Successful `first run' at e-learning
Modules will be tweaked, updated
In 2014, nine e-training modules were created for patient access employees at Minneapolis-based Hennepin County Medical Center. These modules cover registration, scheduling, real-time eligibility responses for electronic verification, coverage termination, dependents, medical assistance, Medicare patients, Medicare as Secondary Payer Questionnaire, and in-house discount and self-pay programs for admission and treatment.
"We pinpointed some of the biggest issues we were seeing with registration accuracy and claims denials," says Steve Nilson, MEd, CRCR, project manager for revenue enhancement. "This was our first run at it. There are lots of things we can tweak and do better."
The department has seen many benefits from the e-training, "but we also had some difficulties," reports Nilson. Here are some examples:
. Some registration areas didn't have headphones.
Although the modules gave employees the option of using closed captioning instead of audio, "this was unfortunately lost on some people," says Nilson. Some watched the video without sound, and therefore, were unable to follow the interactive commands.
To resolve the problem, the training department lent out headphones to various departments to use specifically for e-learning.
. Some employees had trouble using the modules because they weren't computer-savvy.
"We have people who struggled with just the computer functionality, which happens anytime you are using technology," Nilson says.
Part of the e-training was cut off for some users, because screen sizes varied. "A savvy user would know they just needed to zoom out, but for others, it was a struggle," he says. To address this, a module was developed on how to use the e-trainings, such as how to pause and fast forward.
. Screens appeared different from those used by some registration areas.
"Not everyone follows the exact same work flow," says Nilson. "They see the same registration screen at the end, but how they get to that screen might be very different."
Disclaimers were placed on the screens stating "This is just one way to access a patient record." "We weren't trying to teach people how to open up a record; that was assumed knowledge," explains Nilson.
The purpose of the module was to instruct users how to register a patient after accessing the record, he explains. Still, some employees became confused when the screen appeared differently than what they were accustomed to viewing.
Future modules will be changed so that employees can select the type of user they are on the first screen, so they view exactly the same screens that are used in their particular registration area. This change will get people to "buy in" right at the beginning, he says, instead of tuning out when they see screens that don't look familiar.
"If you choose the ED, it might start you on the tracking board. If you choose clinic staff, it might start you on the daily appointments report," says Nilson.