Health care systems often face challenges in the way of being unkept and unmaintained or managed by too many without consistency in content and harbouring outdated resources. A lot of these legacy training and development systems also wear the pain of constant record churning without a supportable record management system. With the accrual of these records over time forming a ‘Big Data concern’, modernising these eLearning platforms may be the right call to action for medical professionals and researchers. Gone should be the days of manually updating Web Vista on regular basis.
Cloud solutions for Health Care and Research should be well on its way, but the better utilisation of these new technologies will play a key factor in how confidence is invested by health professionals in IT providing a means for departmental education and career development moving forward.
Why SharePoint Makes Sense (versus further developing Legacy Systems)
Every day, each document, slide image and scan matters when the paying customer’s dollar is placed on your proficiency to solve pressing health care challenges. Compliance and availability of resources aren’t enough – streamlined and collaborative processes, from quality control to customer relationship management, module testing and internal review are all minimum requirements for building a modern, online eLearning centre i.e. a ‘Learning Management System’.
ELearningIndustry.com has broken down ten key components that a Learning Management System (LMS) requires in order to be effective. From previous cases, working in developing an LMS, or OLC (Online Learning Centre) Site using SharePoint, these ten components can indeed be designed within the online platform:
- Strong Analytics and Report Generation – for the purposes of eLearning, e.g. dashboards which contain progress reports, exam scores and other learner data, SharePoint workflows allows for progress tracking of training and user’s engagement with content and course materials while versioning ensures that learning managers, content builders (subject matter experts) and the learners themselves are on the same page (literally).
- Course Authoring Capability – SharePoint access and user permissions are directly linked to your Active Directory. Access to content can be managed, both from a hierarchical standpoint or role-based if we’re talking content authors. Furthermore, learners can have access to specific ‘modules’ allocated to them based on department, vocation, etc.
- Scalable Content Hosting – flexibility of content or workflows, or plug-ins (using ‘app parts’) to adapt functionality to welcome new learners where learning requirements may shift to align with organisational needs.
- Certifications – due to the availability and popularity of SharePoint online in large/global Enterprises, certifications for anywhere from smart to super users is available from Microsoft affiliated authorities or verified third-parties.
- Integrations (with other SaaS software, communication tools, etc.) – allow for exchange of information through API’s for content feeds and record management e.g. with virtual classrooms, HR systems, Google Analytics.
- Community and Collaboration – added benefit of integrated and packaged Microsoft apps, to create channels for live group study, or learner feedback, for instance (Skype for Business, Yammer, Microsoft Teams).
- White Labelling vs. Branding – UI friendly, fully customisable appearance. Modern layout is design flexible to allow for the institutes branding to be proliferated throughout the tenant’s SharePoint sites.
- Mobile Capability – SharePoint has both a mobile app and can be designed to be responsive to multiple mobile device types
- Customer Support and Success – as it is a common enterprise tool, support by local IT should be feasible with any critical product support inquiries routed to Microsoft
- Support of the Institutes Mission and Culture – in Health Care Services, where the churn of information and data pushes for an innovative, rapid response, SharePoint can be designed to meet these needs where, as an LMS, it can adapt to continuously represent the expertise and knowledge of Health Professionals.
Outside of the above, the major advantage for health services to make the transition to the cloud is the improved information security experience. There are still plenty of cases today where patients are at risk of medical and financial identity fraud due to inadequate information security and manual (very implicitly hands-on) records management processes. Single platform databasing, as well as the from-anywhere accessibility of SharePoint as a Cloud platform meets the challenge of maintaining networks, PCs, servers and databases, which can be fairly extensive due to many health care institutions existing beyond hospitals, branching off into neighbourhood clinics, home health providers and off-site services.