September 2005

Conference Attendees Scout the Landscape of Learning


More than 80 people attended Catholic Health Initiatives' first Learning Network Conference August 10-12 in Broomfield, Colo. The conference, "Transforming the Landscape of Learning," presented ideas and practices to ensure that learning is initiated with clear expectations for performance change based on learning outcomes. The conference also addressed Catholic Health Initiatives' innovations in "blended learning:" a
combination of learning approaches that includes Web-based learning, knowledge communities, collaborative spaces and classroom learning.

"The attendees included directors of education and clinical education from across the system, as well as leaders in human resources and information technology," said Colleen Elliott, director of knowledge management for Catholic Health Initiatives. "There was great discussion about the need to develop metrics for education based on organizational priorities. We can help leaders throughout Catholic Health Initiatives establish clear expectations
and develop blended learning for measurable impact and value."

Herb Vallier, chief human resource officer for Catholic Health Initiatives, opened the conference with a welcome that reinforced the critical role of education in aligning people and skills with the organization's priorities. "Learning has always been essential to Catholic Health Initiatives," he said. "Learning new ways to operate drives us closer to our organizational goals and supports our core strategies."

The conference focused on how a culture of learning can drive continuous improvement. Sessions focused on the many different forms in which learning takes place and the advantages of a blended approach.

Attendees also learned more about accountability for incorporating knowledge into the workplace and tools for measuring impact. Donald Kirkpatrick, an expert in developing and evaluating education programs, was the keynote speaker.

Joy Goldman, manager of training and organizational development at St. Joseph Medical Center, Towson, Md., shared methods for aligning education with strategic outcomes. "It's critical that we measure the impact of learning on specific outcomes, such as improving patient safety," Elliott said.

The success of the Learning Network Conference will lead to a similar event in the future. For more information, contact Colleen Elliott at colleenelliott@catholichealth.net.