Bite-Sized Learning: Principle LTC at Center of Innovative Nursing Home Education Model | #education | #technology | #training

Staff education has proven to be a big hurdle for nursing home operators seeking to recruit and retain staff, as the staffing shortage has brought many in the workforce to their breaking points and punitive monetary penalties lock operators out of creating their own education programs.

Not only are resources spread thin, employees and those looking to enter the industry may not be the typical test taker. In other words, they’re not necessarily sitting at a desk all day and don’t have time to focus in a classroom.

Smaller, more time sensitive education sessions became the crux of a partnership between operator Principle LTC and education platform Learn to Win – Principle will be the first nursing home chain to participate in micro-training lessons with the education company, which has developed curriculum for the pharmaceutical industry and U.S. military.

“The cost of education through current learning mechanisms is significant, yet it is difficult to measure their effectiveness. In addition, it’s not necessarily the most enjoyable, interactive, nor are they consistently providing high experience learning,” said Principle LTC CEO Lynn Hood.

North Carolina-based Principle operates 45 facilities across three states.

Sasha Seymore, CEO of California-based Learn to Win, said he sees a “similar type of learner,” in terms of people whose jobs require them to be very mobile.

“It was the kind of thing that could really meet people where they were at,” Seymore said of the platform. “I’ve been really excited to take [Principle’s] subject matter expertise in this space and apply it to our background as experts in how people learn, and learn effectively.”

Principle and Learn to Win first partnered less than a year ago; the operator will be the subject matter expert as the company creates curriculum and the technology to support it. Nursing home curriculum is in an early design phase, Hood said, with trial rollout due to happen late summer or early fall.

The initial set of micro-learning modules will focus on 20-plus mandatory continuing education classes that all frontline staff must pass for regulatory compliance.

Rollout for broader consumption is expected to be during the fourth financial quarter of 2022, Seymore said. Product price point is still being ironed out, Hood and Seymore said.

“We’re really looking forward to starting the design and development of our modules, utilizing

the Learn to Win platform — and measuring the impact it makes,” added Hood.

Bite-sized lessons

Learn to Win’s platform breaks everything down into micro-learning or “pieces” of information,

Hood said – it’s easier for staff to be successful at every step. It’s an “active learning

model” as well, where students interact routinely with frequent quiz questions to evaluate knowledge along the way.

“When you’re successful at something that makes it more fun, and you want to do more of it,” she said.

The partnership came about through Principle’s connection to Eli Lilly – the operator participated in Covid drug clinical trials for the pharmaceutical giant.

Learn to Win was originally designed to help athletic teams and performers learn playbooks faster and more effectively, according to Seymore.

Now, through its Principle partnership, Learn to Win will be designing an education program for another highly demanding, on-the-go profession.

“We’re basically bringing all of these best practices in adult education and learning to really high performance environments,” said Seymore. “[Skilled nursing] was this very, very highly regulated environment, which is what we see in pharma and what we saw across the military. It was this really high level of performance and consequences if you messed up.”

The platform has seen a 30-50% improvement in student performance as a result of the app, Seymour said, when Learn to Win was tested at the University of North Carolina.

“We are never going to be giving somebody a 10-minute video, because we know at minute four they’re going to totally zone out. We’re never going to give them static content material. We want to make sure that the learners are engaged the entire time,” added Seymore.

Hood hopes the platform will not only improve pass rates, but also drill down which particular topics are giving staff a hard time.

“If we’re doing HIPAA training for example, which includes 30 key points, and two of the thirty

are proving difficult, then we can easily tweak those two to make the learning experience better, and

re-measure them again for success,” Hood said.

Nontraditional learning backgrounds

A lot of nursing home employees don’t have traditional learning backgrounds, Hood said, meaning no college and minimal high school.

“The opportunity to learn through interaction and engagement is huge,” she said. “Historical learning environments include clinical labs, classroom, and online settings, which are not

always the most effective way for adults to learn, nor is it always affordable. We are hoping the

Learn to Win model will provide an improved learning experience, with improved cost efficiency.”

Hood hopes to start measuring how well people learn using this platform, especially nontraditional learners, in order to advance their own careers.

That translates to a career ladder for dietary aides to become certified nursing assistants (CNAs), and CNAs to become nurses or pick up other specialities within the industry.

As Principle starts measuring how well people learn using this platform, “the sky’s the limit” on how the companies can design this to bring not only mandatory in-service training, but the opportunity to help non-traditional learners actually advance their career, Hood said.

Creating more educational pathways helps with retention and loyalty too, according to Hood, as employees remember fair and consistent training.

“Any time you invest in your employees, you’re investing in retention, and you’re investing in their future and your future,” said Hood.

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