Brightwork Health IT Unveils SPARC Academy Offering Asynchronous Train for Healthcare Professionals


Brightwork Health IT, an IT consultancy that helps healthcare organizations with large IT implementations, digital transformation initiatives, technical resources, and training, recently unveiled SPARC Academy, an on-demand, asynchronous training solution helps healthcare organizations train employees on everything from hospital policies and procedures to utilizing electronic health record (EHR) environments quickly and efficiently. Backed by industry-leading subject matter experts, adult learning principles, and innovative new technology, SPARC Academy delivers engaging, customized training experiences that enable users to learn from anywhere at any time.

“The amount of information that healthcare workers need to keep up with is a contributing factor to burnout,” said Shannan Epps, Founder and CEO of Brightwork Health IT. “The demands of the profession create challenges in terms of the time staff can allocate to training. As such, training systems today have to be asynchronous, meeting staff where they are and when they have time to learn.”

There is little doubt that the pace of change within healthcare has accelerated significantly over the last decade. One of the most significant changes is that the industry is shifting away from a treatment-only mentality towards a total health, patient-centered, digital approach to wellbeing. Accompanying that change is an increased need for workplace training. Even for the most seasoned healthcare professional, ongoing training on the latest industry policies, procedures, technologies, and care methods is essential.

However, poor quality, impersonal and unnecessarily long training can lead to severe consequences, such as burnout, if not administered correctly. And unfortunately, healthcare workers are already experiencing alarming levels of burnout, emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a low sense of personal accomplishment at work. In 2019, the National Academies of Medicine (NAM) reported that burnout had reached “crisis” levels, with up to 54% of nurses and physicians, and up to 60% of medical students and residents, suffering from burnout. The pandemic has since affected the mental health of health workers nationwide, with more than 50% of healthcare workers reporting symptoms of at least one mental health condition, such as anxiety, depression, and increased levels of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“Training staff seamlessly and effectively is critical for healthcare operations and patients alike,” said Epps. “However, working with some of the country’s largest health systems, we discovered that many were burdened by costly, resource-constraining training solutions that weren’t relevant to their specific organization. SPARC Academy addresses this problem by offering a cost-effective, flexible, and custom-tailored e-learning product for each organization’s specific needs.”

SPARC Academy is self-paced

Through SPARC Academy, training is made available to users at their own pace and can be accessed from anywhere, at any time. And the benefits of this approach are clear. An on-demand, asynchronous training approach promotes efficiency and employee empowerment, resulting in added affordability, agility, and usability. This is critically important, considering how much knowledge is needed in healthcare.

Take clinical guidelines, for example. In 1990, there were only 73 entries in PubMed. Today, only 32 years later, there are thousands of guidelines that clinicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals need to know. And thousands more are being produced each year.

But clinical guidelines are only a fraction of what healthcare professionals need to know. There are hospital protocols, medical devices, IT systems like EHRs, and much more that staff needs to understand. Information overload is a real problem, and keeping up-to-date is an added strain on professionals who already feel like they don’t have enough time to manage everything on their plates. In a recent Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) report, it was revealed that 55% of front-line healthcare workers are experiencing burnout (defined as mental and physical exhaustion from chronic workplace stress), with the highest rate (69%) among those ages 18 to 29.

That’s why traditional, in-person training isn’t always an efficient or sustainable option. As healthcare workers have experienced during the pandemic, unpredictable changes in public health, busy schedules, and high demand for healthcare have created a difficult environment for traditional training. SPARC Academy was built to mitigate roadblocks to effective training while also enhancing, and in some instances replacing, in-person training. The result of this is a staff that has a true understanding of procedures, protocols, and real-life scenarios.

SPARC Academy enables trainees to receive top-of-the-line training, provides an in-depth educational resource, and allows teams to continue learning without compromising quality and effectiveness.

“Although SPARC Academy’s training sessions are automated, they are also completely customized,” said Epps. “Even though some training information is universal, SPARC Academy understands that training works best when programs and materials are specifically tailored for each organization. Each new training program is curated individually, for each organization, by Brightwork Health IT’s project team in collaboration with the client’s HR department, in-house trainers, management, and other stakeholders.”

SPARC Academy’s subject matter experts work alongside client teams to better understand a facility’s operations, policies, and procedures. This information is then used to create a dynamic, visually enhanced educational program that includes simulations, animations to engage trainees, comprehensive quizzes designed to measure knowledge and understanding, live support, and much more. 

SPARC Academy improves learning by bringing subject matter experts, instructional designers and informaticists together to deliver exactly what adult learners want. The platform also provides completely customized, asynchronous learning that integrates with learning management systems and other tools. In addition, SPARC Academy’s skilled developers build and maintain programs and digital content that’s dynamic and engaging, and that prepares users for real-life scenarios.

Female-founded and led, Seattle-based Brightwork Health IT is a dynamic team of more than 100 thought leaders and subject-matter experts that have successfully managed some of the healthcare industry’s most complex projects. By aligning deep domain expertise with a robust partner ecosystem, Brightwork helps clients achieve exceptional results. Since 2017, the firm has worked to future-proof some of the most innovative and influential healthcare organizations in the world, including Kaiser Permanente, University of Washington Medical Centers, Summa Health, Multicare, and SE Alaska Regional Health Consortium.

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