The health and social care sector has the permanent challenge of delivering high-quality care consistently, as well as increasing patient safety. Compliance with legal, ethical and professional standards is a vital component, but delivering on this challenge is complicated by scarce resources and the logistics of managing staff across multiple locations.
Let’s explore how these challenges can be tackled, as well as how Virtual College can support you to implement healthcare compliance training across your organisation.
Climate of collaboration
As stated by Ben Piper in his February article, compliance training is vital in order that staff remain up-to-date with any changes in a fast-changing regulatory environment. This applies particularly in the health and social care sector, where the implications of non-compliance can be life-threatening.
For a number of reasons (eradication of duplication, reaction to major incidents, the never-ending search for efficiencies), there have been moves towards increased collaboration between health and social care organisations in order to improve the management of care.
Inter-agency partnerships and collaboration rely on finding new ways of working as well as appropriate IT systems to support. Collaboration clearly has numerous benefits for patients and the health and care system:
New ways of working are being rolled out, driven by various policies such as the Personalised Health and Care Framework 2020, initiatives in the 50 vanguard areas introduced in 2015, and the general practice development program.
Addressing multi-site management issues
Any attempts to introduce new ways of working will inevitably be complicated when a number of sites are involved, as any deficiencies apparent on one site will be magnified across multiple locations. Two common examples of deficiencies that may exist include:
Human nature can lead to a herd mentality and the real possibility of unhealthy competition between locations, especially if all team members don’t know each other. Avoiding ‘us vs. them’ infecting company culture is vital.
Something as simple as not having a system for knowing people’s movements will make it difficult to arrange meetings or keep people informed of what everyone is up to.
The key to achieving successful compliance and transparency lies in consistently implementing and maintaining the same systems and processes across all locations. Traditionally, health service organisations would meet this challenge by bringing everyone together in one location for training, or a variation whereby a training team would visit each location. However, those days are largely gone due to cost issues and potentially low retention rates.
Technology can help
The implementation of a Learning Management System (LMS) and e-learning can help to address many of the issues that have been highlighted. Virtual College has worked with every NHS Trust and numerous private healthcare organisations, hospices and care homes, so we know how to design online training programmes specially to meet the needs of this sector.
Our LMS offers a comprehensive range of features with which to manage learners consistently across organisations with reduced administration. Any resources which are needed to brief or train all employees can be centrally held and allocated to learners. But it isn’t just about excellent content; learners can be assigned activities to ensure deadlines are met and to encourage collaborative learning. An array of features such as awards, certificates, assessments, refreshers and evaluations will help to maintain engagement and compliance and perhaps even introduce an element of healthy competition!
All about the patient
Of course, the ultimate aim of compliance is for patient care to be improved, and this is enabled when healthcare decisions are based upon appropriate, current clinical standards. This only works if everyone is aware, so irrespective of whether you decide to adopt an LMS to manage this process, it is vital to pinpoint and address the strengths and weaknesses within your workforce, wherever they are located, and be able to prove compliance.
What issues have you experienced across your organisations? Get in touch and let’s see how we can help you to connect your people.