Childrens Hospital of Eastern Ontario-2

LMS e-Learning Implementation Series Customer Interview:

Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario

Training and Certifying Hospital Employees


SyberWorks: Welcome to the next edition of the SyberWorks LMS e-Learning Implementation Interview Series, where we look at actual Learning Management System (LMS) implementations and e-Learning program rollouts. 

In this edition, we’re talking with Theresa Humphrys, Director of Organizational Development and Learning, and Janet Sharpe, Project Manager – both for Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario – about their use of the SyberWorks Learning Management System to train and certify hospital employees.

SyberWorks: Now we’ll talk with Theresa Humphrys and Janet Sharpe of Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. Good afternoon, ladies. Thanks for coming to talk with us today.

Theresa Humphrys: Hi there.

Janet Sharpe: Hi.

SyberWorks: It would be great if you could introduce yourselves to our audience and tell us what you do for Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario.

Theresa: My name is Theresa Humphrys and I am, as you mentioned, the Director of Organizational Development and Learning. We’re responsible for non-clinical training and development in the hospital. That includes classroom training, team training, and now, we’ll be managing the e-Learning platform as well.

Janet: Hi, my name is Janet Sharpe. I’m a Project Manager in the Information Services Department at CHEO. I’m responsible for managing a variety of corporate and clinical information system projects into successful implementation. One of these initiatives was the initial implementation or phase one of our Learning Management System, which we called The Learning Center.

SyberWorks: Theresa, tell us about the hospital, the size of the facility, the area it serves, its medical specialties, and so on.

Theresa: Sure. We call it Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, CHEO, and we’re a pediatric hospital in Ottawa, and that’s Canada’s capital city. We have a 167 inpatient beds. We also have a number of specialized outpatient clinics for things like cardiology, neurology, and diabetes. We have an emergency department that gets about 53,000 visits a year. We have a lab, diagnostic imaging, and mental health services as well.

In addition, we’re a teaching hospital, so we’re affiliated with the University of Ottawa Medical School. We train nurses as well as other health care professionals here; interns, fellows, residents, and students. So there’s about 2,100 staff at CHEO. There are about 400 physicians, about 400 volunteers, and over the course of a year, about 1,000 medical trainees as well are in our building.

SyberWorks: OK, that sounds great. What were some of the business factors that led your hospital to investigate and ultimately purchase and install a web-based, Learning Management System, Theresa?

Theresa: Well one big driver for us is that we operate in a 24/7 environment; we are a hospital. So we wanted to make sure that learning is available to our staff, physicians, and volunteers whenever they need it, so that was really key.

We’re also finding increasingly a need for tracking and reporting of training so being able to see who has accessed training and completed it, and be able to provide reports on it. Often, we have certain legislative drivers where we have to demonstrate that we delivered training, or other drivers as well that will help us to meet those requirements.

It’s a great chance for us to provide ‘just-in-time’ training when issues or problems arise, and we need to quickly get materials out there. So for example, recently, with the threat of a pandemic, training has been really key and this has been a really good way to touch a lot of people with that training. We also really wanted to ensure we had the capacity to build learning profiles for key skills and to be able to deliver the learning to establish the key skills.

We have many learning requirements, as I said, related to legislation to professional bodies for different health professions in the hospitals. Accreditation activities, so lab accreditation, or hospital accreditation, there’s often training requirements related to those. The bottom line is that offering e-learning is really linked to our core mission as a hospital which is that we are an academic, health science center, and it helps us to fulfill that mission and that mandate.

SyberWorks: OK, that sounds great. Janet, can you describe who’s using the SyberWorks learning management system at your organization?

Janet: Our initial deployment was for limited learning population at CHEO because we wanted to limit the scope to ensure that we could gather some lessons learned and, basically, learn to walk before we run in the deployment of an online learning and management system.

So, our deployment included 49 learners and the delivery of the personal protective equipment refresher training. This is the annual mandatory training requirement for our clinical population. The course was offered online for a two week period. In addition to actually confirming that they completed the course and their marks et cetera, we were able to also solicit their feedback on the learning center to help us better tailor it as we deploy it to a wider range of audience.

Then after the completion of this initial deployment, the pandemic came to be raised globally, and it allowed us actually to deploy this refresher training to our clinical community to help prepare for that.

SyberWorks: OK. That sounds great. Theresa, I understand your hospital is using the SyberWorks Competency Management Module, and the system is integrated with your human resource information system, or as we like to call it, the HRIS. Can you tell our audience about the business case surrounding the many and multiple job roles and the HRIS integration configured in your implementation of the SyberWorks LMS.

Theresa: Yes. For us, it was critical to us that the LMS is able to link to our HRIS and that we can instill learning based on job rules at CHEO. Being able to link training to job roles means that we can target learning to the right group.

An example of this is training that we’re building and launching just actually this week to people who administer blood products in the hospital. That’s the requirement for lab accreditation. That represents about 600 people, but that group includes all different kinds of divisions, so some nurses, some physicians, some anesthetists, and then some other health care providers.

To be able to deliver a learning like that effectively, we have to be able to clearly link learning to those rules and have that information be updated ongoing by linking to our HRIS. It also avoids duplicate data entry in different corporate systems. So, we can build on information that's already in our HRIS.

I know that we have had a few challenges with linking the HRIS. I’m wondering, Janet, if you can comment on those.

Janet: We have identified that there’s just a couple of instances of functions where we need better linkages in terms of being able to keep the data current, and we’ve been in dialogue with the SyberWorks development folks. So, we’re looking forward to seeing further enhancement so that it will eliminate some manual interventions that we have to do right now.

Although the bulk of the interface is quite good. We’ve found that there are some scenarios where it doesn’t quite flow, and if we can get those issues addressed, it’ll make the process much more streamlined.

SyberWorks: OK, that’s great. They did tell me about that, and I think they’re working on it. Well that’s great. Theresa, does your organization have any other learning goals or objectives you’d like to share?

Theresa: Yeah. I think one of our problems is we have too many learning objectives for the second half. We have a lot of competing learning goals in the organization, and we’re really just at the beginning of the launch of our Learning Management System. It’s generating a lot of excitement, so our challenge is going to be to pursue the highest priority items with the internal resources that we have and determine what’s most significant.

But what’s been getting our attention lately is preparation for pandemics. Janet mentioned the Personal Protective Equipment Training, which is an e-learning module. Also with our New Employee Orientation, we actually have an e-learning course as well. We’d like to update that and migrate that onto our Learning Management System. So that’s really key for us. I guess a challenge for us going forward will be how do we prioritize and tap into people at CHEO to decide what’s most important to get onto the LMS.

SyberWorks: Janet, we’ve already mentioned the New Employee training and the Personal Protective training. What are some other online courses that you’re developing to use in the SyberWorks Learning Management System?

Janet: In addition to the Transfusion course that Theresa mentioned, we’ll definitely be looking at some of the online learning courses from ODML’s catalog of courses. In addition, we know that there’s many more opportunities for delivery of courses related to things like infectious diseases. There’s a Clean Hands Program and other delivery of both clinical and IS information applications, from a clinical perspective, as well as from corporate services perspective.

At CHEO, we’re planning on using e-learning as part of a blended environment for learning. We’ll sort courses - whether it be through purchase or in-house development - using a blended approach including classroom components. A good example of that would be management development programs that’ll probably have a significant e-learning component, but probably be supplemented with classroom exercises and participation.

SyberWorks: All right, great. Theresa, can you share with us a little bit of the instructional design and planning processes that you used to develop the courses that you’re doing currently?

Theresa: We’re really just at the beginning of developing those processes.

We’ve piloted with PPE, and now, it’s Transfusion Training Refresher. Some of the key learning from that has been, first of all, that subject matter experts need to be active partners in the entire process. So when somebody comes to us and says, we need training on a specific clinical application or knowledge, they need to be there with us hand-in-hand to come up with a strategy for delivering that training and develop it.

We need to really make sure we have a clear understanding of the learning needs and learning objectives before we go forward. We need a really healthy discussion of whether the Learning Management System is the best method of delivering instruction, or whether a blended method would be better, or classroom training, or other methods as well.

It’s been an education process for us, as we’ve developed a partnership between our e-learning specialist and our subject matter experts. We’ve been learning a lot about how to develop training, and the subject matter experts, of course, have been learning a lot about what makes good e-learning. That really a PowerPoint, is only just a start, and you have to really move beyond that.

Our pilot’s been essential because people are not just learning the content, but they're getting comfortable in the e-learning environment.

The big thing for us really has been - how I’ve learned it - how important it is to have great internal people, so we've got really strong folks in our IS department supporting us. We’ve got a great team in organizational setup and learning. We’re really lucky to have an e-learning specialist who has a background in both IS and in adult education, and other folks that are strong adult educators, but also, have an interest in technology - so that’s been a big driver.

I guess one big lesson about the process is that to do it right, it really takes longer than you think. It’s a longer process than you think to develop good e-learning, from beginning to end.

SyberWorks: OK, that sounds great. It was great to have you here today. I know both of you are really busy, so I’m going to let you go. Thanks for joining us.

Theresa: Thank you. Bye.

Janet: Thank you. Bye.

SyberWorks:  I wish to thank you for joining us with our interview with Theresa Humphrys, Director of Organizational Development and Learning, and Janet Sharpe, Project Manager for Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, on the SyberWorks LMS e-Learning Implementation Interview Series.