A well-rounded training program is essential to ensuring the success of your caregivers and your agency’s compliance. Unfortunately, it can also drain your time and resources.
With the right training method however, that doesn’t need to be the case.
Many homecare agencies have simply grown accustomed to spending time, money, and energy bringing caregivers in from the field for in-service days, and don’t realize that the requirements for in-service trainings have changed. In this post, we’ll cover New York’s in-service rules and why agencies are making the switch to eLearning.
In-Service Requirements for NY Homecare Agencies
In May 2017, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) released a letter outlining in-service training requirements for caregivers employed by LHCSAs. The letter noted that training can be provided in a variety of settings and conducted by a variety of means, including presentation, lecture, demonstration, videotape, webinar, and online training.
Regardless of the method chosen, agencies must record and maintain training files for each in-service offered and retain those files for at least six years. The following information must be documented and maintained for each training/in-service offered:
- Length of training
- Training location
- Training content, objectives, and goals
- Training materials used
- Post test
- Attendance list
- Proof of completion
- RN supervisory oversight and sign off
For online or webinar training methods, the letter stated, a mechanism for caregivers to ask questions about the content must be readily available. Additionally, the RN must have appropriate assessment and evaluation tools, i.e. tests to ensure knowledge retention of the covered material.
What Really Matters in Evaluating eLearning for In-Service
While the letter from the DOH clearly states the requirements for online and webinar training methods, it’s likely you still have some questions. You might be wondering:
- What are the costs and benefits of eLearning vs. in-person learning?
- What are the risks and challenges of making the change?
- What should I look for in an eLearning program, and how can I find the one that’s right for my agency?
To start, you may find it helpful to focus your assessment on five main areas:
- Compliance: Your first and most obvious concern is ensuring the eLearning program is compliant with state requirements. In evaluating your agency, the DOH will examine the following: Is an RN available 24/7 to answer training-related questions? Is the training content available in multiple languages; and if so, are the translations certified? Does the content test caregivers’ understandings of the material presented? Has an RN signed off on the completed assignments? Are there clauses to ensure security, and that a caregiver cannot work on the training program while on-site with a patient?
- Ease of use: You want your eLearning training program to be user-friendly and easy for everyone to navigate, so be sure to take the following into consideration: Will it work on any phone, tablet, or computer? Does an app need to be downloaded? Can caregivers take classes at their leisure, dropping the content when needed and picking up where they left off?
- Alleviating your administrative burden: Your eLearning tool should lessen your load, not add to it! Look for a platform with a fully customizable structure that suits your individual agency requirements.
- High utilization: The content in your eLearning program should be value-based and curated to meet your training needs. Ideally, there will be a library of courses, quizzes, and documentation available in multiple languages to ensure every topic is covered, and everyone can utilize it.
- Cost effectiveness: eLearning saves you money and resources by allowing you to keep your caregivers out in the field, instead of bringing them in for in-service days. Still, you’ll want to make sure that the quality you’re getting from the training platform (ensured compliance, trained caregivers, time saved) is worth the price you’re paying.
There’s a lot to consider in evaluating eLearning for in-service training, and finding the right platform can be intimidating. At HHAeXchange, we believe all aspects of homecare should be simple, effective, and transparent. Therefore, we teamed up with Health e-Class by Mobile Health to offer a built-in eLearning platform to meet in-service regulations.
If you’d like to learn more about how the Health e-Class integration can help you train your caregivers, ensure compliance, and save time and money, schedule a demo.