A new learning management system for ambulatory healthcare organizations provides easier and immediate access to tools, resources, workshops, and online classes. It also provides information that aligns with accreditation standards.

Called the 1095 Learn to Drive, ongoing education from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), the program is designed to infuse quality into every aspect of care.1

“The 1095 Learn represents the three-year cycle of accreditation, 365 days times three,” says Noel Adachi, MBA, president and CEO of AAAHC. “Implementing our philosophy behind 1095 Strong is about how it’s not just when an onsite surveyor shows up on your doorstep, it’s about infusing quality principles every day,” she says. “We’re infusing that mentality in terms of quality improvement and also in all programs that we hope organizations will support in their alignment with that philosophy.”2

The 1095 Learn program offers resources and tools necessary to make this happen, she adds. “This means we intend to offer a broad menu of topics that are not just standards-based but might help organizations develop an assessment or theme around quality,” Adachi explains.

For instance, the educational initiative will move away from didactic slide lectures and focus more on fully interactive learning modules, according to Hallie Brewer, senior vice president, learning and development, AAAHC. “That’s one reason why we went down this path,” Brewer notes. “You give us questions, and 1095 provides an assessment and the scenarios that you’re walking through.”

The 1095 Learn program is part of the evolution of AAAHC’s work and goals over the past four decades. “We’ve always cared about providing high-quality patient care and making sure clients are very engaged throughout the process, but the focus has been heavily about getting ready for the survey,” Brewer explains. “Now, the focus is on every single day and asking our clients to maintain that level of excellence and attention to patient care.”

Educational sessions and accreditation management also are personalized for individual organizations. “While we’re making these improvements with our learning platform, we’re doing accreditation management, and it’s about engagement,” Adachi says. “With a new accreditation management system, going live in January, we will know more about our clients and engage with them more frequently than every three years.”

Accreditation can be embedded in their operations. AAAHC will send educational information to organizations based on their specialty areas. “Using their profile information, we’ll send out information, alerts, and tools,” Adachi says. “What we’ll implement with the new system is an annual process to demonstrate compliance.”

For instance, ASCs will need to demonstrate compliance with standards, such as staff assessments. They will need to show that they have taken the necessary plans of correction and incorporated all new standards. “This allows us to target education to organizations,” Adachi says. “Say the standard is surgical site marking, and there was a change in surgical site marking. When that standard changes, we can shoot out education modules, maybe a 15-minute update, to make sure those facilities to which that standard is relevant are aware of the change.”

Brewer and her team are developing precourse interaction and post-conference education. There will be a follow-up and information that will prepare organizations for accreditation. It draws content from a live event and then goes deeper on the topic in the online, follow-up version, Brewer explains.

As AAAHC works on 1095 Learn, the focus will be to address topics that matter most to people. “Whether it’s an organization’s time for survey or not, we may address burgeoning topics on the minds of clients and surveyors,” Brewer says. “It lets us serve all of our audiences and make sure each gets the content they need when they need it.”

For example, some of the 1095 Learn curriculum, presented at conferences as well as on the online platform, includes teaching people about core standards, such as how important it is that organizations start with clearly defined policies and procedures. When AAAHC provided electronic materials at a live conference, attendees approached Brewer to say they were thrilled with the online information.

“In the past, we didn’t have an electronic learning management system,” Brewer says. “Now, people are able to do their evaluations and get their CME certificates right away.”

Additional 1095 Learn topics include:

  • implementing an effective quality improvement program and setting measurable goals;
  • infection control, risk assessment, and Life Safety Code requirements;
  • scenario-based emergency management.

The online platform is the same one used with accrediting facilities as they go through the survey process. The platform makes it possible for surveyors to provide just-in-time education related to standards as organizations need it, Adachi says.

A goal behind 1095 Learn is to help organizations maintain quality and think about accreditation standards throughout an accreditation cycle, not just when the surveyor is about to visit. “If the survey is all you’re worried about, you’re missing the whole point,” Adachi offers. “We want confidence from a patient’s expectations that this facility is abiding high-quality practices.”

Because healthcare is dynamic, meeting high expectations requires education and resources as well as continual learning. “Just look in the operating room at the procedures that are moving to the ambulatory space,” Adachi says. “Who would have thought 10 years ago that total joint would be done in an outpatient environment?”

These medical advances are partly the result of surgery centers better understanding their patient populations and better access to better technology, she adds. One change 1095 Learn acknowledges is how much busier everyone in healthcare is and how many people might not have a week, a weekend, or even a couple of free hours to engage in an educational session. Thus, AAAHC developed new learning modules that ASC staff can access quickly whenever five minutes are available. “Then, you can come back and see it when you have another five minutes,” Brewer explains.

When accredited organizations open their portals, they see the most current educational materials and information. The move to electronic education is environmentally friendly and technologically savvy, Adachi says. “We’re offering a platform that is available where our clients are. Secondly, it is providing electronic resources, including a handbook, and reducing our carbon footprint.”

“It’s more current than just looking on my shelf to see which handbook is the right one,” Brewer adds. “It’s about how this is my portal, and these are my courses.”

REFERENCES

  1. Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care. AAAHC Launches 1095 Learn, June 5, 2019. Available at: http://bit.ly/2YcZpx2. Accessed July 25, 2019.
  2. Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care. AAAHC Drives 1095 Strong: Quality Every Day With Best Practices Resources, July 15, 2019. Available at: http://bit.ly/30UInFB. Accessed July 25, 2019.