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Creating Custom Learning Paths for the Largest Integrated Medical Center in the World

Healthcare | Training and Education

Largest integrated, non-profit group practice in the world engages TEKsystems for Education Services delivered under a blended learning model.

The clinic is the first and largest integrated medical center in the world. With 1,900 doctors and scientists, the Minnesota location provides comprehensive diagnosis and treatment in a variety of medical and surgical specialties to more than 350,000 patients each year.
.Net ; J2EE ; RAD 7.0 and VS2008; Java 5; Web services and Log4j
Working out of the company’s Minnesota location, a committee of IT managers had implemented a strict set of guidelines and approved tools for all new applications development projects. The committee recognized that its IT staff would need to expand their skill set to include knowledge of the new technology platforms and their proficiency in these technologies would be critical to upcoming applications development initiatives. The committee subsequently defined specialized training as a distinct business requirement for bridging this knowledge gap. TEKsystems was engaged to create custom learning paths for the client’s application developers, architects and staff managers.

TEKsystems deployed a learning consultant responsible for developing custom, blended learning paths. The curriculum was designed to augment the client’s existing online learning and self-study tools with TEKsystems’ instructor-led training courses and it covered the client’s two highest priority training initiatives: .NET and J2EE/Websphere. The learning consultant conducted interviews with executive sponsors and managers to outline the business case, project scope and determine the necessary critical skills. Leveraging this information, TEKsystems established learning objectives for each curriculum path. After determining learning objectives, the learning consultant worked with .NET and J2EE subject matter experts to evaluate the clinic’s online learning resources and to integrate select SkillSoft courses with the TEKsystems instructor-led curriculum.

The curriculum was designed with entry points for new and experienced students, leveraging assessments to establish required pre-requisite knowledge prior to enrollment. It was also important that the curriculum remain flexible enough to accommodate emerging technologies, alternative learning modalities and other content adjustments. For example, workshops in the J2EE program included a series of short brown bag sessions covering advanced topics like Web services and Log4j. TEKsystems also reformatted instruction to enable shorter classes, making it easier for participants to balance day-to-day job duties with class attendance. For the majority of the programs, instructor-led portions were also delivered virtually, which enabled developers at remote sites to receive training while eliminating travel costs. Initially, TEKsystems developed a five-day “flu shot distribution” mock lab for the end of each program that required participants to manage a project start to finish, utilizing all of the components covered in the training program. Once they achieved a successful project outcome, participants were awarded internal certifications.

By providing convenient and comprehensive education services, the new technologies were more quickly adapted and the client was able to realize an immediate ROI on its software investments. Because the training was customized for the skills and environment of the client, the training was relevant and instantly applicable, increasing participant satisfaction and post-training performance. The mock labs allowed program participants the opportunities to practice and gain confidence with their new skills in a sandbox environment. Additionally, the programs are continually evaluated and modified to keep pace with new software versions ensuring the client a proven, flexible and cost-effective program.

To date, TEKsystems has trained over 500 employees through this program. Regular participant surveys allow TEKsystems to monitor skills gained as a result of the program, evaluate feedback and make enhancements as needed. On a scale of 1.0 to 5.0, we consistently receive satisfaction ratings exceeding 4.5.