Navigating learning and development (L&D) in healthcare is no small feat. It’s a web of ever-changing regulatory requirements, closer-than-you-think deadlines, and continuous industry advancements. Making ongoing training and eLearning in healthcare critical.
Healthcare L&D teams need to be on top of developing up-to-date training courses for employees based on roles and responsibilities, tracking learner performance, certificates, and accreditations, ensuring data privacy, and delivering the course content.
In this blog, we look at upcoming changes, and how specialized healthcare eLearning solutions and healthcare eLearning courses will help you tackle challenges head-on.
Navigating standards and regulations with healthcare compliance training
As the compliance landscape continues to shift, healthcare organizations find themselves facing a multitude of challenges that impact the way they train and develop their learners. These are a few of the current key challenges that need to be addressed in healthcare compliance training courses:
- Distinguishing EHR from consumer app data: The distinction between patient information within Electronic Health Records (EHR) and consumer apps presents a considerable challenge in terms of compliance. It's essential to differentiate between data bound by HIPAA regulations and data bound by the purview of FDA and state regulations. This distinction carries extensive implications, affecting not only data security but also legal compliance within the healthcare sector.
- DEA's technological response to the opioid crisis: The DEA now takes a proactive stance in addressing the opioid crisis by leveraging AI and ML. To ensure compliance and patient safety, prescribers are required to complete specialized training for controlled substances to improve prescription management and increase vigilance.
- USP <800> standards enforcement:Hazardous drug compounding and safe handling standards that protect both staff and patients from unnecessary exposure will now be enforced, reflecting changes over the last decade or so in the industry. To safeguard the well-being of both patients and staff, organizations must take proactive steps to align themselves with these standards, ensuring a secure and compliant environment.
- Pandemic preparedness training for healthcare: With the emergence of new pandemic-capable diseases, the industry needs to remain vigilant after COVID-19 and continue todevelop and implement strong emergency recovery plans. The solution demands a transformative shift in learning and training tools.
The rise of telehealth and HIPAA implications
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 accelerated the adoption of telehealth as patients and healthcare providers looked for safer ways to access and provide healthcare.
According to a McKinsey report, in April 2020 telehealth consultations in the USA jumped 78 times compared to February 2020. The report further revealed that by July 2021, usage remained 38 times higher than before the pandemic.
While telehealth is convenient, it also presents challenges in maintaining the security of patient information. Failure to address these can result in HIPAA violations and payment rejections. Here are some common breaches that healthcare professionals must avoid through better healthcare compliance training:
- Lack of patient identity verification: Ensuring proper patient identity verification during account login in telehealth is fundamental to compliance; neglecting it can risk exposing patient information to unauthorized users.
- Use of unencrypted consumer video platforms: Using unencrypted consumer video platforms for telehealth can risk patient confidentiality. Healthcare compliance training must emphasize the use of secure HIPAA-compliant video conferencing.
- Communication via consumer messaging apps: Texting patients via consumer apps risks patient data security. Compliance training courses should stress secure and HIPAA-compliant communication.
- Initiating telehealth visits through shared devices: The use of shared devices in telehealth can risk confidential patient information. Healthcare professionals must be trained in conducting telehealth sessions in a private and secure environment only.
- Unencrypted email communication: Sharing patient information through unencrypted email services is a clear HIPAA violation. Training should underscore the use of encrypted email services and secure file-sharing for healthcare data.
- Understanding state Medicare reimbursement restrictions: Medicare reimbursement rules for telehealth services vary by state, and compliance training courses must cover state-specific guidelines.
- Clarity on federal and state telehealth regulations: Training should provide a clear distinction between federal and state telehealth regulations to prevent any unintentional non-compliance.
- Establishing and maintaining a compliant telehealth workflow: Developing a compliant telehealth workflow is essential. Healthcare professionals should receive training on creating, implementing, and maintaining processes that align with HIPAA and other relevant regulations.
Regulatory changes on the horizon: Key dates to watch
Some effective ways to stay ahead of the compliance curve are subscribing to federal and state LISTSERVs for policy updates, checking the Connected Healthcare Policy Site for reliable information, and regularly tracking updates in healthcare compliance training courses.
December 2024: End of the Consolidated Appropriation Act
The act has introduced lasting changes like permitting distant site providers, expanding telehealth services to include behavioral and mental health with audio-only choices, and removing geographic limitations. Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) will retain their position as originating sites, ensuring uninterrupted access to telehealth services.
January 2025: CMS 2024 Telehealth Codes Update
From January 2025 onwards, the CMS 2024 Telehealth codes are set for further updates, and while the specifics remain uncertain, it's clear that telehealth will continue to evolve and adapt to the ever-changing healthcare landscape. Watch this space!
eLearning in Healthcare: Absorb LMS and MedTrainer’s Expertise
Recognizing the unique challenges when it comes to eLearning for healthcare professionals, Absorb partnered with MedTrainer to offer tailored content that meets the specific needs of healthcare professionals.
Besides delivering intuitive and specialized training courses, the solution also ensures that training is aligned with accreditation requirements, and course assessments and completion certificates are maintained on file for compliance documentation.
While Absorb LMS provides a modern delivery platform, MedTrainer’s consistently updated course library ensures the fulfilment of regulatory and compliance requirements. Helping healthcare organizations to focus on their core objectives while achieving their compliance goals.
With their combined expertise and innovative technology, they empower healthcare organizations to overcome challenges, stay compliant, and excel in delivering high-quality care in a complex regulatory environment.
MedTrainer Courses and Credentialing
MedTrainer offers specialized eLearning for healthcare professionals across a wide range of organizations, from physicians, urgent care, and community health to behavioral health, and assisted living (and everything in between). L&D administrators get visibility into whether the teams are keeping up with course completions tied to maintaining regulatory and compliance requirements for programs including OSHA/HIPAA, and more.
Some of their most popular courses are:
Strategies for Incision Care and the Prevention of Surgical Site Infections
Post-Operative Pain Management & Opioid Consideration
Critical Incident Stress Management for Healthcare Workers: Returning to Normal After a Pandemic
Trauma-Informed Care in Community Health Centers
Cybersecurity and HIPAA: Ransomware, Phishing and Cyberattacks
Documentation Standards for Medical Records
Assessing a Patient with an Altered Mental Status
The Clinically Complex Patient
Early Recognition of Resident Changes in Condition
Principles of Cleaning and Disinfecting Reusable Equipment
And when it comes to credentialing, you can have a unified, real-time view of processes and workflows that give visibility into any documents that might be missing, the status of enrollments and any verifications left to be completed.
Beyond Compliance: Modernizing L&D
Besides enabling healthcare organizations to achieve their compliance goals, Absorb LMS harnesses AI and ML to offer advanced and engaging training, automating the process of employee and partner onboarding, upskilling, and reskilling of employees.
The LMS platform offers an array of sophisticated features, including meticulously tailored training programs for different job roles, and allows close monitoring and modification of courses based on user-generated data. Leveraging its advanced reporting capabilities, the platform provides insight into key growth metrics and helps in reducing employee turnover thanks to a thriving work culture facilitated by better learning opportunities.
Absorb LMS supports the delivery of content in fully or partially hybrid work models, and boosts learner engagement by enabling the use of modern tools like augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), chatbots, and gamification.