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Finding 6

Finding 6

2021 State of Healthcare Training and Staff Development Report

Finding 6:

Less than a third of respondents (32%) say they have tapped into the power of data and analytics tools to inform staff training assignments.

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Data-Driven Healthcare Training

Reviewing data can turn up surprising insights. Many healthcare organizations still do not use outcomes-based training. Therefore, they are missing opportunities to analyze different types of data — assessments, quality indicators, client outcomes — to inform training and staff development. Naturally, larger organizations are more likely to have the staff and systems in place to look at data and analytics to inform training, and that is not surprising. Of respondents with 500 or more employees, more than 40% use data and analytics in this way.


Key Takeaway:

Time spent assessing strengths and weaknesses, analyzing skill gaps, assigning individualized training, and collecting learning and outcomes data can pay off in terms of your time, money, and reputation.


Data by Org size
Communication may once again be at play with this finding. Almost one-third of respondents (30%) weren’t sure if their organization used data and analytics to inform training.

As a foundational step, conducting learning assessments and tracking training can help with finding knowledge gaps. Not surprising is the fact that larger organizations tend to use an LMS, which can assist with those tasks and more. With such a learning platform, you can more easily track training already completed for all learners and assign targeted learning for certain job roles or individuals.

“Data guides action and provides the foundation for clinical educators to individually craft onboarding, precepting, and development pathways.”

— Trish Richardson,

MSN, BSBA, RN, NE-BC, CMSRN, Director, Post-Acute Care Solutions, Relias


Yet data analysis continues to be a missed opportunity in many healthcare organizations. Our 2020 survey asked respondents about their use of analytics to assess service to the populations they serve. Only 15% indicated that they formally analyzed service to the entire population, and 23% said they did some analysis.

Data gathered from learning assessments and course completions can inform training plans designed to meet knowledge gaps and provide development opportunities. It is encouraging to see that almost two-thirds of healthcare respondents (63%) said they recommend individualized staff development and training as part of all employees’ performance reviews and staff evaluations. Almost one-fifth (19%) provide it for some employees.

individualized staff development

Healthcare Training Tools: Collecting + Analyzing Data

The benefits of this type of analysis add up. If you proactively develop your staff early on, you can save the time you would spend reacting to problems with risk mitigation and reputation preservation efforts, as well as avoiding legal fees, client rehospitalizations, and poor quality ratings.

Furthermore, as Richardson notes, “This intentional focus on staff development driven by the data is evidence that healthcare leaders are leaning in to their employees, which can produce a positive impact on staff engagement, workforce culture, and retention.”

For smaller organizations, the tools are not always in place for automated tracking. Less than half of respondents (47%) with 50 or fewer employees indicated that they use an LMS. For those with more than 250 employees, 77% to 85% said they use an LMS.

LMS usage by org size

In fact, when healthcare respondents still use paper (28%) and spreadsheets (47%) to track training along with other methods, the task of finding gaps and assigning individualized learning can be more challenging and costly for their organizations.

Tracking staff training

In smaller organizations, naturally, assigning targeted learning appears to be more feasible even without an LMS. Three-quarters of respondents (75%) from organizations with fewer than 50 employees indicated that they provide recommendations for individualized staff development and training as part of the performance reviews or evaluations for all employees.

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