Schneck Medical Center Uses NetLearning to Systematically Deliver Training and Earn Coveted Award

Healthcare organizations that strive to set themselves apart are often driven to achieve excellence by providing great patient care. Many of these organizations use their commitment to ongoing employee training as the driving force for such initiatives.

Schneck Medical Center in Indiana is such an organization. In the early 2000s, it was determined to establish itself as a Center of Excellence while also being re-designated as a Magnet facility. Both awards require a high level of employee engagement and proof that employees are well trained. Schneck knew it needed to efficiently track, measure, analyze and report on its staff competencies to achieve these awards.

Seeking a Way to Deliver Systematic Education

Early on, Schneck Medical Center responded to the federal government announcing an initiative around HIPAA training. At the time, the hospital was conducting a range of classroom training, all documented in a homegrown database. It had also achieved Joint Commission Accreditation. Simultaneously, it had started working with the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality framework.

“We knew we needed a more efficient way of training and tracking skills, especially as we pursued designations that require the systematic delivery of education and proof of staff competencies,” explains Ann Green, Staff Development Coordinator for Schneck Medical Center. The hospital decided it needed to more systematically deliver training and streamline its competency assessment method.

Opting for a Proven Solution

After evaluating a few vendors and their solutions, Karen Layman, Director of Staff Development and Education chose HealthcareSource NetLearning® , featuring reports and dashboards for producing required data for accrediting bodies like The Joint Commission, compliance reporting for HIPAA, and tracking and recording of competencies. “NetLearning offered the features we needed, and existing customers spoke highly of it. We felt confident we would realize tremendous value from the solution,” says Green.

Getting up and Running Quickly

Schneck Medical Center was quickly up and running with NetLearning. The hospital taught all directors and managers how to assign a class to an employee, enroll an employee in a class, and run reports. Some of its nurse educators generate reports, while unit-based educators in the nursing units handle competency validation. Green grants roles and rights to the 850 employees who use the system, approximately 20 of whom are administrators. “We appreciate the fact that NetLearning empowers our employees to manage much of the training and competency assessment process,” explains Green.

Taking Training and Assessments to New Levels

Systematic delivery of education across the hospital allows Schneck Medical Center to consistently measure a range of metrics. It also empowers the hospital to test employees on their knowledge and capture and report on skill levels at any time.

In addition, NetLearning made Donna Wright — consultant at Creative Health Care Management and author of The Ultimate Guide to Competency Assessment — accessible to Schneck Medical Center via a series of webinars. As a result, the hospital was able to incorporate many of her methods into its processes for competency training and assessment, such as focusing on high-frequency, high-risk activities. “NetLearning and Donna Wright helped us refine our competency policy. Now we can ensure systematic trainings and assessments, whether they are clinical or non-clinical in nature,” says Green. The reporting functionality proved invaluable as Schneck pursued a Malcolm Baldridge award and sought Magnet re-designation. Green and others can view data graphically and output it as an Adobe PDF or Microsoft Word document, Microsoft Excel spreadsheet or CSV file. Spreadsheet formatting allows Schneck to view the data and then manipulate the data to view graphically and email the files to managers or supervisors. “Everyone is accustomed to working with those types of files so there was essentially no learning curve,” continues Green.

Streamlining Competency Validation

As a central repository of all competencies, NetLearning and NetCompetency make it easy to track and validate skills associated with accreditation, for example. “The validation methods are part of NetCompetency’s reporting functions, which helps us easily demonstrate the appropriate skills are being addressed,” says Green. In fact, Schneck Medical Center was able to quickly produce all needed reports for both the Magnet re-designation and the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award application. Schneck received Magnet in 2006 and in 2011 received re-designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. And in 2011, it received the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, a national award for performance excellence.

Discovering Unexpected Value

Schneck Medical Center also uses NetLearning in unconventional ways. For example, it tracks employee wellness goals associated with the hospital’s health benefits and wellness program. “When employees participate in the program and meet their goals, they pay a lower health insurance premium. Through NetLearning, we can run reports and audit this information,” explains Green.

Refocusing on Patient Care

NetLearning solutions have helped the hospital’s employees spend less time on training so care providers can spend more time with patients. Rather than investing several hours over the course of a few days, nurses now complete their annual training in just one or two hours, at their convenience. “NetLearning provides a systematic process for consistent training throughout our organization so that we can meet our number one objective of ‘Patients First.’ It has allowed us to deliver key education initiatives to maintain and achieve accreditations,” concludes Green.

Schneck Medical Center

  • Documenting staff training and employee engagement levels to pursue designations
  • Difficulties tracking, measuring, and reporting on staff competencies
  • Time-consuming employee education and competency validation processes
  • Improved reporting helped earn the Malcolm Baldridge award and Magnet re-designation
  • Streamlined processes to meet their 'Patients First' objective
  • Efficiently produced required data for accrediting bodies
  • Customized reports simpified reporting and analyzing data


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