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US reports say online learning improves healthcare

15 July 2015

US reports say online learning improves healthcare

Online learning for dental and medical professionals is a requirement for practitioners in the UK, but recent studies in the US have suggested that online learning has added bonuses, which include lower lengths of hospital stay, reduced readmissions and improved quality indicators.

For the specific American setting, former vice-president of case management of case management at a Tennessee hospital, Teresa Fugate, told healthcareitnews: “Taking these courses, you’d be pretty close to what you need to certify Certified Case Manager. A well designed online program includes case studies that apply information to real-world situations and source documents for information.

“These are courses that can get a new orientee up to speed in a few weeks, and move advanced case managers forward. The result: economical continued education and better use of staff time.”

The lead author of a systematic review published by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (CME) in the US, Ronald Cervero, said: “Studies show that continued education, designed according to evidence-based principles, can improve patient health outcomes and should also improve the outcomes related to readmissions and length of stay, reducing Medicare penalties and achieving Joint Commission accreditation goals.”

A 2013 report form the American Hospital Association, meanwhile, encourages hospitals and healthcare providers to use continuing education “to advance the strategic aims of the organisation” as well as calling for “greater use of technology to streamline CME processes.”

Kathy Chappell, RN, vice president of accreditation and research at American Nurses Credentialing Center, says participation in continuing education "has a positive impact on healthcare provider performance" as well as highlighting that “Continuing Education should be part of a multi-focused strategy to impact complex healthcare issues.”

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