loading gif icon


IHS Health IT Modernization Program: The Case for a Better Learning Management Platform

To improve the quality and efficiency of its healthcare delivery, the Indian Health Service (IHS) launched the Health IT Modernization Program in 2019. The program will replace outdated IT systems with a modern, integrated, and interoperable platform that can better support the needs of IHS and its patients. While this ambitious initiative includes four major components, it also presents an opportunity to modernize healthcare training delivery, which has been shown to significantly improve health outcomes. In this article, we’ll make the case for adding a best-in-class healthcare learning management platform as part of this IT overhaul. We’ll discuss learning management platform benefits and why the best time to act could be when you are already planning an IT upgrade.

What is the Health IT Modernization Program?

The Indian Health Service’s Health IT Modernization Program consists of a new Electronic Health Record (EHR) system, a new Resource and Patient Management System (RPMS), a new Health Information Exchange (HIE), and a new Data Warehouse and Analytics Platform. These components will enable IHS and its partner organizations to streamline their clinical and administrative workflows, enhance their data collection and analysis, improve their coordination and collaboration with other healthcare providers, and provide patients better access to their health information.

The program is expected to bring significant benefits to IHS and its partner organizations, such as:

  • Improving patient safety and quality of care by reducing errors, duplications, and delays in diagnosis and treatment
  • Increasing patient satisfaction and engagement by providing online portals, mobile apps, and telehealth services
  • Reducing costs and increasing efficiency by automating and standardizing processes, eliminating redundancies, and optimizing resource utilization
  • Enhancing innovation and learning by facilitating research, education, and best practice sharing among IHS and its partner organizations
A Native American woman IT developer speaks to a co-worker
Native American IT developers work on a system upgrade.

Why upgrade your learning management platform during an IT overhaul?

IHS and its partner organizations should consider updating their learning management platform as part of their larger IT modernization, not only for the benefits of better learning delivery, but to leverage the benefits of an integrated platform.

Align your learning strategy with your IT strategy

By updating the healthcare learning management platform with your other IT systems, you can help ensure that your learning platform is consistent and interoperable with your other technology solutions, such as your EHR and HRIS systems. Enabling the seamless and secure exchange of data and information across your organization can enhance the coordination and collaboration of both staff and patients.

Increase security and efficiency

By investing in a modern, integrated learning management platform, IHS and its partner organizations can enhance the quality and efficiency of their training and education programs, ensure up-to-date security across systems, and ultimately, improve health care delivery while reducing cost and complexity.

Take advantage of potential funding opportunities

There may be funding available for technological modernization. Initiatives such as the U.S. Office of Management and Budget’s Technology Modernization Fund award funding for technology-related projects to federal agencies whose proposals involve IT modernization.

The importance of education delivery as part of IT modernization

IHS’ Health IT Modernization Program will transform the way it delivers healthcare services to its communities. All the components of the program will bring critical improvements, but a missing piece is the learning management platform.

The healthcare learning management platform is not just a tool for delivering online courses or training programs — it is a strategic asset that will help IHS achieve its mission of providing quality health care to all its communities. Better training for clinicians and providers will directly improve the quality of care they provide.

A healthcare learning management platform can:

  • Enhance staff competency and performance by providing access to relevant and up-to-date learning content. A quality healthcare learning management platform can also track and assess staff learning outcomes and skills and provide paths to certification.
  • Support staff retention and development by offering professional development, such as continuing education and leadership training. A good healthcare learning management platform can also foster a culture of learning, collaboration, and recognition among staff.
  • Engage and educate patients and communities by providing health literacy and wellness programs, such as disease prevention, chronic condition management, and behavioral health. A comprehensive healthcare learning management platform can also enable patient-centered and culturally responsive care.
  • Comply with regulatory and accreditation standards by ensuring that the staff and organization meet the requirements of federal, state, and local authorities and accrediting bodies. A robust healthcare learning management platform can help IHS document and report its learning activities and outcomes to demonstrate accountability and quality improvement.

Relias Vitals+Vision Podcast

Lora Sparkman has been a nurse and healthcare authority for nearly 40 years. Listen as she explores the connections between nurse education, high competency, and retention. She discusses a wide range of topics — from taking action on maternal mortality to incorporating blended learning modalities into nurse training.

Benefits to consider when choosing the best healthcare learning management platform

In addition to the preparation and study already dedicated to the Health IT Modernization Program, it is equally important to consider the critical features of the healthcare education solution. IHS should consider the following benefits when choosing the best healthcare learning platform:

  • Quality — Improve the learning outcomes and retention of staff by providing them with engaging, relevant, and personalized educational content that empowers them to provide quality, evidence-based, and highly reliable care.
  • Functionality — Provide features and capabilities that can support the learning needs and goals of the organization in terms of content and delivery, custom learning paths, usability, accessibility, management, assessment, reporting and analytics, integration and interoperability, ease of use, and customer support.
  • Flexibility — Stay up to date and meet diverse needs and preferences, such as different learning styles, formats, and modalities, different types and levels of access and security, and different device types.
  • Scalability — Accommodate growth and expansion, such as an expanding number of learners and courses, an increasing volume and variety of content, increasing demand, and rising expectations for quality and performance — without compromising availability and reliability.
  • Return on investment — Provide clear value by reducing costs and risk, increasing productivity and efficiency, and improving patient outcomes and satisfaction.

Learn how Relias can improve your healthcare education

As a healthcare leader, one of your main goals is to maximize your staff’s performance, productivity, and satisfaction so they can provide the best care possible. To accomplish this, they need the best resources for knowledge and skill development.

Leverage the Relias platform to streamline your learning management, standardize your training across the entire organization — including remote locations — and keep your organization agile for future growth and change.

Relias offers:

  • A committed partnership
  • A scalable platform
  • Convenience and accessibility
  • Easy integration
  • Automated enrollments
  • Compliance tracking
  • Timely and relevant reporting
  • Policies and procedures sharing
  • Quality content and custom content options
  • Assessments and competency management
  • Career growth support
  • Multiple learning modalities — such as blended learning, microlearning, simulation-based learning, gamification, and mobile learning

We help more than 11,000 healthcare organizations and 4.5 million caregivers deliver better clinical and financial outcomes every day.

This is the third article in our series examining challenges in Native American health care.


Evidence-Based Government Healthcare Training Solutions

Relias can help your government organization improve patient care and outcomes with our proven, data-driven solutions. We support your clinicians on their journey to competency — and your organization’s journey to excellence.

Explore solutions →

Connect with Us

to find out more about our training and resources

Request Demo