Training for hospitals and health care management professionals has changed dramatically in the past five years. In response to a growing demand, the industry is becoming more focused on quality and keeping abreast of government policy and regulations regarding health care delivery. The result is an increased emphasis on safety, cost-effectiveness and results-oriented outcomes. There is also a growing need for case managers and other allied healthcare professionals to have additional clinical and communication skills. To meet this challenge, many hospitals and medical centers are now developing comprehensive training programs focused on these key areas.
The clinical skills identified as being the most important focus for training for hospitals and medical centers includes providing high quality patient care, safe patient encounters, and a comprehensive assessment and review of patient care. Specific clinical skills include documentation, coding, insurance and reimbursement matters, scheduling, and utilization review. These activities are reviewed under the guidelines of a specific regulation called HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996). Although some of these regulations may have been implemented several years ago, the importance of continuing to train staff to perform these duties is high.
According to an article by CNN, “hospitals that offer training for hospital case management teams also see lower re-admissions, fewer insurance claims and less financial cost. The chief reasons for these results, experts say, are a focus on safety and the ability to quickly evaluate and implement changes.” The article goes on to say that clinical and administrative personnel can easily become overwhelmed with the demands of their jobs. These professionals are then forced to take time out of their busy workday to meet with patients, answer phones, and paperwork. This can have a devastating impact on the morale of staff and cause a number of professional and personal problems. With cutting-edge case management training, hospital case management teams can meet the needs of their staff and reduce re-admissions and other complications.
A large part of the training for hospitals and acute care medical centers will cover the basics of how to make use of the new Electronic Health Record or EHR. This includes using the computer system to create and store patient records, as well as learning how to set up the electronic files so that they are easy to locate when needed. In addition, hospital case managers will learn how to use the EHR to track and manage medications, lab tests, and procedures that are ordered by physicians. They will learn how to make sure that these necessary items are all tracked in the system, which allows for proper billing. Using the new system will also allow for better communication between patients and health care management staff, as well as improved access to vital information.
Another common need identified by hospitals and acute care medical centers is the training in how to implement quality improvement programs within the organization. These programs are designed to keep staff members updated on the improvements being made across the board, as well as to make sure that all patients are satisfied with the level of care that they receive. Having a program that incorporates quality improvement into hospital case management teams is essential to keeping a facility running efficiently.
Finally, many hospitals and other health care facilities will train their hospital staff on how to deal with traumatic injuries that may occur. For example, a patient may suffer a heart attack or slip and fall at their home. Without knowing how to react appropriately, a person could be paralyzed or even die. The goal of a good active shooter training program is to make sure that people know how to quickly and safely bring an injured person to the emergency room of a nearby hospital. By having a well-trained staff on hand, this will greatly increase the chances of a quicker recovery.
There are a few downsides to a hospital’s active shooter training program. Staff members will usually learn the basics rather quickly, but they may not have the chance to hone their skills and learn advanced tactics for combating extreme cases. The EHR might not be very complex, but it can still be confusing to a new employee. Sometimes, the best way to get staff to learn a new skill set is to tell them that they will have to complete an entire course on it. If a hospital has a really packed schedule, this might not be possible, so having an extra program that needs to be completed can prove to be quite useful.
In short, medical schools and hospitals should consider hiring an outside organization to conduct some of their training for hospitals. This will allow them to keep up with the latest in medical technology and continue to provide the best care available. However, to avoid being overspending in terms of training, health care workers should do a little research before signing on with any training program. A hospital shouldn’t choose the first training opportunity that comes their way, so it’s important to spend some time thinking about what a particular program offers before making a final decision.