Value-added services in an HIE assist providers in simplifying the administrative side of healthcare while generating a significant amount of revenue with which to sustain the HIE. These services offer solutions to meet the needs of various stakeholders, thereby improving quality of care and providing more favorable patient outcomes. As each HIE and region is unique, the menu service offerings should reflect the specifics of the community they service.
HIEs which promote an environment where people can achieve their full potential, increase their productivity and expand their professional horizons are most likely to achieve long-term profitability. Learning is essential given the ongoing and rapid changes in the work world, especially in relation to technology. Therefore, investing in the development of the skills of those who are part of an HIE is essential, and a primary method for this development and education is online training, also called e-learning.
Online training provides flexibility and convenience not always available in onsite training by allowing users to train on their own time and at their own pace. Materials can be accessed 24/7 anywhere there is Internet access. An HIE can set up online training specific to its region, allowing other involved entities to access the same program or materials and taking the burden off hospitals in that region.
One of the biggest benefits online training offers an HIE is reduced cost. According to Training Magazine, corporations save between 50 to 70 percent when replacing instructor-led training with electronic content delivery due to reduced or eliminated travel costs and more targeted training. HIEs can pay for the training used without having to pay for a training professional, and they don’t have to print and ship expensive manuals.
Research also shows that online training can be nearly 93 percent cheaper than instructor led training while offering customized content to meet specific learning objectives and needs. It allows for the simple yet effective management of targeted, up-to-date content for any size group, especially important for an HIE. Along these same lines, online training enables an administrator to highlight areas of special interest to a group or region.
Online training and e-learning allow HIEs to thoroughly educate and/or train in an engaging and interactive manner through an easy-to-use, intuitive design. They ensure that all users have the in-depth knowledge of the programs they are using, maximizing productivity and improving the quality of their work. They may also assist users in adapting a new technology or provide immediate information on new products or procedures.
On the administrative side, using e-learning in an HIE offers measurable tracking of users’ progress with advanced reporting. Those needing to check a user’s progress can do so 24/7 without having to sift through a broad spectrum of data. Administrators can compare and contrast results by user, subject, region and more.
As discussed in a previous blog, HIEs must have safeguards and guidelines in place to ensure high levels of privacy and security across the board. The issue of privacy is also relevant in online training and e-learning as sensitive data may be exchanged in such processes. Again, the privacy and security rules of HIPAA require that protected health data is accessible to patients, released according to both state and Federal laws and maintains the privacy, security and integrity of patient data.
While conventional training and instruction may still be the best option in some cases, online training and e-learning provide a quick, effective and cost-saving method for HIEs and their users. As a value-added service, these processes provide a measurable return on investment for an HIE while offering an integral service to those users.