In need of creative ideas...

Aug 22, 2012

Hi everyone! I am working on creating two courses. One is on clealiness in the workplace which includes not only business locations, but includes hospital and medical office locations. I need some inspiring ways to present this material...any great ideas? The other is on a HIPAA presentation and want to focus this more on a personal level by interviewing the person in our organization responsbile for HIPAA compliance. Does anyone have any other ideas? Looking for ways to make it engaging and get the audience which ranges from staff to leaders to clincial staff to critical think about these issues and how they impact themselves, patients, and the organization.


12 Replies
Bruce Graham

Hi Rhona,

As I tend to say in "compliance" requirements like these, I like to think about the "anti-compliance" course.

"Welcome folks, and today we're going to show you how to poison your staff, reduce productivity by 32% per year, AND get yourself a fine of between $4m and $6m....ALL in 20 minutes!"

If you want the learners to "...critical(ly) think about these issues and how they impact themselves, patients, and the organization...", show then how easy it is to screw up, and who then becomes responsible!

Hope that starts some thought processes.


Bruce Graham

The beauty of using "the absurd" as a teaching mechanism is that it is often a quicker way to get people to learn than just firing facts at them.

When you show people how easy it is to screw up, they very soon come to the conclusion that they need to avoid this happening, and then the "learning" just becomes a few facts at the end.

This seems like relegation of the information to a minor player, however, it is usually much more engaging, and remembered than when organizations "over-egg the pudding", ramming fact after fact after compliance fact down people's throats in the hope that some of it will stick.


Greg Friese

For the HIPAA compliance course an interview approach might be to ask the compliance expert for examples of violations and to discuss what was done and what should have been done. Also for a HIPAA course it might useful to have two courses - a new employee course and an annual refresher/update. Having been through many HIPAA training courses I can assure you there is no joy in receiving the same course year after year. 

Melanie Sobie

Are there any publicly available examples of HIPAA violations for our industry in your state?  I have a privacy awareness course I'm working on now and the introduction features a very recent newspaper article about a state agency that had a large breach of confidential data (social security numbers). (I work in the 2nd largest state agency.) Then after the newspaper article it is simply pointed out that at the heart of any breach there is likely an employee who had no idea they made a mistake that placed thousands of people at risk of identity theft (WIIFM). The learning objective is basically how to not make a mistake and become a headline!

Daniel Brigham


Have you seen the HIPAA course on the Articulate Showcase? I quick google search will bring it up. I think it's well done, and it begins with an interesting scenario.

Why should they care about cleanliness? What real-life problems has uncleanliness brought about? Perhaps start with a scenario tied to one of those. I see an opportunity to exploit the learners' emotions at the beginning. Gross them out (well, within reason) with something that has happened (or something that is somewhat realistic).

Don't start with sterile learning objectives that tell them they are going to learn about the importance of a clean work environment.

Natalia Mueller

I worked in healthcare in another life and took many many HIPAA courses. The (only) one that stands out in mind is the same one that converted me to a hard core scenario supporter. Instead of listing all of the many rules just like every other HIPAA course I had ever taken, it presented very realistic situations that potentially fall into a grey area. It got my attention right off the bat with a screen that asked me to choose the HIPAA violation. They were written in such a way that none of the answers were obvious and I actually picked the wrong one. Then the feedback screen told me what the problem was with that situation, the regulation it fell under and then some of the more common violations (leaving a patient's chart open, etc). When the next scenario came up, I really wanted to get that one right so I even clicked on the handy button that was available to let me review the official policy for that topic before answering. 

As an instructional designer, I appreciated how they still included the required content (actual regulations, the standard examples...) but only after I saw how someone could easily make a very honest mistake. Instead of being another throw-away compliance course I had to get through to get back to my day, it was now playing to the "what's in it for me element" as I realized I actually could make one of these mistakes and I didn't know the rules as well as I thought I did. 

On a side note, @Bruce - I wish you I'd had your compliance courses to take my last go around... 

Bruce Graham

Johnathan Brouwer said:

How about taking the perspective of a germ or germs?  They could then look at all (and point out) the great things humans are doing for them. Of course, great things then for humans are bad things for germs...

Like that

Sounds a bit like one of the ideas on the "bedbug" thread a year or more ago :)


deb creghan

Rhona - Start with what you want them to be able to DO after they finish the course.  Make it scenario based, and as real as possible - characters in their setting, interviews, etc.  Give the learner a challenge to do something and then give them freedom to figure it out - but also give them the options (through buttons) of getting key policies, or advice from someone that will help them come to the right conclusion.  A good scenario that lets them see the consequences of their actions - good and bad - will be more memorable than a lot of bullets with facts.  Best of luck!

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