked.
The pilot results sealed the deal for the team. Since then, they’ve launched 59 Qstreams to 4,572 participants and have achieved an average proficiency increase of 20% across the board.
The organization lists the ability to validate the impact of their other educational efforts, correlating learner data to clinical quality performance metrics as a major benefit. “We are able to see the long-term effectiveness of training in the organization. For example, we saw a significant improvement in a certain outcome because of the education we did,” explains the SID. “So I think that’s been one of the biggest value-adds of Qstream for us.”
This is a testament to Qstream’s scenario-based question model, which promotes knowledge retention and is proven to change behaviors.
“We are able to marry the Qstream analytics with all of the other metrics that we capture across our other business systems, comparing those two datasets side by side and making some conclusions about what we see,” they added.
The question tagging feature, which allows admins to group questions under specific topic clusters, has equipped the team with thematic data to inform future learning opportunities. It’s been instrumental in helping them uncover learning needs as well as confirm which topics are moving from short-term to long-term memory. Conversely, the analytics have helped the organization confirm they don’t need further training on a topic, saving them time and money.
“This has been very eye-opening and got stakeholders really excited about having their hands on this type of data that wasn’t previously available,” explains the SID.
Their learners aren’t just benefitting from the tailored programming they are now receiving with Qstream. They also enjoy the brevity of the mobile microlearning challenges, the leaderboards and the fact they can easily earn CME credits.
“The gamification is kind of the icing on the cake, but the ability for it to just take minutes per day and it can be completed right from a mobile device helps us satisfy learner preferences in a way that we haven’t really been able to before,” says the instructional design team.
The team is constantly looking for ways to improve the learning experience for those they serve and they have some creative ideas in mind for their future use of Qstream. They plan to continue expanding the platform to others in the organization and then building general education Qstreams that can be used to create some friendly competition among departments.
Orientation and onboarding is another use case they plan to explore. The organization currently has about 100 new hires starting each week and is looking for ways to streamline and improve their experience, which currently consists of self-paced e-learning courses and classroom orientation sessions.
“We are going to incorporate Qstream a bit more into our new hire orientation process,” they explain. “Having them download the app on their phone and possibly creating some higher-level orientation Qstreams to get their feet wet on the platform with something that’s low pressure and low time commitment to prepare them for their new role.”
And to continue to build convenient, in-the-flow of work experiences for their learners, they are exploring single sign-on (SSO) and integrations with Workday, their HR management system, and Cornerstone, their LMS. Both of these integrations are made available by Qstream Connect, an integration as a service that removes the burden of complex manual implementations and maintenance.
Overall, the organization is thrilled with their Qstream results and touts the solution as a key factor in the success of their strategic learning plan that they rolled out two years ago. “My team submitted a proposal of different learning technologies that we wanted to pilot or invest in, and Qstream was a large sum of that, actually. So we feel really accomplished to be able to celebrate that win,” says the SID.
When asked how they would define Qstream to a colleague unfamiliar with the solution, the SID says: “Healthcare professionals have so many policies and procedures that they’re expected to be familiar with and stay on top of all the time. Qstream allows you to reinforce little tidbits of information over time, moving that information from short-term memory to long-term memory.”