Totara LMS is a popular choice for healthcare organisations, as it’s cost effective, flexible and highly customisable. Learning management systems are a fantastic way to help organisations monitor and track learners in this budget-constrained, ever-changing sector, but it’s not always easy getting senior management on board. So if you are looking to implement an LMS in your healthcare organisation, how do you go about securing support for it? Tim Newham from Think Associates shared these five tips with us for building a business case for a healthcare LMS, which can also be found in our new LMS insight into the healthcare sector.
Financials are important. However...
If your business case majors on cost saving, you might get some initial attention, but we find you’ll struggle in the long term. The best business cases focus on enabling longer-term changes in learning behaviours, and providing just-in-time support for employees, rather than for example saving some money on classrooms. This is because:
a) healthcare budget holders have massive cost-reduction targets and whatever figures you can conjure up for your LMS will be tiny in comparison to other cost-saving initiatives
b) people don’t believe headline ROI figures anyway
c) the real reason for introducing more technology to learning is to increase the effectiveness of learning, not just the efficiency.
Break your implementation into small steps
Save the award-winning, multimedia, fully immersive game-like learning experience for year 2 or 3. If you can get your stakeholders saying things like ‘I didn’t think it would be this easy’ or ‘It just works’, you’ll have earned the trust and credit to do the clever stuff.
In healthcare, learning and performance are, rightly, tightly linked. From performance-related pay to competency-related pay rises, there are strong overlaps between an individual’s record of learning and their appraisal/performance outcomes. There are also links between the employer’s learning/performance processes, and professional body requirements for CPD and revalidation. Your LMS platform needs to be flexible and open to integrate workflow and lower the administrative overhead.
Take time to engage
Large healthcare organisations are incredibly complex beasts, and political and rational power can come from the least-expected places. Your business case will be much stronger if you have the backing of as many groups as possible, including the important staff-side (union) groups. And of course don’t forget the IT department, but don’t add to their workload. Make it easy for them to say yes.
Engagement is wider than the organisation
Find out what’s worked elsewhere. Healthcare organisations have the great benefit of not being cut-throat competitors so you can go and talk to the hospital down the road about what they’re doing. There are some excellent collaborative networks in the UK NHS, for example. One size won’t fit all, but if you know the project and system you’re considering has worked in a similar organisation, you’re taking away one of the major points of uncertainty. Budget holders and decision makers like this too!
What do you think of Tim’s tips? What advice would you give to anyone at a healthcare organisation looking to implement an LMS? Tell us in the comments below. You can also download our free LMS insight into the healthcare sector for more practical tips and advice.