Learning Management Systems

UT Health Science Center Taps SaaS LMS for Compliance Training

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston is implementing a software-as-a-service (SaaS) version of learning management software from Meridian Knowledge Solutions to manage its compliance training. The university's 7,200 users will have access to the Meridian LMS, also known as the Training & Resource Center (TRC), via a password-protected Web site accessible through laptop and desktop computers as well as PDAs.

The university's compliance training consists of courses on HIPAA, environmental health and safety, blood-borne pathogens, and standards related to the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

"Our users not only possess a wide range of computer skills but also have varying amounts of time for training. So we wanted a training system that was user friendly," said Megan Williford, the TRC system administrator. "Some workers simply want to get into the system, take their training, and get out. Others want to explore learning opportunities. In either case, we wanted them to be able to access training with a few clicks."

Williford said the university's overarching goal was to centralize all training across its six schools and several different institutions for research. Prior to purchasing the Meridian LMS, the university's schools had different systems for compliance training and skills and leadership development. With the Meridian LMS in place, the university has one training platform for all registration, delivery, and record-keeping.

The Web 2.0 features of Meridian's LMS include "team rooms," which consist of online forums that instructors and course-takers can use to review basics before the start of a class. A team room combines elements of an online discussion area and a blog.

Williford said it's not unusual for 2,000 people to attempt to access the compliance training at a time. "With the amount of compliance training we do, it's fundamental for our auditing process to have sound record-keeping. Automating this process with a learning management system has taken the burden of tracking off us, and given us time to improve the quality and quantity of our courses." Meridian hosts the university's new LMS off-site.

Other Meridian LMS users include the Heartland Centers at Saint Louis University School of Public Health and the Institute for Public Health Practice at the University of Iowa's College of Public Health.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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