Catalyst Learning Blog

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Articles, case studies, and success stories to guide and inspire healthcare HR, Organizational Development, and Clinical professionals.


Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce Shares Healthcare Study Catalyst Learning
According to a recent Georgetown University study, the United States will need 5.6 million more healthcare workers by 2020.  In its June report, Healthcare, Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce provides detailed analysis and projections of healthcare fields, occupations, and their wages. In addition, the report discusses the important skills and work values associated with healthcare fields and occupations. Click here to read the full report and learn the study’s major findings.



Bridgeport Hospital Receives Lifelong Learning Award Catalyst Learning
Congratulations to Bridgeport Hospital!  The organization, which has completed seven School at Work sessions since 2006, received the “Lifelong Learning Award” from The WorkPlace.  Bridgeport Hospital was awarded for being an employer who “offers learning opportunities to employees to increase their skills and earning power and to maximize the workforce.”  Nice work, Bridgeport!



An Industry in Profound Transition Catalyst Learning
The healthcare industry is one in profound transition. Traditional roles, such as Medical Case Managers, are undergoing radical transformation. An increasingly patient-centered environment is driving payment reform and impacting financial performance. As hospitals strive to stay ahead of the curve, Catalyst Learning has focused on providing the tools and information needed to support our incredible customer base during these challenging times.  In this infographic, Catalyst Learning walks through recent trends in Workforce Development, Employee Engagement, and Patient Satisfaction.  Where are the jobs going?  How does employee engagement directly impact patient satisfaction scores?  How does it all tie together to drive revenue increases?  Click here to view the full image and learn what we discovered!



Creating a Culture of First Impressions and a Continuum of Patient Care Catalyst Learning
First impressions are extremely important and rather difficult to predict. Malcolm Gladwell, journalist and author of "Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking," said of first impressions, "We don't know where our first impressions come from or precisely what they mean, so we don't always appreciate their fragility." This fragility is important to understand because it will not take much to sway a patient's opinion. Along a patient's journey, she or he will encounter many different representatives of your hospital. From the hospital website, to a patient call center, to a valet attendant, to a hospital welcome desk, then on to registration, waiting rooms, nurses, physicians and more. There are many people and settings making first impressions that can have an affect on a patient's experience, and the sum of all parts creates the overall opinion of your hospital or health system. Read the full article, written by Nicole Nicoloff of BerylHealth, published by Becker's Hospital Review.



Healthcare Payment Reform Driving Innovative Staffing Models Catalyst Learning
Healthcare consultant and author, Deborah Walker Keegan, PhD, FACMPE, recently addressed a small group of Catalyst Learning customers grappling with healthcare reform’s impact on workforce development.  Dr.  Keegan spoke to the need for new staffing models in this era of industry transformation. There’s one thing most can agree on:  payment reform is at the center of the issue.  Dr. Keegan pointed out that payment reform is driving structural reform, which in turn is driving the delivery system reform. To remain competitive, hospitals are seeking higher levels of integration both horizontally within their own systems and with other hospitals while simultaneously acquiring physician practices.  The resulting environment is one that’s ripe for tighter hospital-physician collaboration. Dr.  Keegan spoke to the need for new staffing models in this era of industry transformation.  She shared an innovative medical practice model that includes a core team of “super-trained associates”.  These employees possess the skills needed to be successful in a variety of roles in a medical practice.  This provides the ability to reassign roles without impacting care. “There is a real change in terms of the clinical support model in the medical practice setting.  The staff is doing synchronous work, and these employees own it instead of simply waiting for work to be delegated…  in a physician practice applying this model, the medical assistant can be responsible for care transition; LPNs can coach patients; RNs can treat complex illness—each with a vital role to play in patient health and wellness,” Keegan explains.  The physician role then becomes one of oversight of the care delivery process as well as providing care where appropriate. This makes willingness to collaborate and flexibility a priority.  In terms of the skill needs, clinical employees and nurses must have the ability to wear many hats.  They must possess strong critical thinking skills and know how to evaluate the whole body/person, not just the symptoms.  Practices must place more emphasis on patient education, prevention, and health coaching support. Many roles are changing, such as case managers, which Keegan explains can be filled virtually, in some circumstances. “If they are onsite, definitely integrate them into the practice,” Keegan says.  “If virtual however, case managers can operate on the periphery.  Of course, telephone and internet nursing takes a different kind of skill, it requires more critical thinking and diagnostic acumen.  These associates should also be very integrated to electronic health records so the physician can evaluate the advice and triage provided to patients, with the case manager playing an integral role in managing chronic care and high risk patients.” An evolving workforce commands the development of new curricula based on new roles.  Healthcare leaders must identify, and overcome, specific skills and curriculum gaps.  The challenges are great, but an industry in profound transition also equals an industry with new opportunities.  Due to these changes hospitals will see a 1.1% projected annual growth rate, between now and 2018. Ambulatory services will see a projected 3.1% annual growth rate in the same time frame. This growth rate will yield thousands of new positions in home health aide, registered nursing and medical case manager positions.



Dispatch from the Catholic Health Assembly Catalyst Learning
Catalyst Learning CEO Lynn Fischer recently attended the Catholic Health Assembly in Philadelphia, dividing time between the exhibit hall and learning sessions.  Joseph Swedish, CEO of Trinity Health, gave an inspiring first speech as incoming Chair of the association. Mr. Swedish recounted stories from history of the courage of the Sisters who founded the Catholic health ministries around the country. He encouraged the audience to follow the Sisters' lead by having the flexibility to respond to the times, holding on to that which is needed, letting go of that which is not, and changing as the times require. "We are called to serve in chaotic times. This calls on us to reexamine our assumptions... dedication to formation... and in some cases, structure differently to create sustainability, always while protecting our Catholic identity.... Catholic health is full of brave people willing to stand up for what is right.... Service is the bedrock of our Catholic faith." Mr. Swedish ended by linking the values of the Catholic healthcare ministry to a quote from Hubert Humphrey on the walls of HHS Building in Washington, "the moral test of government is to care for citizens at the dawn of life, the twilight of life and shadows of life".  He encouraged the audience to keep this philosophy in front of policy makers.



Congratulations Bryn Mawr Rehab 2012 Graduates! Catalyst Learning
[caption id="attachment_134" align="aligncenter" width="448"] 2012 School at Work Graduates[/caption]