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ATD Blog

Q&A With Editors of ATD Talent Development and Training in Healthcare Handbook

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

While training, learning, and development are important to the success of any organization, they are crucial to health systems. ATD Talent Development and Training in Healthcare Handbook (November 2021) explores the key areas of training within healthcare to promote organizational and employee success. Rather than presenting training as a short-term fix, the handbook shares guidance about using talent development and training as a long-term strategy for overall organizational and health systems accomplishment. In this Q&A, we talk with the book's editors: Gregory Rider, Jacqueline Burandt, and Niranjani Chidamber Papavaritis.

What motivated you to curate this handbook?

NCP: For many years, ATD has been developing resources and information talent development (TD) and training professionals need to advance the healthcare industry and ensure that the industry provides the most effective and safest care to all patients through staff and systems supported as best as possible. Coinciding with the release of ATD’s TRIAGE content model, ATD decided to create a volume to address the sizeable information gap that has existed in the industry and fill the need for a comprehensive resource that would pull together key information and best practices in one, evergreen volume.

ATD Talent Development and Training in Healthcare Handbook will serve TD professionals, trainers, practitioners, clinicians, leaders, and anyone in healthcare who trains or influences others in the TD and healthcare space. ATD identified two experts with extensive TD knowledge and experience in the healthcare industry. I am proud to present the fruits of my co-editors JB and GR and ATD’s efforts in ATD Talent Development and Training in Healthcare Handbook.

I was enthralled by the prospect of bringing together a group of SMEs from within the industry, across a diverse spectrum, to work on a shared project—to collaborate and showcase each contributor’s expertise and have them contribute to the growth of the industry. Creating this book also promoted a culture of learning and development, as contributors bonded and learned from one another about the multifarious segments of health systems that come together to create a cohesive, productive organization.

JB: I have been an active ATD member and collaborator for more than 30 years. When ATD came to me with the idea of doing this volume, I was intrigued, interested, and on board with the project. I was eager to begin working with co-editor Greg Rider, with Niranjani (one of my fellow co-editors and ATD’s healthcare content manager), and with Ryan Changcoco, a former senior content manager at ATD whose brainchild this volume and project was.

From my own TD and training expertise within the healthcare industry, I know firsthand the deep need that exists for this content among my TD colleagues in healthcare. I was honored to be invited to develop and contribute to this volume and delighted to have a project that would foster new connections among leaders in the field and reconnect with my existing network. And during the long and locked-down days of the COVID-19 pandemic, I wanted to immerse myself in something positive by working on a volume whose purpose became even more important due to the pandemic and the challenges that it forced upon the industry.

GR: I come from a background of compliance expertise among my TD and training in healthcare and have been in active involvement with ATD since the early 2000s. In 2018, I met Jacque and Ryan at a healthcare conference at Teacher’s College. Later that year, we met again at the ATD-Yale Excellence in Management Certificate conference and chatted about collaborating on a future project for the healthcare industry. We all agreed that there was a need for more TD resources in the industry and decided to bring our heads together, leveraging our backgrounds in compliance, learning, and leadership to address this issue. With my extensive experience in learning and passion for DEI initiatives, I was ready to make a meaningful impact to the healthcare world I was working in.

In October 2019, during my first meeting with Niranjani, she and Ryan shared the blueprint for a handbook, and we began brainstorming how to make this idea a reality. I was so excited to be a part of this compelling initiative, and the two years that followed were filled with the most fun and inspiring weekly calls with my fabulous co-editors.

How did you go about selecting topics for the industry?

GR: Defining the scope for a first-ever business/TD book focused on the entire healthcare industry is daunting to say the least. There are so many topics and subtopics that could have been included. While the temptation existed to expand the volume’s scope and add in everything that anyone would ever want to know about TD and training in healthcare, we—the editors and ATD—worked together to find a balance between foundational, business-focused, and advanced topics that would appeal to and be used by professionals at all levels—whether by SMEs with little formal training experience but more clinical or operational experience, newer TD practitioners, or chief learning officers and other senior executives. We organized the information in the book into six key sections: Learning and Development Basics, Organizational Development, Employee Development, Business Acumen for the Healthcare System, Digital Transformation and Literacy, and Patient-Centric Care.

This book is not meant to be read from cover-to-cover in one sitting, although anyone is free to do so at their own will. It serves as a core resource every healthcare professional can keep at their desk or in their library and turn to when in need of best practices within a given subject. In that regard, we selected a robust set of topics that every member of your healthcare workforce can benefit from—from improving instructional design and training delivery, expanding leadership development, team building, and digital literacy to ensuring patient safety and clinical quality of care.


JB: The objective in defining the volume’s scope was to incorporate core areas of learning and development/training with topics that are specific to provider spaces. The healthcare industry constantly evolves, and with the multifaceted nature of provider spaces, we wanted to provide a well-rounded view of training topics. We started with a framework of broad topics. From there, we consulted our network of SMEs within the field to see where key trends lay. We brainstormed how to best leverage each of their backgrounds and how to expand the broad categories.

What is the impact of this book?

JB: It’s hard to believe that despite all the books written on TD and all the books written on healthcare, the two areas had never been combined until now. This book is groundbreaking, offering the first-ever book to examine the entire scope of TD and training in healthcare. A compendium of advice from notable professionals and leaders who bring different perspectives and vantage points, the handbook shares best practices, case studies, and foundational information to guide healthcare providers to move forward in an ever-changing world. I would have given anything to have had this handbook when I began my career at University Health.

NCP: We are at a truly pivotal point where the role of TD and training is crucial to the success of any healthcare provider—now more than ever. There has been an ongoing need for this resource—an urgent one that has emerged as we see trends shift before our eyes and as we work together to ensure the success of the industry for this country. The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped and is reshaping how our health systems ought to operate, and we need TD and training to establish new norms for the business goals as well as employee success. The TD role within healthcare has been underrated and undervalued, yet it was a key player during the pandemic as hospitals had to shift functionality overnight with no existing protocols or historical proceedings set in place. Hospitals had to suddenly shift to telehealth services and implemented new, broader infection-control strategies, while an increased and immediate need for leadership development and change management to successfully execute patient care emerged. After months of dealing with the pandemic, hospitals discovered that they were ill-equipped to deal with frontline workers and nurse burnout due to months of ongoing trauma. ATD Talent Development and Training in Healthcare Handbook will help reset and strengthen the healthcare industry.

GR: Organization development is core to the success of any health-provider business. The organization must have a strong foundation, but also the ability to maintain practices as changes occur, focusing on reskilling and upskilling the existing workforce. This volume places a much-needed spotlight on the intersection between a healthcare organization’s business objectives, patients’ needs, and staff needs—where major improvements in TD and training should occur for optimizing results and improvements.

What are the challenges the industry is facing and that this book will help solve?

NCP: As of the 2021 ATD healthcare research report, the average healthcare provider spends an annual average of $692 per employee on direct expenditure for learning and training. This is significantly less than the learning and training spending seen across industries, where the average spend per person is $1308 annually. How can we keep up with constant demands and new breakthroughs if the workforce is not equipped with the necessary tools and resources to stay ahead? Training is something everyone needs in any role. There is always room for growth and improvement. With its range of voices and guidance, this book will help professionals and organizations develop and implement better training and education.

GR: As the work of training and TD continues to morph into additional blended and hybrid modes of delivery and performance, each of us will be called upon to further enhance our current KSAs and to develop new ones. That’s where this handbook can help us. With so many topics covering a multitude of scenarios, tips, takeaways, and best practices, any of us can dip into this knowledge well for whatever we need whenever we need it. The tools and information in this book are versatile and will challenge one’s thinking and approach to TD and training in healthcare and thereby help grow the field.

JB: Each department and role within a health system feeds into a larger business plan. Within most health systems, departments and functionalities are siloed and have independent priorities. Without a culture of interdepartmental collaboration and teamwork, a health system will not be able grow. This book offers tangible lessons and practical advice that professionals can apply to improve immediate and long-term goals for their healthcare organizations and systems. Multidisciplinary healthcare teams that collaborate, communicate, and work well together see fewer medical errors, fewer sentinel events, and lower morbidity and mortality. Staff members benefit by reporting higher satisfaction with their jobs, less tension, and less distress.


Are there key takeaways that you would like healthcare providers, organizations, or leaders to get from this book that would make a big impact in improving L&D efforts and results more immediately?

NCP: If you work in healthcare, you need this book to be successful. ATD Talent Development and Training in Healthcare Handbook is a vision for the future, a resource that can be used to elevate the industry and contribute to the growth of any healthcare provider business. As a first impression, this handbook looks like it is meant only for private or public health systems, but it is meant for so much more—those who are in the medical division of the army, the navy, the air force, or government can gain keen insights and takeaways. This book can help health settings across the spectrum provide higher quality of care for our communities while providing better support for healthcare staff and improving the business operations of the larger healthcare systems.

Training can be the difference between life and death. Without proper training techniques at every employee level and the broader organizational level, a health system cannot provide high quality of care for patients. Furthermore, systems will remain siloed, disjointed, and perform much below an achievable potential. With the constant, multiple moving parts and various groups of workforces (clinical, nonclinical, multigenerational, interdepartmental, interpersonal, as examples) that are engaged daily, ongoing emphasis on learning and development is the key to success.

Whether you’re looking to improve your instructional design and training experience; brush up on your leadership, team-building, or change management skillset(s); explore implementation of new diversity, equity, and inclusion, performance improvement, or compliance initiatives; sharpen your digital literacy with the newest technologies of virtual reality and artificial intelligence; focus on the well-being of your colleagues, frontline workers, and nurses; or finetune the patient care you provide through clinical quality and patient safety and engagement, this handbook will provide substantive case studies, tangible to-dos, and expert, candid, and heartfelt recommendations to help your health system reach its fullest potential.

About the Editors

Gregory Rider is director of corporate compliance for EmblemHealth in New York City and the tristate area. Jacqueline Burandt is president of Award-Winning Results and formerly led the Center for Learning Excellence at University Health in San Antonio, Texas. Niranjani Chidamber Papavaritis is the project manager for healthcare training content at the Association for Talent Development.

About ATD and ATD Press

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is the world’s largest association dedicated to those who develop talent in organizations. ATD’s members come from more than 120 countries and work in public and private organizations in every industry sector. ATD Press publications are written by industry thought leaders and offer anyone who works with adult learners the best practices, academic theory, and guidance necessary to move the profession forward. For more information, visit

ATD Talent Development and Training in Healthcare Handbook
ISBN: 9781952157561 | 602 Pages | Hardcover

To order books from ATD Press, call 800.628.2783.

To schedule an interview with the editors, please contact Kay Hechler, ATD Press senior marketing manager, at [email protected] or 703.683.8178.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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