Ms Molly Galea1
1Northern Health, Melbourne, Australia
An effective staff education program will maintain a skilled allied health workforce, reduce clinical errors and retain staff. To maintain funding and staff engagement, the allied health program needs to consistently deliver and demonstrate its value to busy allied health practitioners and overstretched health services
In 2016. Allied Health Education undertook a review of our education program. We have instigated a number of ways to implement continuous improvement of our program, and to quantify and demonstrate our value.
Since 2016, we have used session evaluations, an annual survey, and impact evaluation to demonstrate the contribution of the Allied Health professional development program, and address our organisation’s need for skilled, supported staff. We engage in an ongoing loop – evaluation, change, communication and delivery – which continuously quantifies our value to both learners and the organisation.
Northern Health Allied Health Education and Research has gone from an average satisfaction rating of 70% to 92% in two years, while increasing our annual education attendance from 72 staff at 7 training sessions to 323 attending 39 sessions.
Educators need to measure and articulate the impact of allied health education. Continuing professional education has a vital role, particularly in times of service stress, in ensuring high quality care, reflective practice, staff retention and resilience, building the reputation of the organisation to attract new staff, succession planning, and preventing burnout and its associated costs. We are developing a way of articulating that to our two “customer groups” – both the staff who attend our training, and the services that release clinicians from direct service delivery to attend.
Molly Galea is an Allied Health Education Lead at Northern Health.