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E-learning for Healthcare


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E-learning for Healthcare

  1. 1. Solution Description to Assist Grantseekers in Developing Proposal Narratives E-Learning for Public Health GRANTS OFFICE 50 Prince Street Rochester, NY 14607 T: 585.241.4329 F: 585.241.4249 The information contained in this transmission is intended for the use of its recipients only. No part of this document may be duplicated, viewed, or otherwise used without the express consent of Cisco Systems, Inc.
  2. 2. Solution Type: E-Learning Grantseeker Type: Public Health Agency E-learning solutions allow information to be packaged in a more accessible, customized, learner-centric format. This can lead to reduced training costs, easier access to educational materials, greater accountability, and increased opportunities for collaboration. In addition, it can improve compliance with the continuing education requirements that are incumbent on many public sector employees. E-learning encompasses the creation, management and sharing of knowledge, and it provides solutions for the delivery, assessment and administration of the entire learning experience via the Internet, Extranets, and Intranets. The outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) around the world necessitated a rapid dissemination of information and procedures to enable public health personnel to understand and manage the epidemiology, transmission, and impact of the disease. With E-learning technologies, it is possible to produce instructional and informational media like this easily and deliver it quickly to the people who need it. Need <<Description of the need/problem addressed by the solution>> Tip: Describe the specific needs that indicate the installation of an E-learning system. There may be costs you believe could be reduced or requirements that are onerous to the agency. Local and regional continuing education strategies are also relevant here. Significant new challenges and expectations face public health employees in the current security climate. In preparing for, and dealing with, man-made and non-man- made crises, the agency aims to build public health competency among lab technicians, epidemiologists, and other practitioners dealing with potentially volatile agents and epidemics. At the same time, the agency may be called on to present important information to the public in a variety of media, drawn from a variety of sources. Training of health workers in the wake of an increased threat of terrorist attack or other disaster has become a priority, to ensure that those who must manage crises that arise have the tools and the knowledge to do their jobs effectively. Access to real-time Solution Description E-Learning Page 2
  3. 3. information, updates, information sharing and collaboration is required in this new environment that taxes public health and safety personnel. Depending on the personnel involved, it is also a challenge for a single agency to bring a large group of its constituents together at a single time and place, to participate in a training or educational activity. Emergency medical personnel and clinical practitioners all tend to have irregular schedules, complicating any attempt to coordinate a live training. Requirements for Continuing Education are also expanding across all areas of specialization, necessitating a hard look at past practices of training and ways to deploy new technologies to accommodate the internal and external training demands. Meeting the state and federal mandates for continuing education typically requires a minimum of 10-15 hours away from the workplace for each team member each year, and the times when classes are offered can be inconvenient. EMT training requirements, for example, commonly include 35 to 55 hours of additional instruction beyond EMT-Basic coursework. Prerequisites for taking EMT examinations typically include required classroom work, and a specified amount of clinical experience.1 Overtime costs associated with training have become burdensome for cash-strapped agencies. In some cases, busy emergency personnel are seeking to improve their functional contribution to their teams by cross-training in other areas as well. E- learning technologies have made it possible for public health personnel to more easily and efficiently meet many of the continuing education requirements for certification and re-certification. For acquiring new skill sets for certification and re-certification and for communicating to whole industries of personnel on emerging threats and procedures, the need for a rapidly deployable educational tool in the public sector has never been greater. Solution Description E-Learning Page 3
  4. 4. <<Independent justification for addressing the need/problem>> Tip: Add information here from local, regional, and statewide training and continuing education requirements. New developments in digital technologies, media-rich content, increased bandwidth, improved delivery platforms, and emerging technology standards have yielded a growing selection of quality E-learning services and have made it possible to participate in almost any type of learning activity from a personal computer. Moreover, sophisticated E-learning solutions promise to help staff members improve their understanding of the material through instant performance feedback and re- instruction on problem areas. <<Other contextual drivers for implementing the solution>> Tip: Add here anything that is happening around the region that supports your desire to install an E-learning Solution at this time. Examples may include a county-wide training initiative, availability of additional purchasing power by joining with surrounding towns to purchase the solution, etc. Finally, capturing the knowledge of the most experienced members of the workforce to orient and guide incoming employees is becoming more critical as the current workforce ages. Without a means to secure it, experienced workers will take their valuable, time-tested insights with them into retirement. According to Governing Magazine, 42 percent of the 15.7 million people working for state and local government in 1999 were between 45 and 64 years old. In other words, two-fifths of state and local government employees will be eligible to retire in the next 15 years, raising the specter of the most significant talent and brain drain ever experienced by government.2 Approach <<Less technical description of the solution>> Tip: Add details here on the number of sites and types of training you intend to offer immediately. Also include plans for future topics and certifications that are needed in the agency. Any details you have at this point will help explain your specific plans for the funding. E-learning refers to education that is enhanced by or delivered via the Internet. It began in corporate training departments, schools, and universities as a supplement to standard teaching methods. Today, it encompasses a rich set of solutions that can be used throughout an organization to share information, experience, and ideas. E- Solution Description E-Learning Page 4
  5. 5. learning content will be produced on site by the agency and purchased from vendors on a one-time or ongoing basis. Agency-wide, the organization will deploy Cisco E-Learning solutions to: 1. Broadcast live staff communications, training and development seminars; 2. Capture live broadcasts in “on-demand” formats to be heard or viewed, anytime or anywhere; 3. Deliver media straight to employee’s computers; 4. Increase collaboration among agency employees; and 5. Reduce costs and scale future communication efforts by creating learning and presentation modules that can be leveraged many times over. Video Conferencing Video conferencing solutions enable interactive communications, real-time dissemination of information, and collaboration and problem solving. If implemented for training and communication purposes, video conferencing will also support critical communications in the event of an emergency. Real-time Video Broadcasting Cisco’s IP/TV solution will be used for broadcasting (via IP multicast) high-quality, live or prerecorded information to a large audience of more than 200 people. Broadcast ensures that everyone hears the same message from the same person. The agency will produce the content it broadcasts over IP/TV. <<Add here specific uses and topics you would cover with a broadcast solution>> Video on Demand Video on demand (VoD) allows the learner to participate in training at his or her own pace. This can be done during downtime, reducing overtime and the expense of substitute staffing. VoDs offer a low-cost means of providing individual users information “on demand,” any time from any networked location. VoDs may be used in conjunction with both Cisco IP/TV and the web-based virtual classroom in a blended solution that supports participants who miss a live broadcast. The agency will also use VoDs to allow constituents to download important public health information either over the Internet or over a state backbone. For example, a VoD of “What SARS means to you,” may be developed once by the agency or in Solution Description E-Learning Page 5
  6. 6. conjunction with Federal and other resources, and distributed on demand to those who need the information. <<Add here specific VoDs the agency will create and VoDs the agency will purchase or license>> Virtual Classroom Online learning is designed to be supported by mentors and involve discussions and interaction with other students. Real-time video conferencing enables interactive discussions, collaboration, and problem solving. The virtual classroom solution works best for audiences of less than 200 people, requiring frequent live interaction, demos, audience polling, or question/answer sessions. <<Add here classes, meetings, or other interactions you plan to hold in a Virtual Classroom environment>> E-learning is a powerful way for public health agencies to leverage their network investment. Cisco E-learning solutions can help agencies ensure that professionals at local health departments, hospitals and clinics have real-time access to the information they need to respond quickly and effectively to developing threats. In the event of an emergency, real-time video broadcasts or conferences will enable state health departments to instantaneously update local public-health employees about disease outbreaks or progression. Video conferencing over IP infrastructures also provides a simple, cost-effective means for real-time collaboration among dispersed public health professionals. Ongoing training will also be provided over the network as a cost-effective means for keeping professionals up to date without requiring classroom or travel expenses. Solution Description E-Learning Page 6
  7. 7. <<Advantages over other alternative solutions>> Tip: Discuss what other technology enhancements you have considered locally and why you chose the Cisco solution. Cisco's standards-based E-learning solutions provide public health agencies with a cost-effective strategy for meeting state and federal training and certification requirements. Training is transformed into a more student-driven experience. The schedule, content and location of training can be tailored per student, enabling the agency to more flexibly and cost-effectively manage their personnel's professional development. Traditional Instruction Traditional instructor-led activities typically cater only to a specific learning style, and they do not allow for review, remediation, or repeat of the information that is presented. Instruction is not customized to the needs of the individual learner, rather it is presented in a way that will allow some of the students to retain and use some of the information that is presented. Video Education For decades video has been an effective communication vehicle for a widely dispersed audience, freeing presenters from the need to deliver the same information over and over again. Yet the challenges and limitations were evident: steep production and broadcasting costs, the time and expense of physically storing, tracking, and mailing videotapes to multiple geographic locations, and the impossibility of delivering immediate, real-time communication. Also, material is quickly dated and becomes obsolete requiring updating of content and expensive tape reproduction. Video is now being re-examined as a training tool because of the availability of technologies that enable businesses to cost-effectively create digital video assets and deliver them over an IP-based intranet in real time or on demand. An added benefit of streaming video is the ability to search for specific video content, track usage/effectiveness, and more easily maintain accurate, timely content. E-learning systems can also supplement (rather than replace) traditional teaching methods and materials, such as classroom discussion, textbooks, CD-ROMs, and non- Internet computer-based training. Solution Description E-Learning Page 7
  8. 8. Outcomes <<Narrative description of outcomes/benefits to be accrued by the customer as a result of implementing the solution>> Tip: Relate the outcomes you expect to accrue as a result of the new technology to your initial discussion of needs, the more local the better. E-learning will help agencies improve compliance with continuing education requirements overall. Many jobs across the agency have consistent or increasing requirements for continuing education, and the implementation of E-learning will make these requirements less onerous and improve agency-wide participation in continuing education. The technology also ensures that more consistent information is communicated throughout the agency or department, improving efficiency and effectiveness. The agency can anticipate cost savings on an annual basis over the long term, as overtime and substitute costs normally associated with training are reduced, and travel expenses are cut dramatically. Today developing technologies allow training to focus in on the areas of need for each team member. With more attention paid to strengthening individual’s weaknesses, the agency can expect a higher level of individual achievement from team members, resulting in a faster learning curve and more effective employees at work. Implementation of an E-learning solution now will allow the agency to enjoy these benefits as the availability of online content continues to grow. <<Chart further detailing expected outcomes, suggested indicators, targets, and timeframes>> Tip: If you have specific (measurable) expectations, replace the more general outcomes here with specific measurements you will report to the funder at the end of the funding period. Specific outcomes and indicators include: Outcomes Indicators Targets/Performance By When Standards Higher level of Indicators based on 20% improvement in Within one year individual the specific E- performance indicators performance Learning program by individuals across the agency3 Solution Description E-Learning Page 8
  9. 9. Outcomes Indicators Targets/Performance By When Standards Improved agency- Agency-wide Improvement in agency TBD wide performance performance performance4 indicators indicators Reduced cost for Annual budget for Up to 50-70% reduction Immediately training training, per staff, in per staff cost of compared with training5 previous years Improved agency Percent of staff Reduction in percent of Within one year compliance with members not in staff not in compliance continuing education compliance with requirements continuing education requirements In its many forms, E-learning offers many benefits for emergency response and public health teams: Reduced costs: The agency can reduce, or even eliminate, travel expenses for training; eliminate classroom costs; and reduce the time team members spend away from the office and their normal duties, thereby incurring less overtime and substitute pay. Access: Users can access content anywhere they have an Internet connection. Personalized learning experience: Self-service learning options will let team members proceed at their own pace, select a content type and delivery vehicle based on individual preferences, and assemble content modules appropriate to their needs. Collaborative learning: E-learning allows for the sharing of knowledge and peer support. Implementing E-learning in the agency produces a number of other intangible benefits as well, including optimizing the agility of an organization and its workforce to better adapt to change. Further, empowering employees to own their own personal development increases leadership development and creates a culture that motivates employees. Solution Description E-Learning Page 9
  10. 10. Activities <<Suggested activities for implementing and monitoring the adoption and results of the implementation>> Tip: Based on your conversations with your Cisco Account Team and System Integrator, and your product requirements and design documents, detail the steps you plan to follow to implement the solution, including who will be responsible for what (by name or title). Using requirements documents and system design materials already developed by Cisco and the System Integrator, the agency will purchase and, with the System Integrator, install equipment and software necessary to create and distribute content across the network. The network will serve as the foundation for delivering high-quality video to users and storing media assets for easy search and retrieval. Once the network is in place, the agency will begin to develop and conduct training. All staff will be oriented to the E-learning system and its use, including the sites that are maintained for E-learning and any parameters placed on their use. After a brief orientation, all staff will be expected to participate in a brief E-learning example to further familiarize them with the system. Network support staff will receive additional training from Cisco on how to configure network infrastructure components, determine the necessary redundant and backup WAN connections, and investigate WAN connectivity alternatives, such as satellite transmission services dedicated to video broadcast streams as the primary, inter-site transmission medium. Team members responsible for staff development will develop and deliver informational materials to all staff on the availability of the E-learning and current and future course availability, on a regular and ongoing basis. The agency chief or his or her designee will assume primary responsibility for the implementation of the new system by monitoring all rollout activities and tracking the indicated objectives. (S)he will also document training and orientation activities and report problems and progress to the funder, following the funder’s reporting requirements. In addition to the current staff, no additional personnel will be needed to effectively operate and manage the system. Solution Description E-Learning Page 10
  11. 11. Future Funding <<Suggestions for documenting ongoing funding potential for the project (often required by funders)>> Tip: Most Federal programs will not place a great deal of emphasis on this point, but state and local funders will want you to demonstrate your plan for ensuring the continued maintenance of the technology. Initial funding will allow the agency to develop system specifications, purchase the required hardware and software, and pay for any necessary first-year technical support. Additional E-learning content development and purchase of off the shelf training materials and additional equipment will be funded by the agency’s operating budget or by funding from local foundations, other government funding, or other campaign funds. Solution Description E-Learning Page 11
  12. 12. 1 Resources Cited R “Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics,” Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2 Samuel M. Ehrenhalt, as quoted in Governing Magazine, March 2000, p.36. 3 WH Hambrecht estimate for “better performance” 4 ibid 5 Training Magazine/Online Learning, on the Web at