2019 Learning Elite
Texas Health Resources - Daniel Gandarilla
Daniel Gandarilla
2019 Learning Elite Number 8
Learning Is Change
Texas Health Resources pushes innovation and change within learning.
By Eva Mick

Texas Health Resources, a faith-based nonprofit health care organization serving 7 million people in 16 countries, understands that sustainability and growth mean being open to — and even welcoming of — change. To remain the leading provider of health and well-being in North Texas, THR initiated the particularly big change from a transactional health care framework to a transformative model.

This change led THR to update its vision for the first time in its 21-year history. The new vision, “partnering with you for a lifetime of health and well-being,” coincided with the launch of THR’s comprehensive 10-year plan, Vision 2026, which is focused on transforming the patient experience. And in alignment with this new vision and strategy, Texas Health Resources University has implemented a complementary strategy focused on transformational approaches to learning and relationship building — they have moved away from “checking the box” to viewing learning as change.

To embrace this transformational learning journey, leadership buy-in and commitment were key.

One of the ways THRU was able to get that commitment was by establishing a Learning and Education Cabinet, an interprofessional team that collaborates to determine where, when and how to use corporate learning resources. The cabinet, which includes C-suite and other key officers for the organization, established clear goals for learning, including systemizing solutions and avoiding one-off transactional training interventions; optimizing existing resources; maximizing the use of technology; and reducing time spent in required learning.

The core technology used to support learning at Texas Health is MyTalent, the organization’s learning management system. MyTalent houses learning resources made available to more than 35,000 users consisting of employees, contractors, students and volunteers. It provides access to tools for performance development, 360-degree evaluations, goal management and succession planning.

Another area where Texas Health is maximizing technology in learning is through its Resuscitation Quality Improvement Program. The program checks employees’ skills in CPR through the use of technologically advanced, voice-assisted high-fidelity “manikins,” said Meera Ananthaswamy, senior director of clinical learning.

“Previously, when you got checked off, there was no quality assessment done regarding the depth of compressions,” Ananthaswamy said. “You didn’t really know if what you were doing was going to be successful. Having RQI-enabled clinicians is a way to make sure that the compressions have the good outcome that we need, and their skills are kept updated on a quarterly basis.”

Texas Health Resources

Texas Health Resources became the first hospital in the world to implement Resuscitation Quality Improvement, a pioneering approach to maintaining CPR skills. This innovative training program drives patient outcomes by increasing cardiac arrest survival rates 21 percent and saves the organization $250,000 annually in staff training.

Company size: 25,000
Location: United States

One of the key pillars in Texas Health’s learning strategy is value creation. That value is measured by their value equation, defined as quality over cost. The Learning and Education Cabinet aimed to reduce the time spent in training to achieve cost avoidance, said Jonathon Bailey, manager of continuing medical education.

“We quantify our savings in costs we avoided around $256,000,” he said. “We continue to find opportunities to reduce employee time spent in training. That’s an ongoing effort.”

THRU continues to find ways to develop and improve its learning programs, integrating new initiatives into programs that focus on identifying essential needs and how to address them adequately. One of the ways they are doing so is by improving how they view measurement across all of Texas Health, said Daniel Gandarilla, vice president and CLO.

“Looking at how we can use data better, we’re working on a project that can help us identify confidently held misinformation,” Gandarilla said. “We can identify it down to the individual level … so, using that data then to inform how we could provide people customized individualized solutions. All of that relies on data and understanding data.”

Instead of targeting a whole unit or department and reeducating everyone, the program can target refresher training or education to individuals or groups that have the misinformation. Educating the entire department is repetitive and cost defective, Ananthaswamy said.

With so much change happening at Texas Health, collaboration is critical for successful outcomes. “We put ourselves in the middle of a problem and identify who might be impacted and pull as many people together as possible to solve the problem,” Gandarilla said. “We really try to understand the issue and work our way through the issue with the people who are being impacted.”

“When we collaborate, we try to figure out solutions and strategies that are innovative,” Ananthaswamy said. “We actively strive to do that collectively. It’s a unique characteristic of our organization. We intentionally collaborate, and we intentionally seek innovative solutions.”

Gandarilla sees change continuing to be driver in learning in the years ahead.

“One of the first principles that we have is learning is change, and that’s a message we’ve been reinforcing now and will continue to reinforce to close the line from when we learn to actually changing mindset, behavior and attitude,” he said.

Eva Mick is a Chief Learning Officer editorial associate. She can be reached at editor@CLOmedia.com.