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Challenge
Prior to 2013, education administration for 24,000 therapists was manual, complex and costly. At each location, live training sign-in sheets and forms indicating completion of computer coursework were kept in files. Annual training is required to be completed by year end, so for busy therapists, most training happened in December and resulted in overtime plus a dip in productivity of 1% —which is significant in a people-intensive business like ours. Data entry was required to report training, and we lacked real-time visibility and control.

Opportunity
We envisioned how new, small, lightweight mobile computing technology could create efficiencies, streamline workflow and increase patient engagement. We also were ready to end the manual processing of forms as well as bottlenecks created by therapists.

Solution
By partnering with Redilearning, we streamlined onboarding, annual training, document reviews and more. The same iPad minis therapists were using for therapy documentation, payroll, patient home exercise planning and benefits administration were utilized to include learning and communication tools from Redilearning. To avoid the typical year-end rush, staff started getting automated reminders in summer. Coursework was completed over months when therapists had open pockets in their schedule. This schedule was far less disruptive.

We also recognized an opportunity to fundamentally change the way we engage staff. We began sending “Fast Facts Fridays” updates and can track who reviews them. We share clinical best practices, regulatory updates, trends, deadlines and more. These communications have made meetings more productive because staff arrive already in the know.

Learning Broadcasts from Redilearning have also transformed the way we educate and communicate. For example, we now easily record compliance programs and attach quizzes to confirm that content is consumed and understood. The results become a permanent part of personnel records, which eliminates manual audits. We also use Learning Broadcasts to roll out benefit programs to help us communicate consistently and efficiently.

Results
The year-end crunch was eliminated. In the past, it was not unusual to have 40% or more of staff still needing to complete coursework in December; that number is now less than ½ of 1% by year end. Administrative labor also dropped from eight FTEs to one, as manual records, sign-in sheets, data entry and faxing were eliminated. Our central administrators now spend their time optimizing communications instead of chasing paper.

The program has been a big success for us. There is no doubt that we’ve seen an excellent return on our investment. Staff satisfaction is up, which continues to form a vital bridge toward delivering a great customer experience.

By RehabCare