Sault Tribe Health Division also uses its specialized IT system to manage digital incident reporting and credentialing management.

How one tribal health center boosted training compliance to 99.98%

By Bill Siwicki
01:11 PM
How one tribal health center boosted training compliance to 99.98%

One of Sault Tribe Health Division's eight health clinics.

Headquartered in Sault Saint-Marie in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Sault Tribe Health Division is a tribal health center that provides various medical services to a seven-county area.

THE PROBLEM

Previously, the provider organization struggled with managing and delivering high-quality training to its staff of more than 250 spread throughout eight health clinics. Administrators were expected to create their own educational presentations to train staff members on protocols.

Further, the organization primarily used a combination of paper records and spreadsheets for tracking who had completed their necessary training and different renewal dates. This created challenges in meeting federal, state and accreditation requirements.

“We also kept all our written policies and procedures stored in physical binders at each clinic,” said Joanne Umbrasas, director of operations at Sault Tribe Health Division. “Therefore, any updates to policies needed to be printed and manually dispersed to ensure consistency across our network. It was difficult to guarantee that all the binders were completely up to date at any given time.”

PROPOSAL

Sault Tribe Health Division realized it could not continue to rely on paper and spreadsheets to manage training and compliance. It decided it needed a more modern approach. In searching for a solution, the provider organization learned of health IT vendor MedTrainer and its compliance management suite.

“MedTrainer offered an affordable way for us to eliminate our manual, paper-based processes and digitize our training programs, tracking, policies and procedures, and more in their system,” Umbrasas explained. “We could centralize these key tasks and move them online, thereby streamlining training, improving compliance and alleviating the administrative burden.”

MARKETPLACE

There are many training compliance management and learning management systems on the IT market today. Some of the vendors of these systems include Corporater Compliance, Healthicity, LogicGate, PowerDMS, Promapp, TalentLMS and ZenGRC.

MEETING THE CHALLENGE

Rather than creating presentations and taking the time out to hold training sessions, Sault Tribe Health Division uses the large library of training modules included in the MedTrainer suite. The organization also has the flexibility to upload its own modules.

“We don’t need to track deadlines in spreadsheets anymore, as the system automatically updates due dates and sends notifications to the relevant staff and supervisor when deadlines are coming up,” Umbrasas said. “With the ability to assign training, we’ve been able to create a complete orientation package. When new employees come on board, we assign training to them in bundles, which include policies to review and training that needs to be completed before they can begin working with patients.”

"We don’t need to track deadlines in spreadsheets anymore, as the system automatically updates due dates and sends notifications to the relevant staff and supervisor when deadlines are coming up."

Joanne Umbrasas, Sault Tribe Health Division

For all policies and procedures, the organization has uploaded them into the MedTrainer suite, giving all staff and administrators access from their dashboard within the system. If there’s any protocol they are unsure about, they can quickly search for the right policy or procedure to follow.

And when the organization updates a policy, it is shared universally so everyone always has the most up-to-date information. The organization can even require electronic signatures from staff to acknowledge they have read new additions or changes.

RESULTS

“The greatest result that we have been able to achieve is raising the training compliance of our providers and staff from around 60-70%, based on calculations done on our previous spreadsheets, to an impressive 99.98%,” Umbrasas stated. “Since everything is online, staff can work on their training in short segments, according to their own schedules, instead of setting aside large chunks of time for training sessions.”

The notifications also have helped tremendously in meeting deadlines, she added. Moreover, the provider organization can better track and measure these metrics because of the reporting capabilities in the system, she said.

ADVICE FOR OTHERS

“Look beyond the capabilities that address your initial problem and explore other features that can help streamline your operations,” Umbrasas advised. “For instance, at the Sault Tribe Health Division, we are also using MedTrainer’s module for digital incident reporting, which allows staff to download fillable forms for any incident.”

Additional documentation for unique incidents can be uploaded, keeping all related and essential documentation in one convenient location, she explained. Additionally, the system provides a sort function, so administrators can sort incidents by type and analyze where improvements, changes and further training needs to happen.

“We also are using the system’s credentialing management system, QuickCred,” Umbrasas said. “It provides us everything to properly enroll and credential our providers, including tracking necessary documentation. QuickCred made it simple and easy for us to meet reaccreditation with the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care this year.”

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
Email the writer: bill.siwicki@himssmedia.com
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

Focus on Workforce Development

In July, we'll speak to experts about how they're managing their workforces – not just clinicians, but IT departments, data scientists, care managers, back office staff and others.