People working in the healthcare industry face unique learning and development challenges. In addition to managing full patient caseloads, healthcare professionals are faced with constant regulatory changes and ever-evolving clinical best practices and standards. Because of this, workplace learning activities are essential to providing consistent, high-quality, person-centered care.
However, for employees in many patient care environments, those same demands make participation in workplace learning activities extremely difficult. Additionally, research indicates that nearly 80 percent of information delivered in traditional learning formats is forgotten within 30 days of delivery.1
Benefits of Microlearning
Effective workplace learning and development initiatives aren’t just information transfers—they are transformational, meaning that they drive changed attitudes and behaviors.
Microlearning is a form of training characterized by short, buildable modules that demand a low time commitment from learners while delivering concentrated snippets of actionable information piece by piece. Because microlearning places emphasis on repetition, practice, and reinforcement over time, it can increase knowledge retention, proficiency, and long-term behavior change in ways that intense one-and-done training methods can’t.
Additionally, research indicates that knowledge retention is significantly increased when information is presented regularly and in short bursts,2 making this style of training especially effective in addressing the training and development needs of healthcare professionals.
While the applications for microlearning are seemingly endless, you can drive change and enhance your practice by using microlearning in these three ways:
1. Patient Experience
Your work has a direct impact on each patient’s experience, safety, and outcomes. This makes it essential for those in patient-facing roles—both clinical and non-clinical—to practice the right balance of technical and soft skills required to effectively build relationships and motivate patients.
By leveraging microlearning, you and your team can reach and maintain this balance through reinforcement of strategies, skills, and best practices in as little as three minutes a day.
Most fundamental clinical skills needed within the healthcare industry are learned through school and post-professional continuing education, but what about the other skills essential to a productive and adaptable work environment?
It can be tough to learn critical-thinking and interpersonal skills through textbooks or observation; however, these skills are paramount to a healthy work environment where employees are able to provide the best possible care to patients. By leveraging microlearning, healthcare workers can explore scenarios and recommendations for interpersonal interactions and critical thinking in short, just-in-time bursts, speeding up the development of these essential skills and reinforcing them over time.
When driving change and implementing quality improvement initiatives in the workplace, learners tend to respond best to an engaging, learner-driven approach to training. Microlearning can be a powerful alternative to traditional training formats as it emphasizes self-directed learning, real-world application, and easily fits within the daily flow of work.
Since activities can be completed in as few as two or three minutes, microlearning is a strong tool for driving change, reinforcing habits, and offering just-in-time remediation to address common errors or pitfalls.
Want to learn more about how microlearning can enhance your practice? MedBridge believes that high quality education is the key to improving patient outcomes. Implement a winning professional development plan that includes microlearning resources on patient experience, soft skills, change management, and quality improvement.
- Murre, J. M. J. & Dros, J. (2015). Replication and analysis of Ebbinghaus’ Forgetting Curve. PLoS ONE, 10(7), e0120644.
- Emerson, L. C. & Berge, Z. L. (2018). Microlearning: Knowledge management applications and competency-based training in the workplace. Knowledge Management & E-Learning: An International Journal, 10(2), 125–132.