Partnering to Heal: Our Tax Dollars at Work
I came across a fantastic example of eLearning today. Partnering to Heal is a sophisticated social simulation produced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to educate providers and patient advocates about how to reduce the spread of infections in hospitals.
I started my day today with a discussion about our annual hand hygiene training. I wanted to make the training more meaningful. After orientation training and years of annual computer-based training modules on hand washing, everybody knows how and when to wash their hands. But in the moment when the nurse or therapist is running from room to room, little concessions are made. You skip the alcohol foam on the way in the room because you just foamed on your way out of another room. Or you see a colleague not following best practices, but decide not to say anything because your busy or because the colleague might get upset.
These small drifts away from appropriate practice don’t seem in that moment to hurt anyone, and that makes them easy to do. What the developers of the Partnering to Heal program have done brilliantly is show you the results of those compromises immediately and how they build on each other to create worse and worse outcomes. You can choose to approach the scenario from several different perspectives – a physician leader, a patient’s daughter, an infection preventionist. The unique impact and challenges of each of these roles are explored through a series of choices. The production, acting, writing and instructional design are excellent, and the tone is compelling without being maudlin.
When I started working on the hand hygiene project today, I was hoping to find an affecting story or two to feature in the computer-based training module. Something that might stick with an employee and prompt them to make a better decision in that split second when drift occurs. What I found instead was an outstanding resource for health care providers and leaders.