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Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Mastering New Healthcare Technology: Customized Learning Solutions and Adult Learning Theory

Written by Kate Miller, Marketing Campaign Manager

Healthcare professionals and analysts engaging in collaborative adult learning on a laptop.

In today's rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, staying ahead means embracing new technologies. Yet, for many decision-makers in hospitals, pharmacy chains, and medical organizations, grasping these innovations can feel daunting. Not only is there the challenge of implementing new technology, but also training hospital staff on a system that’s completely new and unfamiliar. This is where understanding adult learning theory becomes pivotal. In this article, we explore the critical role of customized learning solutions, grounded in adult learning theory principles, and how they can accelerate the adoption of new technology in healthcare settings among professionals at all levels.

1. Understanding Adult Learning Theory and Methodology

At the heart of effective healthcare training lies an understanding of the principles of adult learning theory and its application in educational settings. Unlike traditional pedagogy, which often focuses on passive absorption of information, adult learning theory emphasizes active engagement and practical application. Key principles include self-directed learning, relevance to real-world contexts, and the integration of prior knowledge and experience.

Adult learning methodology builds upon these principles, recognizing diverse backgrounds, experiences, and learning styles that adult learners bring to the table. This methodology involves interactive and experiential learning approaches, such as case studies, simulations, and hands-on activities. By tapping into learners' existing knowledge and skills, adult learning theory promotes deeper understanding and more meaningful engagement with new concepts and technologies that resonate with the learners.

It's important to note that adult learners in healthcare professions, like clinicians for example, tend to be more motivated when what they're learning directly relates to their job, and they enjoy having the freedom to explore and discover on their own. They thrive in environments where learning feels like a team effort, where everyone's involved and can set their own goals and speed. Furthermore, adult learning theory acknowledges the diversity of adult learners and the importance of accommodating different learning styles and preferences. Some learners may favor with visual or auditory learning while others may prefer a hands-on or tactile approach. By offering a variety of learning activities and resources, educators can cater to the diverse needs of adult learners and enhance the effectiveness of their training programs.

2. Applying Adult Learning Theory to New Healthcare Technology

In today’s healthcare landscape, the adoption of new technologies is essential for improving patient outcomes and enhancing operational efficiency. From electronic health records (EHR) systems to telemedicine platforms, successful integration of these innovations depends on more than just the availability of cutting-edge tools—it requires healthcare professionals to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to use these tools effectively through effective training.

Here's where adult learning theory comes into play. By aligning training programs with the principles of adult learning, healthcare organizations can ensure that staff members quickly grasp the intricacies of new technologies and confidently apply them in their day-to-day workflow. Customized learning solutions, tailored to the specific needs and preferences of adult learners, play a pivotal role in this process.

As we know, adult learners thrive in learning environments that are relevant, contextualized, and experiential. When introducing new healthcare technology, trainers should emphasize its practical applications and benefits in real-world scenarios. By demonstrating how the technology can streamline workflows, improve patient outcomes, or enhance the quality of care, trainers can create a compelling case for its adoption and motivate learners to engage with the training process.

For example, instead of relying solely on lectures or demonstrations, trainers should incorporate interactive activities, simulations, and role-playing exercises that allow learners to apply their knowledge and skills in simulated clinical situations. This not only reinforces learning but also builds confidence and competence in using the new technology in real-life settings.

3.The Importance of Customized Learning in New Healthcare Technology

The significance of customized learning solutions becomes evident when considering the staggering costs associated with ineffective training. A study featured in Training Magazine, reveals that within thirty-three minutes of training, students forget approximately 42% of the material they were taught in a standard training setting, which is nearly half of the content covered. This highlights the significant challenge of retaining training knowledge. According to the same source, while organizations in the United States invest between $1,075 to $1,886 on training for each employee annually, ineffective training methods can result in substantial losses, costing businesses an average of $13.5 million per year for every 1,000 employees.

Moreover, research conducted by the Society of Human Resource Management indicates that 50% of employees who don't receive effective training will leave their positions within the first year. Considering the average cost of hiring and onboarding a single employee is about $4,000, it's clear that investing in training that works is essential to keeping a healthy bottom-line.

Customized learning solutions offer a way forward by addressing the shortcomings of generic training programs. By aligning training content with the specific needs and preferences of adult learners, these solutions increase engagement, retention, and transfer of knowledge. Research shows that learners remember more than 4x as much from training sessions that are perceived as highly relevant to their jobs.

The integration of customized learning solutions and adult learning theory represents a powerful approach to training healthcare professionals on new technology. By understanding the principles of adult learning and tailoring training programs to meet the specific needs of learners, organizations can maximize the effectiveness of their training initiatives and drive positive outcomes.

By investing in training that is not only effective but also tailored to the unique needs of adult learners, healthcare organizations can position themselves for success in an increasingly complex and technology-driven environment.

To learn more about how our customized learning solutions can help your organization master new healthcare technology, visit Sedona Learning Solutions.

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