Video-based training headed to health care workers' desktops

The Department of Veterans Affairs will soon install a distributed computer-based video training system to teach health care personnel how to use a new distributed application.

The training course is designed to teach VA staff members how to use the agency's Primary Care Management Module a client/server application that helps VA medical facilities build primary care teams and assigns patients to those teams.

PCMM is a departmentwide system and part of the VA's Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture [FCW Sept. 23].

In July the VA awarded a contract to VIS Development Corp. Waltham Mass. to create the training system. VIS Development has given the VA a "final check disk" for agency approval said Jay Yesselman the director of product strategy at VIS Development.

The VA plans to deploy the courseware which will be contained on CD-ROMs that can be loaded into a PC or installed on a network to the agency's 173 medical centers and more than 300 outpatient clinics. The rollout is expected to begin later this month according to John Derderian an applications systems analyst at the VA.

The VA training solution provides users with video instruction and the opportunity to practice using the given application. The system also includes a user administrative module that scores user tests and tracks a user's progress through the training.

The computer-based system is an improvement over traditional classroom training which can be cumbersome to administer in terms of scheduling and employee travel Yesselman said. And in the case of the VA the agency needs to conduct training for a distributed application that will be used in multiple facilities.

"It makes perfect sense to have a distributed training solution " Yesselman said.

To create the VA application VIS Development customized a training system template to meet the agency's requirements. The company's training wares run under Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 3.1x 95 and NT 4.0. The VA's medical facilities are standardizing on NT-based local- and wide-area networks.

"Information technology can raise employee productivity and increase VA services to veterans only if used effectively " Derderian said. "This training course...is key to our efforts to effectively utilize new technologies to ensure cost-effective delivery of quality health care services."

VIS Development has created more than 250 custom interactive video training courses for major corporations. The company's other federal contract is with Navy Federal Credit Union.

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