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Leading Fast, Effective Training Sessions: 4 Tips for Hospital Trainers


Thu Apr 09 2015

Leading Fast, Effective Training Sessions: 4 Tips for Hospital Trainers

For health system trainers, getting the right information to trainees quickly is critical. Staff members are extremely busy, and physicians are even busier, and planning efficient training sessions is hard. Trainers must find ways to make every minute count and ensure participants retain as much information as possible. Here are some strategies to employ next time you face this difficult task. 

Conduct a Needs Analysis 


Prior to conducting or even developing training sessions, review performance metrics related to the topic that you will be covering, and ask staff and physicians directly what areas they find most challenging in relation to the topic. This will help you focus on the most critical topics to cover, and it will ensure you are not wasting participants’ time on non-essential material. 

With more wide-scale training programs, such as an EHR training session, you may find that different departments face different training needs. If that’s the case, hold multiple training sessions geared to the training needs of your different audiences. 

Use Several Tools 

Some of your training participants may respond well to lecture-based training, while others prefer interactive discussions, web-based training, and other formats. To meet everyone’s needs, employ a variety of training techniques during training sessions. 

Research conducted on the University of Tennessee’s Physician Executive MBA program for mid-career doctors, backs up the merits of such a mixed training approach. It found that a blended learning program that employs a mix of classroom learning and virtual live e-learning can be completed in half the time of traditional training programs. The research also found that the program demonstrated a 10 percent better learning outcome than the traditional classroom learning format alone. 


Use Case Studies 

Case studies are another great training technique, particularly in healthcare. Use examples of things that have occurred in your healthcare system that relate to the training session being delivered.

For instance, during a training session on customer service, share the example of a confrontation that occurred between an angry patient and a staff member. These examples will serve as great discussion starters, as participants try to identify how the situations could have been better handled or prevented.  

Get Staff and Physicians Involved 

As training sessions draw to a close, give participants a chance to use their new skills. If the training relates to hospital-patient relationships, ask participants to role play a difficult patient interaction, such as a patient who is angry about his or her bill. Or, if the training relates to medical billing, ask staff to complete a worksheet on difficult billing scenarios. 


Some of the best techniques to use during training include supervisory support activities, coaching, and opportunities to perform. Asking participants to test their knowledge (and helping guide them through this process as a trainer) will help reinforce what participants have learned, and it will make it more likely they will retain the information shared.

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