Affinity Health System Chooses Pathlore Learning Management System to Deliver e-Learning to More Than 4,500 Employees

November 28, 2001

Three years ago Affinity Health System, a Catholic, mission-oriented healthcare network serving communities in Wisconsin’s Fox River Valley and East Central Region, decided it was time to make the move to e-Learning.

“We wanted to take training out of the classroom and, whenever possible, deliver it directly to our employees in a format that would allow them to access the information according to their own schedules,” said Carrie Hankes, director of training and development for Affinity Health System. “We started by developing a systemwide team to look at e-Learning.”

Team members considered solutions offered by 12 technology vendors. They also attended conferences and consulted with organizations that had implemented e-Learning solutions. Based on their findings, as well as on the company’s long-term confidence in Pathlore as a result of years of experience with Registrarâ, the team chose the Pathlore Learning Management System (LMS).

“Pathlore really values customer input,” Hankes said, adding that Pathlore’s demonstrated commitment to partnering with its customers was a key consideration. “The company seems very hungry to hear what its customers are experiencing. Other companies say they’re ‘working on it’; Pathlore, on the other hand, gives a timeline and follows through, implementing suggestions from customers.”

For Hankes, terms such as flexibility and scalability represent more than abstractions: They’re critical elements to the success of Affinity’s training programs. With more than 4,500 employees, Affinity unites more than 180 physicians, 17 clinics, three hospitals, a long-term-care and rehabilitation center, and an insurance plan. With company job titles ranging from surgeon to accounting clerk, the Affinity Health System team knew the e-Learning solution they selected would need to accommodate a wide and ever-changing range of requirements. Physicians, for example, are required by law to maintain a certain number of certified medical education credits per year; for radiologic technologists and specialty registered nurses, the requirements are structured differently but also mandated by law.

“Our employees expect the training to be efficient and effective,” Hankes said. “We needed a new and innovative way to deliver content that is cutting-edge and challenging.” And since 70 percent of Affinity’s training has to be reported to managers or regulatory boards, Hankes also needed a solution that allowed her to easily and accurately track and monitor training systemwide as well as on a person-by-person basis. This functionality made Pathlore LMS an even more appealing option.

Pathlore’s open platform was also key to Affinity’s choice. “We purchase third-party vendor materials and then customize it based on our employees’ needs,” Hankes said. “We asked the vendors we were considering to come prepared to wrap their arms around third-party content. Pathlore was able to do just what we asked.” Pathlore’s unique Content Partner Network certifies that Pathlore LMS can manage content from more than 20 vendors offering more than 9,000 courses.

Hankes is still evaluating how to best measure the return on investment since deploying Pathlore LMS, but one thing is clear: “It has noticeably improved efficiency in delivering training,” Hankes said. As an example, she explained how she transitioned one mandatory safety training course online and distributed it via Pathlore LMS. The time it took for employees to complete the course was reduced from 1.5 hours to 30 to 45 minutes. “In addition to the reduction in time students have to spend in class, we have also reduced travel time and enabled the employees to access the training when they are in the frame of mind where they do their best learning,” Hankes said.

About Affinity Health System

Affinity Health System is a Catholic mission-oriented regional health care network sponsored by Ministry Health Care, Milwaukee, and Wheaton Franciscan Services Inc. of Wheaton, Ill. Affinity Health System is proud to be the Fox Valley’s second largest employer (Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce & Industry). Members of Affinity include Mercy Medical Center, Oshkosh; Franciscan Care & Rehabilitation Center and St. Elizabeth Hospital, Appleton; Affinity Medical Group, a regional network of 19 family practice and specialty clinics in 12 communities; Calumet Medical Center, Chilton; Network Health Plan, Menasha; Affinity Occupational Health; and Affinity Visiting Nurses.