The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2007 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

USING ONLINE SELF-PACED MODULES TO COMPLETE INSTITUTION-REQUIRED EDUCATION

J. Perretta1, J. Dwyer1

Background: Joint Commission requires respiratory care departments to document staff education regarding patient safety, clinical competency, and hospital operations. Traditionally, face-to-face classroom time was used to review these topics, using a lecture format with little participant interaction. We hypothesized using asynchronous online self-paced modules (SPM) would maintain staff compliance (100% as specified by hospital guidelines) while greatly increasing amounts of information in a user-friendly format available 24/7.

Methods:
Self-paced module topics included: fire safety, piped oxygen outage procedures, epidemiology/infection control, equipment malfunction reporting, operating room procedures, computer/email acceptable use, patient safety event reporting, and Human Resources updates. Microsoft Office PowerPoint® was used to design the SPM template. Action buttons on each page allows users systematic navigation at their own pace. Each topic followed the same format, augmenting learner comfort with the technology. Photos, screen shots, diagrams and guiding questions were used to enhance learner retention. Post-tests were linked at the end of each SPM for completion, and returned to the Staff Development (SD) office. The SPMs were launched on hospital Intranet using Macromedia Dreamweaver®, for staff to complete during scheduled shifts as time allowed. Contact emails and phone numbers for troubleshooting system problems were provided. The SD office kept paper and electronic records of staff members’ post-test completion. Feedback was provided for incorrect answers. A satisfaction survey was distributed regarding the online format.

Results:
Using online SPMs, RCS clinical and management staff completed annual reviews in compliance with hospital guidelines. The number of topics presented to staff doubled over a one year span (from 8 to 17). Returned surveys demonstrated 100% satisfaction of staff respondents. No negative feedback was returned.

Conclusions:
Online, self-paced modules for continuing education allowed staff to complete education at their convenience, while meeting compliance guidelines for hospital required education. Availability of information in SPM format provided bedside references and resources direct to clinical care providers. Design of respiratory care SPMs for multi-disciplinary use may improve future hospital-wide respiratory education.

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