Patients rely on health care organizations and professionals for their well-being, which is why enhancing patient safety by identifying, responding to and reducing risk events is imperative. A recent study estimates that more than 440,000 Americans die each year due to preventable harm done to patients in hospital settings.
To enhance its patient safety program, a major California health system sought to train all levels of staff on properly using and administering its soon-to-be introduced Midas+ care management system. However, the health system lacked the internal training expertise and resources to make Midas+ implementation a success.
Relying on Midas+ for internal training was not an option, as vendor training generally tends to be cookie-cutter and not specific to a client’s operations. In this case, Midas+ training would have simply focused on how to use its system. The health system sought a comprehensive training plan that reflected both their operational realities and strategic requirements.
Specifically, the health system’s personnel needed training wholly focused on patient safety, particularly in three areas where the health system’s safety-related performance scores were much lower than national benchmarks: 1) patient staffing; 2) patient information handoffs and transitions; and 3) non-punitive responses to errors.
The health system turned to Freed Associates (Freed) to develop and deliver a customized training curriculum to educate staff on entering adverse health events using Midas+ and following up on reported events. This customized training was crucial for the health system to realize the full extent of patient safety benefits available using Midas+ and to reinforce leadership commitment to promoting a transparent, accountable and non-punitive reporting culture.
Used by more than 1,800 clients nationwide, Midas+ care management solutions help hospitals and health care systems improve their efficiency and effectiveness, including initiatives to chronicle, predict and prevent adverse health events. However, technology tools such as those from Midas+ are only as good as those who properly use them.
With guidance and input from the health system’s quality manager, Freed defined the scope of the client’s required activities, which included developing and delivering a two-tiered training program for staff, managing all training-related logistics and developing all training-related materials.
Due to the variety of staff roles and responsibilities within the health system, it was important for Freed to develop the new Midas+ training curriculum broadly enough to appeal to a wide array of users, yet also differentiate between those entering versus managing event report data. Additionally, the client needed Freed to oversee all aspects of training related to the Midas+ implementation. Based on the client’s goals, Freed would:
• Develop a two-tier training curriculum – All levels of staff would be trained on appropriately using the Midas+ system based on the health system’s patient safety program. Front-line staff members would learn how to do event/occurrence risk entry, how the data is used, and what to expect for follow up. Managers would be trained on how to follow up on a reported event and how to generate reporting for performance improvement initiatives.
• Deliver training to manager-level staff – In conjunction with the initial rollout of the Midas+ system and the health system’s quality and Midas+ project teams, Freed would train all patient-facing manager-level staff. Additionally, Freed would survey training attendees to ensure training quality and monitor post-training use of the new Midas+ system.
• Manage training activities – Freed would develop a training charter, a work plan including resources, timeline and dependencies and coordinate training schedules, resources and logistics. Freed would also work with the hospital system’s quality and Midas+ project teams to review deliverable status and progress, brainstorm approaches and issues and determine contingency plans.
• Create enduring training materials – Long after Freed’s engagement was completed, the training materials to be created by Freed (tip sheets, videos and manuals) needed to still be useful and relevant to the needs and interests of health system personnel.
Up-front, Freed assessed the health system’s current state of Midas+ training and preparedness prior to the go-live of the Midas+ system. This included reviewing historical activities, summarizing findings and recommending next steps including the timing of training delivery – in conjunction with the go-live of Midas+ — and developing a separate training curriculum for managers.
Critically, the health system and Freed developed a messaging theme, related to the Midas+ rollout, around embracing a culture of safety and to improve staff perceptions of a punitive reporting culture. This theme, reflected in all promotional and training materials, reinforced the responsibility of staff members to develop a culture reflecting accountability, transparency and non-punitive support.
Based on the assessment, Freed developed a detailed work plan delineating a timeline and all work streams to create a safety education training plan and a safety work plan. Freed then delivered:
• Safety training curriculum materials – These included both written and audiovisual instruction for entering events using Midas+, conducting follow-up reviews and referrals, managing worklists and reporting. Ultimately, this included a library of documentation including five quick-reference tip sheets, separate how-to media files for front-line staff and managers, and a training manual. Freed also developed a customized training slide deck, based on the messaging theme, training class management documents and post-training participant surveys.
• End-user and manager training on Midas+ — Over several weeks and at multiple facility locations, Freed administered Midas+ training to end-users and managers via multiple training sessions. Following these initial sessions, Freed evaluated training attendees’ Midas+ usage and developed reports and communication to encourage compliance.
Based on Freed’s direction, development and support, the health system was able to:
• Deliver 15 manager training sessions
• Train 108 managers on using the new Midas+ system
• Develop a customized Midas+ curriculum appropriate to the health system, including five tip sheets, training videos and manuals
• Complete training videos on recording events and conducting a manager review and referral
Organizations frequently underestimate the amount of time and resources needed to correctly establish, develop, deliver and sustain a successful training curriculum. They also often, as was the case with the health system, lack the in-house resources necessary to properly prepare and conduct top-tier training themselves, and find vendor-provided training insufficient to meet their needs.
The health system recognized Freed’s ability to manage and deliver an entire training life-cycle – not only fitting the training to the organization’s specific strategic and operational needs, but also leaving lasting tools for ongoing training and support. By addressing its mission-critical training needs up-front and proactively engaging Freed to create a customized training curriculum, the health system more effectively and efficiently fulfilled its training needs related to the Midas+ system.