Calling all e-learning folks who work in healthcare organizations

Feb 14, 2012

Received a note from a blog reader who is looking for healthcare organizations to benchmark with. She's looking to broaden her organization's e-learning curriculum, and she wants to compare notes about what's working (and what's not) when it comes to developing & deploying e-learning in a hospital or healthcare organization.

What a cool opportunity to connect with someone in the same industry and help each other improve your organization's e-learning effectiveness!

If you work in a healthcare setting and would be willing to share your experiences with a fellow community member, please add a reply to this post, or send me a message (you can click on my name and choose "send private message"). Thanks!

159 Replies
Jeanette Brooks

Wow, you guys! Thanks so much to each of you, for stepping in and being willing to help! (With this much interest, you all could just about launch your own industry-specific user group right here & now!) I'll make sure that Liz (the person who was inquiring about benchmarking) is made aware of your offer to benchmark & compare notes. Again, really appreciate everyone's willingness to help!

Elizabeth Scully

Thank you Jeanette for starting this thread! We are a medium sized health care organization that consists of two community hospitals and a non-existant elearning department. Right now the corporate education creates our essential work requirement course in PPT - 2003 no less!

Personally, I have been using Captivate to create our informatics department job aides and rudimentary courses for pushing out education on any new implementations we are doing for the electronic health record. I am a one person show here . . . my primary job is to teach all the new hires and nursing students how to navigate our health record. So, I am content expert, educator, and designer. I want to move into more of the designer aspect or at least pull all the right players to the table to accomplish this better. The learning curve on Captivate is high for most people who are tasked to create education.

So far, these are the people who sit at the table (ones who approve the $) - corporate ed, organizational development, clinical education, nursing informatics(me), human resource and so on. I would like to demonstrate how important it is to have an elearning expert help us create more standardized educational materials that are branded with our healthcare logo and follow a specific format. You know, take us to the next level and get away from PPT 2003. I want to be that person - because I bring more than just the technical skills.

Do any of you employ content experts who are also instructional designers? How do you create engaging courses in 30 days or less? I Has anyone developed a specific process for the "content experts" to follow when handing in course content?  Please share your process with me - I really look forward to reading all of your insights!


Phil Mayor

Hi Elizabeth

I work as the Education Lead for a Cancer Network in the UK.  In 2008 following a Training Needs Analysis I saw the need for some of our education to be delivered via elearning, over time this has been proven to be the correcty decision.  We have a moodle installation to deliver our training and currently the majority of the training is provided via Articulate Studio, we did have some Captivate modules but they have been removed from our site this week when we relaunched our LMS.  We probably have the potential of 100-120,000 staff who could access our site, inreallity we have about 1,000 users registered

Initially I was the developer, SME, designer, etc.  Through luck more than judgement we managed to national contract to build training for the NHS and this allowed me to employ a fulltime elearning developer, which frees some of my time to work on other parts of my job.

Having just overhauled our LMS this week, I am a little embarrassed by by earlier efforts, but in contrast still love my recent work.  We build custom skins in house for articulate so can brand our work to make it meet our corporate reqiurements.

As far as producing content in 30 days, I am fast at producing content (most of our stuff does not have audio as it is used in clinical areas) I can generally produce a 20 minute module in 5 days.  Our process is to get the ppt off the SME plus additional content.  We then creates a first draft, this is reviewed in a timely manner and we produce a second draft, followed by a final version which then goes out for user acceptance testing.  The last cousre I produced involved 4x20 minute sections from start to final version for testing took 2 weeks (This was fast because we reused a common theme and the SME and me were both available at the same time)

Hope rthis helps


Jeanette Brooks

So cool to see so many people from healthcare who are willing to share their elearning know-how!For those who might've missed it, Elizabeth is the one who was looking for the benchmarking opportunities among other healthcare folks, and you can read her full post above. Her question in a nutshell was:

Do any of you employ content experts who are also instructional designers? How do you create engaging courses in 30 days or less? I Has anyone developed a specific process for the "content experts" to follow when handing in course content? Please share your process with me - I really look forward to reading all of your insights!

Nita  Venter

Hello Elizabeth, my biz partner and I came through the health care organizations from different avenues (Geri-Psyc & ER), but essentially are now a solution provider to healthcare organizations. We and do the content dev (SME within certain disciplines), ISD and packaging of the elearning. 

When we use external SMEs/Content Developers for the first time and the SME has basic  Word or PPT skills, we have a standard CDK ver 1.0 (Content Development Kit) which we provide to them in a project kick-off meeting. The CDK has project instructions, contacts e.g a blank set of templates (Word & PPT), a Library location of 'approved media assets" or reference sites.

In some cases we have had SMEs working with us for a long time and are proficient in PPT,  we provide the "advanced" CDK ver2.0 which includes additional elements i.e. specific client branding guidelines,logos, colour palettes in CMYK & RGB, fonts / images and project management folder/file naming conventions. - Typically the main project folders are set up at kick-off and any of the sub-folders would be created within the guidelines we specify.

We have found Cathy Moores, Action Mapping Process to be of great help defining the measurable goals, actions etc...a great help. 

Here is a link

Look forward to seeing what other ideas the forum adds - Great question.

Take care,


Elizabeth Scully

Thank you Phil and Nita! Your sharing is very helpful and I hope others continue to share their process, too. I like the idea of creating a CDK (going to use this idea for standardization). I did share Cathy Moore's action mapping just a few days ago with our director of   organizational development. I did not receive any feedback yet from her yet, but I want to have a more solid presentation with a plan and examples from other hospital systems as a follow up. The buzzwords are benchmarking and quality improvement. I definitely want to improve the quality of our educational materials. I know this is an Articulate group, but so many of your ideas translate to Captivate as well (what we already have). Our LMS is Healthstream and that is very robust - just not the easiest to work with when uploading content.

We do not own a SCORN interface though! That is my big push to get our applications talking to one another.

How the heck do I make an engaging course that teaches our electronic medical record? So far, my courses are a wee bit . . . umm . . . dry, so to speak.

christine stephens

Hi Liz,

I have asked the content experts to do a powerpoint for me.. or provide me with the information that they need to cover... Its always just lots of words.. then I try and look at it creatively and turn it into case studies with photos ...diagrams etc.. that I turn into articualte presentation... I have to go back and forward with the experts but in the end its something everyone is happy with.. Main thing is convincing the experts  that all the information can go into attachment books or guides.. but doesnt have to be in the e-learning content.. You can certainly do this in 30 days dependant on the experts availablity... Dont really need much of their time except for the initial information...

Trond Kristiansen

If you want to benchmark with some Norwegian vikings we would like to contribute

Nordland Hospital server apps 131 000 inhabitants in 10 locations in North Norway. We have about 4400 employees and we are developing more and more of our courses in house. We have been using Captivate (we have 10 licenses) but we will switch to Storyline for software simulation once it is public. Captivate 4 and 5 has a complicated user interface. Our SMEs are more comfortable and familiar with a Microsoft Office interface than a "Photoshop interface". Today we are 2 Studio developers and  hopefully 8-12 Storyline users before this summer. If a nurse, doctor or bioengineer wants a Storyline or Studio license we want them to commit to developing at least two courses for the hospital.

Also we do a lot of streaming video for training using a tricaster, wire cast on laptops and a wowza media server.

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