The human resources organization development & training (OD&T) department uses a variety of training delivery methods to offer educational opportunities to 20,000 employees across the greater Houston metropolitan area. Memorial Hermann Healthcare System emphasizes the use of technology to reduce costs associated with instructor-led training (ILT), such as mileage reimbursement, catering, training center fees, and handbook production.
One successful use of technology is the development of the organization's own learning management system, called Partners in Learning (PiL). PiL allows Memorial Hermann educators to launch web-based training (WBT). A number of courses have been translated from ILT to WBT to increase efficiency and accessibility for the intended audience. During 2008, a total of 68 new online courses were deployed through PiL.
Memorial Hermann also makes use of course-creation software. This gives course creators a simplified process to implement education. The software allows employees who have completed software training to easily develop an online course. OD&T can now focus efforts on more critical issues and strategic planning initiatives.
A unique feature of PiL is the ability to share information in an informal learning manner. The PiL library allows for the sharing of case studies, research, white papers, and employee knowledge. One department is able to reduce meetings and increase productivity by placing research papers in the PiL library. Employees are kept current on the latest research and can quickly review past research.
Members of OD&T join with their human resources partners at each of the hospitals to offer on-site classes for employees, thus eliminating the need for employees to drive 30 to 90 minutes to one central location for training. With classes offered at each campus, the loss of productivity and other associated expenditures has decreased significantly.
Faced with challenging economic times, the Memorial Hermann OD&T department has drawn on innovation and flexibility to provide solutions for educating a large healthcare system, while becoming more focused on strategic initiatives and cost savings.