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How Mackenzie Health Canada optimized education in diagnostic imaging

By Philips ∙ Featuring Mackenzie Health ∙ Jul 01, 2021 ∙ 4 min read

Hospital operations

Education services

The acceleration of digital transformation in healthcare has created rapid change for care providers and staff. New iterations of devices, equipment, platforms and services have become the norm. The need to stay up to date with technology is imperative to ensuring patient safety and optimizing productivity. However, technology is just one component of an operationally efficient organization. A well-trained, confident and empowered workforce is also critical. Mackenzie Health Canada leveraged a managed services partnership to standardize and optimize education services and provide support and training for diagnostic imaging staff.

Customer story at-a-glance

  • How Mackenzie Health Canada standardized and optimized education services to support staff training for diagnostic imaging
  • How to design and roll out an educational program to train thousands of staff without disrupting key health services
  • The importance of super users and site orientation champions in training programs

Two happy people in training session

Designing a diagnostic imaging training program at Mackenzie Health Canada

In a Philips Managed Services Partnership, staff are trained to safely use equipment. But the scope of the partnership is bigger than that. The culture and philosophy around training is determined at the start of the partnership. ''Together with the Mackenzie Health team, we developed a plan that is collaborative and specifically tailored to the Mackenzie Health staff needs,'' says Lorrie Turpin, who oversees education services for the 18-year Managed Services Partnership between Philips and Mackenzie Health. ''Through a series of conversations, we understood where the education needs were, where the shortcomings were and how to support them to make their education program run as smoothly as possible.''

Integrating more than 30 vendors

Executing a training program across a large health system with a workforce of thousands was a logistical and operational challenge, as education responsibilities covered not only Philips diagnostic imaging and monitoring, but also equipment for multiple suppliers. Mackenzie Health had over 30 third-party technology suppliers, and this challenge was exacerbated by a move to a new hospital site. The Philps team needed to understand where and how people were going to be using diagnostic equipment at both sites and to make sure that the right people were being trained in each location.

Smiling people at corporate learning session

Continuous learning: a 12-week recurring training cycle

Across both Mackenzie Health hospital sites, there were challenges spanning resources, staffing, change management, communication and cultural difficulties. It required an extensive roadmap to get all parties aligned. A 12-week recurring training cycle was created per department, and all staff participated in unit-based orientation.

  • All training activities for third-party suppliers were logged into a master spreadsheet and broken down per vendor, per department.
  • The training schedule covered dates for training, location and vendor and brought all training materials together from all suppliers to make sure they met the program's standards and were easy to follow.

''There were many things to consider such as the number of users, their availability, training time frames and the operational and implementation schedule,'' says Mike Yrcha, Client Relationship Manager at Philips. ''And we had to build this around the schedules of all vendors.'' The Philips team worked with other vendors to create all the resources the partnership would need, including quick user guides, safe operational training manuals and checklists.

Developing the role of super users

Training in diagnostic imaging equipment is modelled on train the trainer, which trains super users who continue to train current and incoming staff on the equipment. The super user makes sure staff are able to handle equipment and perform their daily tasks and, as the person with the most knowledge of how the system works, they become a linchpin to the successful deployment of the training program.

''Super users take all of the high-level education from the technology partners and hold their own classes to train the rest of the staff,'' says Yrcha. ''We spend extra time with these super users to give them extra information and support them with troubleshooting because once we've left after go-live, they are the main staff resource available on the ground.'' According to Yrcha, the number of super users should be around five or six per unit, per device in order to cover all shifts, taking into account illnesses, work promotions and staff departures. At Mackenzie Health, Philps trained around 20% of staff before go-live.

The same training strategy that was used for diagnostic imaging was then implemented for ultrasound and, in part, patient monitoring.

Establishing site orientation champions (SOCs)

In addition to the formation of super users, the team also established the role of SOCs, based on past experience of seeing the value of providing additional frontline leadership support for new and experienced staff when new units open.

Reporting to the unit manager, the SOC role combines excellent interpersonal communication skills with the operational readiness to ensure that the safest, best possible care is provided at all times. As a caregiver responsible for the initial set up of a unit's supplies and workflow, the SOC works with the unit after go-live, focusing on staff support. This involves working with the clinical educator and manager on any policies and procedures required for the successful operation of the unit, as well as getting trained as a super user to have enhanced knowledge of the unit they are assigned to.

“One of the biggest gains is that our partners get the best value out of their systems as quickly as possible. If they adopt the training, then they can see patients quickly and are able to service more patients.”

Lorrie Turpin
Manager, Climical Education Imaging Systems

Operational gains of education

The integrated education program at Mackenzie Health has standardized education, removing inconsistencies between vendors and bringing together training content and delivery. A training document developed with Mackenzie is tailored to each diagnostic device and deployed throughout all suppliers.

"One of the biggest gains is that our partners get the best value out of their systems as quickly as possible,'' says Turpin. ''If they adopt the training, then they can see patients quickly and are able to service more patients.''

Customer story

Examining the strategic role of education and training

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