The Story Behind Healthpoint iCertify

Healthpoint iCertify offers accessible, affordable training and credentialing for community health care providers

Community Health Care

Community and home health care (CHC) is a viable alternative to hospital or long term care services. CHC is full spectrum, provided for children with special needs, people with physical or mental disabilities, the frail elderly, and those who require palliative care.

Health care is trending overwhelmingly towards CHC. Over the last 10 years, facility care hours have plateaued. CHC shoulders twice its responsibility of 10 years ago. The trend is not surprising.  According to the Canadian Healthcare Association’s report Home Care in Canada: From the Margins to the Mainstream(2009):

  • People generally prefer to receive care at home
  • Population is aging with increased incidence of chronic illness
  • New technologies enable increasingly complex care at home
  • Home care is typically a more affordable alternative to facility care

As a result, people tend to remain at home or in assisted living arrangements even with complicated health care needs.

While health care in licensed facilities are provided almost exclusively by regulated health care professionals (nursing, medicine, dietitians, occupational therapists), the sizable majority of CHC providers are either un-regulated health care workers or unpaid caregivers (family, friends, and volunteers).

This group of caregivers can be responsible for ‘nursing’ procedures (medication administration, wound care, seizure management, and ostomy care) in homes and in assisted living settings often without nursing or medical support close by. Their results tend to be admirable. The challenges to providing exemplary care are formidable.

New Skills Are Needed

With complex health conditions and the infusion of new home care technologies, community health care often requires specialized skills - skills that are often not addressed in basic training programs.

For example, medication administration is often a missing component in the education of health care support workers but it is a vital skill in many settings. Medication errors are a major cause of injury across all health care settings. Beside assistance in activities of daily living, people requiring CHC also need caregivers who are skilled in:

  •     Ostomy care (gastrostomy, jejunostomy, ileostomy, colonoscopy, tracheostomy)
  •     Mechanical breathing support (ventilator, CPap, BiPap)
  •     Alternative nutritional support i.e. enteral feeding via gastrostomy tube
  •     Wound care
  •     Seizure management
  •     Gastroesophageal reflux disease, dysphagia, and increased risk for aspiration
  •     Chronic disease management (i.e. diabetes, heart disease, neurological disease, dementias)
  •     Infection care and treatment
  •     Recognizing subtle changes in a person’s health status
  •     Emergency and contingency care with acute changes in health status i.e. CPR

Public and private CHC organizations struggle with this serious skill gap. Those that invest significantly in caregiver education are often hampered by time constraints and limited resources. Results vary. Only the largest organizations have the resources to meet this need – classrooms, qualified educators and necessary funding. Yet, accessibility challenges with in-class training persist – when do caregivers find the time?

Learn New Skills with Healthpoint iCertify

CHC organizations need an affordable, comprehensive training solution that delivers results. Most are still looking.

Some decide to go it alone, developing an in-house training program. Required resources could include subject matter experts, instructional designers, visual information designers, sound and video capture, graphic artists, classrooms, white boards, web site creators, programmers, content editors and pilot testers. Program delivery, program evaluation and program revisions are resource intensive as well.

But what is an ideal training solution? Criteria for such a program might include:

  •     Full accessibility – anytime, anywhere – requires online 24/7 availability and supplemented by blended learning opportunities (classroom courses supported by online resources)
  •     Affordable – program cost is less costly than in-class courses with added savings in travel time,  time off work (programs can be completed during and after work hours) and    staff replacement costs
  •     Engaging – program design appeals to a variety of learner styles (i.e. visual, auditory), is enhanced with interactive activities and supports a host of media (auditory, animation, video, graphics and text)
  •     Effective – the learning programs deliver results; caregivers successfully complete training programs and competently perform health care skills;
  •     Branded for the CHC organization; the training program can be tailored to the specifics of an organization with the organization logo prominent in every learning activity

Healthpoint iCertify offers such a training solution.

Community health caregivers and organizations can now affordably access engaging, effective always accessible learning programs. Healthpoint iCertify, an established education company with thousands of students over the past 10 years, has combined instructional design expertise, content specialists and educational technology strategies to produce a comprehensive, quality learning solution. Healthpoint iCertify can leverage from a customer base of small to mid-size CHC organizations to make this an affordable training solution