Onboarding is one of the most critical steps an employee must complete in their journey at a healthcare company. It's the point at which they fully familiarize themselves with your organization and learn the skills and practices that will help them perform well as part of your team. If onboarding in healthcare is neglected or mishandled, it can seriously affect employee proficiency and performance.
There's also a legal side to healthcare onboarding that's just as important. The healthcare industry is subject to many different state and federal regulations, and for good reason — the consequences of noncompliance in the healthcare industry can be disastrous. All healthcare employees must maintain best practices at all times, including keeping up the correct certifications. Thorough compliance training during the onboarding process is one of the best ways to ensure all your employees work within the boundaries of the relevant healthcare regulations.
Onboarding is a fairly broad term, but what’s healthcare onboarding? Like in other industries, healthcare onboarding familiarizes new hires with their role and the company's policies in order to equip them to perform their duties successfully. Healthcare onboarding is only different from other kinds of onboarding in that it focuses on healthcare-related topics, such as the many regulations healthcare professionals need to know and follow.
It's easier to understand what healthcare onboarding entails if we break it down into a few distinct aspects, called the 5 Cs of onboarding.
Culture is the shared vision and values that define your organization. Communicating about the company's culture during the onboarding process is essential — but it's also important to be open to how new people can help the culture evolve positively.
Research has shown that employees perform better when they feel connected with their peers at work. The first few days (during onboarding) are a critical time to give new employees opportunities to connect with their new coworkers.
Confidence refers to how well equipped to perform their job a new employee feels. Your organization's onboarding process should help new hires build the confidence to enter their new role feeling sure of themselves.
Clarification is the process of showing new hires their roles and responsibilities within the organization and teaching them the procedures to fulfill those roles and responsibilities.
Compliance encompasses all the tasks you must complete to officially set up a new hire to begin work, like filling out paperwork, providing them a badge, et cetera.
In the healthcare industry, employees must be properly trained to perform their jobs competently. Following healthcare onboarding best practices is one of the best ways to ensure all your organization's employees are set up for success as soon as they exit the onboarding process. Here are some of the best practices included in the most effective healthcare onboarding programs:
It takes a team of people to develop a successful healthcare onboarding program. You should start by deciding on the individual roles within the team. For example, you'll need a project leader who is fully aligned with the program's goals and an instructional designer to help develop content and ensure it's accurate. The makeup of your team has a major impact on how productive the development process will be.
Healthcare onboarding is not confined to a single department. It affects many areas of your organization, so it's only logical that onboarding content development should involve stakeholders from various corners of the company. You need contributions from a wide variety of skill sets, experiences and perspectives.
Onboarding involves many different subjects because you're trying to fill in new hires with a lot of information at once. Start by choosing the most important bits and focus on improving content around those topics. There's undoubtedly a wide variety of onboarding goals you'd like to meet, but it's essential to make the process manageable by only trying to solve one problem at a time. Think about which outcomes are the most important to your organization's success and start there.
It's hard to get very far with a healthcare onboarding program if the leadership team isn't on board. Leaders at your organization may not realize the importance of a top-quality onboarding program. An investment in employee education has a less immediate impact than an investment in sales or marketing — however, the benefits are just as real. You may need to demonstrate the value of a better onboarding program to the appropriate leaders before you'll get their full support.
Your organization most likely already has a technology stack consisting of various essential tools. You can improve efficiency by integrating healthcare onboarding software with many of the technology solutions your company already uses. Your onboarding program should be cross-functional between departments, so it's important to keep everyone aligned.
Content is your onboarding program's central component. Your organization's content is the healthcare resources with which new employees will engage during onboarding. It's crucial that your onboarding content is of the best quality to ensure the information is accurate and engaging enough that employees retain what they've learned long-term. Healthcare onboarding software is a great tool for creating effective onboarding content.
Some of the content you create may be better suited to ongoing employee education than onboarding. While the onboarding process is vital, it's also very important to create opportunities for employees to learn at every step of their journey. The onboarding process is a great time to draw new employees' attention to the fact that your organization offers additional training resources. If you offer these resources via healthcare education software, employees can access them online anytime they need them.
The best healthcare onboarding programs are great only because they provide accurate and engaging information — part of their success is due to the quality of their user experiences. First of all, it's important to customize your onboarding program to match your brand. Customizable healthcare onboarding software is perfect for this. It's also very beneficial to tailor each learner's experience to match their role and their learning preferences.
As we mentioned, engagement is a crucial factor in healthcare onboarding. Your onboarding materials stand the best chance of positively impacting new hires if they're interesting and engaging. However, it's not always easy to present onboarding information in a way that's not boring. One way to keep new healthcare employees engaged with onboarding materials is to reward course completion with certificates. A tangible accomplishment at the end of the road can be a great motivator.
Whether your onboarding program is working or not, there's always room for improvement. Asking new employees about their experiences with your onboarding program can provide a great source of insight that will help you continually refine onboarding at your organization. Frequently sourcing feedback is one of the best steps to improve onboarding in the healthcare industry. The feedback process could be as simple as a brief survey at the end of the onboarding process or as in-depth as a formal discussion about the pros and cons of your current program.
Telehealth is a remote form of healthcare that uses electronic information and telecommunication technologies to provide types of care to patients. Telehealth is a convenient method of caring for patients in situations where they cannot attend in-person appointments. Telehealth can also include other remote healthcare-related activities, like medical education, differentiating it from telemedicine (which refers specifically to providing medical care using telecommunication technology).
One disadvantage of telehealth is that it requires patients to be proficient with the technology involved. This can be challenging for some patients. Patient onboarding plays an essential role in telehealth because it serves as the patient's opportunity to learn to use the tools they'll need to receive care. It's important to offer a streamlined onboarding experience that doesn't inhibit patients from receiving telehealth care if they struggle with the technology.
Building a successful onboarding program at a healthcare organization is no easy task. However, the onboarding process is so important that it's essential to get it right. Healthcare onboarding software is one of the best tools to create a successful onboarding program.
Healthcare onboarding software makes it easy to create a positive user experience for every new employee your company onboards. The best onboarding software allows you to customize each user's learning experience to suit them.
Onboarding software for healthcare also helps new employees (and sometimes patients) find your onboarding materials quickly. Content is stored online where users can access it from a central location whenever they need to, from wherever is convenient.
Many healthcare onboarding platforms also offer flexible pricing models. You can pay per learner, per active learner (metered pricing), pay as you go, or pay a flat licensing fee. Each healthcare organization can work with its onboarding software provider to settle on the best pricing plan.