Educational or Learning Program of Medical Centers
Reynaldo O. Joson, MD, MHA, MHPEd, MScSurg
December 9, 2014
Operational Definition of Education
Education is defined as the process of educating (teaching) or of being educated (taught). The output of the educational or teaching process is learning.
Operational Definition of Learning
Learning is defined as a positive observable change (for the better or improvement) in human behavior, disposition, attitude, performance, or capability which persists over a period of time.
Education and learning may at times be used interchangeably to mean the same thing. Paralleling the aforementioned definition of education, learning can be defined as the process of learning or of being learned. The output of learning is the demonstration of positive observable change (for the better or improvement) in human behavior, disposition, attitude, performance, or capability which persists over a period of time.
All medical centers must have an educational or learning program not only for its organization but also for the community it serves. The educational or learning program facilitates accomplishment of its mission and vision. The educational or learning program for the organization is categorized as internal while that for the community, external. There may be several components in each category. These components may be lumped into organizational learning for the organization (internal) and community learning for the community (external). The organizational and community learning programs must be aligned and integrated for the medical center to be able to achieve its intended objective of using the programs to facilitate accomplishment of its mission and vision.
Components of the internal educational or learning program consist of at least the following:
- Personal Learning
- Workforce or Employee or Staff Learning
- Organizational Learning
Components of the external educational or learning program consist of at least the following:
- Citizen (individual or group) Learning
- Family Learning
- Community Learning
Personal Learning – learning initiated, undertaken and acquired by an individual on his / her own.
Workforce or Employee or Staff Learning – learning initiated, undertaken and acquired by a member, a group of members or all members of the workforce, employees, or staff of an organization as a result of an organizational educational program for the staff.
Organizational Learning – learning initiated, undertaken and acquired by all members of the workforce, employees, or staff of an organization as a result of an organizational educational program for the staff which enhances collective ability to deal with new situations and problems, both internal and external, to the organization.
Citizen (individual or group) Learning – learning initiated, undertaken and acquired by a citizen or group of citizens or the whole citizenry as a result of an educational program conducted by an organization for the citizens in the community the latter serves.
Family Learning – learning initiated, undertaken and acquired by a family or groups of families as a result of an educational program conducted by an organization for the families in the community the latter serves.
Community Learning – learning initiated, undertaken and acquired by a community as a result of an educational program conducted by an organization for the community the latter serves. Citizen learning and community learning may be synonymous when the whole citizenry of the community is targeted in the educational program.
Organizational and Personal Learning
Organizational and personal learning is one of the goals of performance excellence criteria of the Baldrige / Philippine Quality Awards:
Criteria for Performance Excellence Goals
The Criteria are designed to help provide organizations with an integrated approach to organizational performance management that results in:
- delivery of ever-improving value to customers and stakeholders, contributing to organizational sustainability
- improvement of overall organizational effective-ness and capabilities
- organizational and personal learning.
Organizational and personal learning is one of the core values and concepts of Baldrige / Philippine Quality Awards Criteria for Performance Excellence.
Core Values and Concepts
The Criteria are built on the following set of inter-related Core Values and Concepts:
- visionary leadership
- customer-driven excellence
- organizational and personal learning
- valuing workforce members and partners
- focus on the future
- managing for innovation
- management by fact
- societal responsibility
- focus on results and creating value
- systems perspective
Description of Organizational and Personal Learning from Baldrige Health Care Criteria for Performance Excellence:
Achieving the highest levels of organizational performance requires a well-executed approach to organizational and personal learning that includes sharing knowledge via systematic processes. Organizational learning includes both continuous improvement of existing approaches and significant change or innovation, leading to new goals and approaches. Learning needs to be embedded in the way your organization operates. This means that learning (1) is a regular part of daily work; (2) is practiced at personal, department/work unit, and organizational levels; (3) results in solving problems at their source (“root cause”); (4) is focused on building and sharing knowledge throughout your organization; and (5) is driven by opportunities to effect significant, meaningful change and to innovate. Sources for learning include staff members’ and volunteers’ ideas, health care research findings, patients’ and stakeholders’ input, best-practice sharing, and benchmarking.
Organizational learning can result in (1) enhancing value to patients through new and improved health care services; (2) developing new health care business opportunities; (3) developing evidence-based approaches to medicine and new health care delivery models; (4) improving responsiveness and cycle time performance; (5) increasing productivity and effectiveness in the use of all your resources; and (6) enhancing your organization’s performance in fulfilling its societal responsibilities and building community health.
The success of members of your workforce depends increasingly on having opportunities for personal learning and for practicing new skills. Leaders’ success depends on access to these kinds of opportunities, as well. In organizations that rely on volunteers, the volunteers’ personal learning also is important, and their learning and skill development should be considered with the staff’s. Organizations invest in personal learning through education, training, and other opportunities for continuing growth and development. Such opportunities might include job rotation and increased pay for demonstrated knowledge and skills. On-the-job training offers a cost-effective way to cross-train and to better link training to your organizational needs and priorities. For health care providers, personal learning includes building discipline knowledge and retraining to adjust to a changing health care environment, as well as enhancing knowledge of measurement systems that influence outcome assessments and clinical guidelines, decision trees, care bundles, or critical pathways. Education and training programs may have multiple modes, including computer- and Web-based learning and distance learning.
Personal learning can result in (1) a more engaged, satisfied, and versatile workforce that stays with your organization; (2) organizational cross-functional learning; (3) the building of your organization’s knowledge assets; and (4) an improved environment for innovation.
Thus, learning is directed not only toward better health care services but also toward being more responsive, adaptive, innovative, and efficient—giving your organization marketplace sustainability and performance advantages and engaging your workforce to increase satisfaction and the motivation to excel.
Education or learning program for the community the medical center serves will facilitate accomplishment of the latter’s mission and vision. Foremost, the impact will be healthier families and citizenry in the community, which is the raison d’etre of all medical centers. The other advantages will be learning on prevention of medical disorders; early recognition of diseases; early consult and treatment; empowerment on health management; promotion of mental well-being; etc.