LMS Free Trial
Home > Media Center > Press Release

Episode 19: Interview with Jean Ann Larson and Tawana Foggs (Transcript)

Text Size  - +  Print  Print


Announcer: SyberWorks Podcast. Learn any time, any place.

Mary Kay Lofurno: Welcome to the next edition of the SyberWorks LMS e-Learning Implementation Podcast Series, where we look at actual LMS, learning management system, implementations, and e-Learning program rollouts. My name is Mary Kay Lofurno, and I'm the Marketing Director here at SyberWorks and your host today.

In this edition, we are talking with Jean Ann Larson, Chief Learning Officer, and Tawanna Foggs, Educational Systems Coordinator, of Beaumont Hospitals, about their use of the SyberWorks learning management system to train and certify hospital employees.


Mary Kay: And now let’s meet Jean Ann Larson and Tawanna Foggs of Beaumont Hospital. Good afternoon, ladies. Thanks for coming to talk with us today.

Jean Ann Larson: Thanks to you.

Tawanna Foggs: Thank you.

Mary Kay: Great. I was wondering if you could introduce yourselves and tell us what you each do for Beaumont Hospital.

Jean Ann: That’d be great, Mary Kay. I’m Jean Ann Larson, and I’m the Chief Learning Officer for Beaumont Hospitals. I have responsibility for all the strategic learning initiatives and educational activity.

Tawana: My name’s Tawanna Foggs. I’m the Education Systems Coordinator. I actually manage the SyberWorks system. I create courses, run reports, and manage the users.

Mary Kay: OK. That sounds great. Jean Ann, tell us about the hospital, you know, the size of the facility, the area that it serves, its medical specialties, things like that.

Jean Ann: Absolutely. Beaumont Hospitals consist of three hospitals, nursing homes, home health services, a research institute, and several ambulatory sites throughout the tri-county area in metropolitan Detroit. We're anchored by a very large hospital, the Tertiary Care and Teaching Hospital. It’s about 1100 beds. It’s currently, I think, one of the busiest single in-patient facilities in the country. Across that continuum of care, we employ upwards of 20,000 employees. All of whom at some point during the year touch our system at least once, if not several times.

Mary Kay: Well, that sounds great. Can you tell me, what were some of the business factors that led your organization to investigate, purchase, and ultimately install a web-based learning management system?

Jean Ann: Yeah, I’d be delighted to do that. Actually, several years ago, we had purchased our first LMS, basically to further deploy our online mandatory education. At that time, there were just about 18,000 employees, and we needed something to help us get that education out to them. And given how regulated the health care industry is, we’re required to offer and document a lot of training, both at orientation and on an annual basis as well.

With thousands of employees all over the area, getting folks to a physical site for education, and then even tracking it, became a big challenge. And then after that, as to why we went to the web-based system, the system that we had previously was about seven years old, was on some Legacy hardware, and it was beginning to fail. In the meantime, we were ready to implement a brand new clinical information system called Epic, and we were planning to utilize a learning management system as the infrastructure to train on that system, folks, again, out of that entire 18,000.

So we needed to have an LMS that was available, basically ubiquitous, anybody could access it from anywhere, and robust enough to handle an increase, not only in the training modules that were offered, but the type of training as well as an increase in the number of users. Lastly, but not least, we needed a more sophisticated system that would allow us to deploy different types of content to the different audiences.

Mary Kay: OK. Well, that makes a lot of sense. Tawanna, can you describe right now who is using the SyberWorks Learning Management System at your organization? Because I'm sure you have all types of users.

Tawana: OK. Actually, all employees, contract workers, volunteers, students, physicians, anyone from an entry level to senior management are using this system today.

Mary Kay: OK. Wow. OK. So, it’s completely widespread. It’s not just a group of medical professionals, it’s across the board.

Tawana: Yeah, and it has to be, because there’s always the bad news that you’re heavily regulated. But the good news about being heavily regulated is everyone has to go through some sort of training and education. And as much as we think, “Oh, gosh, I have to do my mandatory required education,” often times, once we get them to the system to do that, then they start to see some of the other online education that we offer, and they start accessing that as well.

And by hook or by crook, we have found that we have always had, even with our Legacy system, upwards of at least 90% of our entire employee population that touches our system, and I would say that number is growing higher, which is not always the case in some other industries.

Mary Kay: OK. Well, that makes a lot of sense. And that’s a good segue, Jean Ann. You were talking about mandatories, and I understand that your hospital needed a way to automatically assign training mandatories across your organization and manage their completion status. Can you tell our audience about the business case which precipitated this need specifically? Because it has to do with regulations and hospitals and compliance and things, so I think it’d be interesting for them to hear that.

Jean Ann: Yeah, there’s a business case on several different levels. Certainly, A, because it’s regulated and we've got to do it. And we want to do it in probably the most transparent and least disruptive manner as possible. So part of it is we’re saving travel, even if travel means that I have to walk some place and go off of my nursing unit just for an hour, we’re saving that time period to do it.

So, we’re saving that time, and we’re keeping nurses, hopefully, at the bedside instead of in a classroom setting. Because they can basically grab a computer at any time and complete these mandatories and they’ve got a year to do it. So it’s kind of in a spare moment, you can do your online education, and that was very, very key.

The other time saver is by virtue of them doing it online, I have a record of the fact that they’ve completed that education. It may seem trivial but again, when you’ve got 20,000 people all over the place, keeping track of that record and being able to demonstrate when joint commission comes in to do a tracer on a particular patient case that every employee who's touched that patient has had fire safety, epidemiology modules, etc. is very, very powerful.

What we were finding is that we had people running around the company before we had an LMS making themselves crazy trying to track who had had the training and who hadn’t had the training. We were able to put dollars and cents on that to a certain extent, make some assumptions and come up with a very strong demonstration.

Mary Kay: That’s great. Jean Ann, does your organization have any other learning goals or objectives you'd like to share with us today?

Jean Ann: Yes, I would. My sense is that, like all successful corporate universities, our main reason to be is to really help the hospital meet its strategic goals and initiatives. And like many hospitals, ours are not unusual, the highest patient safety, quality customer service, organization development and financial success.

Our challenge as a corporate university is to find out what is it we can offer and provide the organization that helps us be successful. That might be looking at these particular areas and figuring out ways we can offer the right training at the right time to the right person whether it’s online, in a classroom or as a consultation.

My challenge each year is to really talk to senior leaders on an ongoing basis and ask them, "what is it that’s keeping you awake at night as a CEO or COO? And, what is it I can bring to the table that can alleviate that concern?" Again, with 20,000 people it’s communication, it’s education, it’s making people aware because on top of the regulations, health care is changing constantly.

Mary Kay: Tawanna, can you describe the online courses that you provide hospital employees through the SyberWorks Learning Management System?

Tawana: Our online courses are mandatory education with computer training, especially for new systems training. We also do leadership development and employee development. We also offer special certifications with those type of online training. So, if we offer a class, we also can offer online training to go along with it.

Jean Ann: One of the things I would comment on too. One of our approaches too is we may have online just for mandatories but a lot of times we have course work and actually a class type session for online tools and/or additional education, quizzes, whatever the case may be. It’s sort of a blended approach to really reinforce and support the learning.

Mary Kay: OK. Jean Ann, what are some of the instructional design and planning processes you use in your organization to develop your online training courses? Are you buying courses?

Jean Ann: We actually do both. That is a very good question. We purchase some content and in some cases we develop it. It really depends. If we can take something we already have and put it online, we might go ahead and develop it.

On the other hand, if we have a specialized audience, for example, we were training coders when some of the regulations change in the compliance world. We basically contracted with a company that provided the courseware. The good news is we were able to document it through our LMS. At least I could capture the record but the actual content itself we bought from them.

Another example, some of the leadership development we offer online there’s a wonderful product called Harbored Manage Mentor that has 40 plus topics for business managers, everything from conducting performance appraisals to doing a budget to time management. We offer that to our managers as well.

Mary Kay: That sounds really good. Tawanna, when you do develop courses what are some of the course development tools that you use to build those online courses?

Tawana: Currently we’re using Captivate two and three, we are actually converting over to Captivate three and Flash. We are actually using the SyberWorks Web Author. We are just now starting to use that tool and finding it to be a real good help with developing courses. Nine times out of 10 we’re doing a lot of the course development in Captivate.

Mary Kay: That sounds great. One of our clients used Captivate and Flash and all those tools. There are lots of different authoring tools out on the market. Please, can you tell us about your customer experience with SyberWorks?

Jean Ann: Sure, Mary Kay, from what I have seen the SyberWorks team has been very responsive. They’ve also been very patient with us as we were making a very fast transition. The number one thing to me is that SyberWorks has been very, very supportive to Tawanna. As our point person and our educational systems coordinator, if she’s happy I’m happy, if she’s getting what she needs to do her job, I’m happy. It's been a very good experience for us.

Tawana: I think the same exact thing. The quick responses with solutions to our problems have been one of the great strengths of SyberWorks at this point.

Mary Kay: Well, ladies, this has been terrific. It’s been great to have you here today. I know you're both really busy so thanks for joining us.

Jean Ann: Thank you.

Tawana: Thank you.

Mary Kay: This is Mary Kay Lofurno, Marketing Director at SyberWorks. I wish to thank you for listening to our interview with Jean Ann Larson, Chief Learning Officer and Tawanna Foggs, Educational Systems Coordinator for Beaumont Hospitals for the SyberWorks LMS e-Learning Implementation Podcast Series. Talk with you next week.


SyberWorks, Inc.
411 Waverley Oaks Road
Building 3, Suite 319
Waltham, MA 02452

Bobby/Watchfire Section 508 Approved level 1

Valid XHTML 1.0!

Home | LMS Product Suite | Industry Solutions | Services | Partnership | Courses | About Us | Free Trials | Media Center | Site Map