Many of us have had the frustrating experience of putting in hours of work only to find out we are “reinventing the wheel” because another person, group, or company is doing the exact same thing. In 2018, the department’s Division of Licensing & Certification (L&C), and their partners, the Idaho Healthcare Association (IHCA), realized they were doing just this – unnecessarily duplicating their training and education efforts.
They put their heads together and came up with an idea. Their solution was to hold an annual educational summit for individuals and organizations. The summit would offer training and educational resources that would address the training needs of those who work in 19 different facility types, with the goal of improving the quality of care for patients.
Among the facility types the division regulates are skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities. The IHCA represents many of these facilities and works closely with its members toward its mission of “improving lives by delivering solutions for quality care.”
A big part of IHCA’s work includes providing education for their association members. Sensing an opportunity for collaboration, L&C joined forces with IHCA in the spring of 2018 to identify and develop resources and training opportunities for management, clinical, and direct care staff in these three facility types. The first Education Summit was held in November 2018. Thirty-two individuals representing 11 organizations participated in the summit.
An important part of the summit was a review of each group’s training calendar for the coming year. By working together, the group leveraged experts from both IHCA and L&C, known best practices from local peers, and surveyors from L&C to provide a balanced perspective on regulations. Additional topics were proposed and reviewed to ensure the most relevant training was offered to healthcare providers.
Discussions included input and feedback from the audience, and participants contributed ideas for moving the training experience beyond lectures and power point presentations. Some of the ideas included games, round-table discussions, and visual demos. Collaborating and implementing these ideas ensure future training offerings are relevant and of greater benefit to healthcare providers.
The group also proposed nine subjects of interest for future meetings and trainings:
- How adults learn – teaching strategies
- Abuse, neglect, exploitation, and reporting
- Guardianship programs in rural areas
- Bullying by adults
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Charting 101
- What does an active residents council look like?
- “Preventing” discharges/dumping
- Time management
The result of the summit was a robust and well-coordinated training calendar for 2019. L&C recognized that two entities working separately, toward the same goal, could work better if they came together as a team. Or put another way, two heads often work better than one. By brainstorming and working together, we can come up with original ideas, gain new perspectives, and blend our complementary strengths.
“We appreciate that the department is helping to bring diverse audiences together to brainstorm best practices,” said Robert Vande Merwe, executive director of the Idaho Health Care Association. “The people whom our members serve are the ultimate beneficiaries of the training ideas that are generated. We are very thankful for the collaboration!”
With the success of the first Education Summit, L&C has decided to continue collaborating. The next Education Summit is on Nov. 18, 2019.
This is part of an occasional series of stories highlighting the innovative ways Idaho Department of Health and Welfare employees approach the work they do every day to effectively and efficiently help Idahoans live their best lives.