In a published study, the World Health Organization (WHO) finds that eLearning is likely to be as effective as traditional methods of training health professionals.

Given a shortage of 7.2 million health workers globally, as recently identified by a WHO report, eLearning could vastly help close that gap.

Led by Dr. Josip Car, the Imperial College London team that conducted the survey reviewed 108 studies to evaluate the effectiveness of eLearning for undergraduate health professional education. Their findings revealed that students acquire knowledge and skills through online and offline eLearning the same, if not better, than they do through traditional teaching.

Overall, the team found that the best practical approach might be a blended learning method. This allows students to learn, practice, and apply the practical skills that are needed for health care training.

“There are still barriers that need to be overcome, such as access to computers, internet connections, and learning resources, and this could be helped by facilitating investments in ICT,” notes Dr. Car. “Universities should encourage the development of eLearning curricula and use online resources to reach out to students internationally.”

Dr. Erica Wheeler, a technical officer in the Department of Health Workforce in the WHO, said: “This report was commissioned by WHO to ensure that there is robust evidence to support the increase in the numbers of health workers being trained. There is also a need for the provision of guidance on what methods are most suitable and effective for different pedagogical approaches, in the light of ever increasing demands and pressures faced by low and middle income countries to use technology to improve for health workforce education and training.”

These exciting findings support what we at Relias Learning strongly believe; learning management and blended learning are the best and most effective methods of ensuring your staff is properly trained. To meet demand moving forward, organizations and companies should incorporate eLearning into their day-to-day operations.