N.M. health officials adopt SumTotal LMS

New Mexico’s health department plans to begin using a statewide Internet-based learning management system (LMS) to assess the competencies of 100,000 health and medical professionals in the state.

SumTotal Systems, a Mountain View, Calif.-based company, which makes enterprise software for analyzing and tracking workforce competencies, will provide software integration, consulting and maintenance services to the state, company officials announced today.

“This solution supports effective, convenient and broad-reaching training, which will enhance our skills to quickly identify, investigate and respond to public health emergencies,” said Gayle Kenny, the state health department’s education and training manager, in a prepared statement.

Bill Perry, the company’s director of public and investor relations, said the LMS will let state officials deliver professional content and track what people actually learn. Such systems, which measure knowledge and proficiency, typically replace manual and paper-based processes.

“It’s almost like an air-traffic control system for learning and development,” Perry said.

For example, he said, state officials can use the system to determine whether medical and emergency health professionals have nuclear, biological and chemical training. Managers will be able to take a snapshot of the workforce and see who has completed certification and coursework and who needs more training. The system can support recommendations to increase workforce skills to a certain level of competency.

Although SumTotal provides learning content, state officials can create their own content or purchase learning modules from other vendors, Perry said. State officials will be able to use the secure system to view which courses an employee has taken, the time spent on the coursework and other training metrics.

The system complements traditional training because instructors can enter data from classroom courses that students have completed, he said.

Perry did not disclose the price of the state contract, but he said the cost per user ranges from $25 to $50 a year. State officials will likely have the LMS installed in the next three months, he said.

SumTotal has about 17 million public and private-sector users of its enterprise software, of which about 5 million are public-sector users. The company provides software services to public-sector agencies in 39 states.

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