Smarter keeps critical care services on track
To ensure its employees provide the best care for vulnerable populations in New York State, Iroquois Healthcare Association’s Workforce Investment Organization launched an innovative online learning program.
To give employees easy access to online training, the organization deployed lightweight, durable, and easy-to-use Lenovo 300e and 500e Chromebooks.
During the COVID-19 crisis, IHA created additional use cases for the Chromebooks to enable remote work and connect nursing home residents with their loved ones, helping to keep New York’s vulnerable populations safe during the global pandemic.
Iroquois Healthcare Association (IHA) is a regional trade organization representing 54 hospitals in 32 counties of Upstate New York. IHA’s mission is to support its members and the communities they serve through advocacy, education, information, costsaving initiatives, and business solutions.
Making online training accessible for all employees
IHA is recognized as a statewide Workforce Investment Organization (WIO) by the New York State Department of Health. Dedicated to recruiting and training employees for long-term care careers, IHA WIO’s goal is to develop a robust workforce committed to caring for New York’s vulnerable populations.
To support this goal, IHA WIO developed an online learning program emphasizing accessible, relevant training for skilled nursing facilities, assisted living organizations, certified home health agencies, and licensed home care agencies. Next, the organization looked for a way to enable access to digital training to get the most out of the new resources.
Eileen Murphy, Senior Director, Special Projects at IHA WIO, takes up the story: “Until recently, face-to-face learning had been the norm. Most employees did not have access to PCs or laptops in their day-to-day work. What’s more, many employees, particularly older staff members, had little or no experience with technology in their personal lives either. We aimed to build a technology foundation from the ground up.”
Selecting a simple, intuitive platform
After discussing its requirements with partner CDW and evaluating numerous potential platforms, IHA WIO decided to equip employees with Lenovo 300e and 500e Chromebooks. Built on Chrome OS, the Lenovo Chromebooks can easily be shared by multiple employees, as individual Google accounts provide personalized access to data secured in the cloud.
“CDW recommended Chrome OS for us because it’s an operating system built for the cloud, meaning the devices can be easily shared,” says Eileen Murphy. “And with Chrome Enterprise, we can manage every device remotely from a single point of control.”
Andrew Nault, Director of Business Development at IHA WIO, comments: “The build quality of the Lenovo Chromebooks set them apart from the competition. The Lenovo 300e and 500e Chromebooks are light, durable, easy to use, and competitively priced—everything we were looking for in a laptop.”
With funding from a New York State Department of Health grant, IHA WIO purchased 4,000 Lenovo Chromebooks to be distributed to organizations across the state. Next, IHA WIO worked closely with Lenovo to create a five-minute training video that explained how to use the Chromebooks.
“Some employees had never used a laptop before in their lives,” says Eileen Murphy. “Lenovo helped us put together an instructional video covering the basics of the devices that was clear and simple to follow. Feedback from employees was very positive, and it helped us to get everybody set up quickly.”
Taking rapid action in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
IHA WIO had just rolled out the Chromebooks and launched its online learning program when the COVID-19 crisis hit. Suddenly, the organization had to implement pandemic safety protocols, and nursing and assisted living facilities closed to protect residents.
“Faced with the new reality of COVID-19, long-term care organizations had to adapt fast to continue providing the best care for residents,” says Eileen Murphy. “We developed additional uses for the Chromebooks to enable remote work, allowing doctors and nurses to conduct video consultations, for example, and to connect residents to family and friends who were no longer able to visit.”
Andrew Nault adds: “Using Chrome Enterprise, I was able to change device policies remotely to enable video calls in a couple of clicks. Residents could then use the Chromebooks to stay in touch with their loved ones, which helped to raise spirits during long periods of isolation. And when restrictions were lifted and visitors were allowed back, Chromebooks in kiosk mode were stationed at the front desk to support checkin, prompting visitors to fill out a COVID-19 screening form.”
Demand for these new use cases was so high during the pandemic that IHA WIO purchased 1,000 additional Chromebooks. With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, the organization plans to dedicate more resources to online training.
“During the pandemic, we made a sudden shift from 100% faceto- face learning to 100% remote,” says Eileen Murphy. “Although we will be gradually reintroducing in-person training, online learning is here to stay. The simplicity of the Lenovo Chromebooks and Lenovo’s brilliant training video helped employees adapt quickly to this new way of working.”
Andrew Nault concludes: “Based on our success, we’re hoping to secure more funding to expand the IHA’s online learning program even further in the months and years to come—helping us to continue to support vulnerable people. Lenovo Chromebooks are a big part of what makes this possible.”