Nearly 10 years ago, Siemens Healthcare acquired three diagnostic companies, growing its stature in the health care industry as a leader in medical imaging, laboratory diagnostics and information technology. In addition to having a larger customer base to consider, the company had to also look at how it supported, maintained and trained its employees.
As it stood, the cards seemed stacked against Siemens’ learning organization, called Virtual Education Solutions. Its “train the trainer” model was failing — proving costly and ineffective. General skills and proficiencies were on the decline while compliance regulations were increasing, and the learning department’s ability to sufficiently support its clients’ changing training needs seemed untenable.
What’s more, a tremendous technological shift was afoot. Among other things, smart devices were entering the mainstream, and new mobile technology was expanding how and where people could consume information.
To respond to these needs, in 2011 Virtual Education Solutions used its Healthcare Integrated Learning Solution to develop the Personalized Education Plan, a comprehensive, competency-based learning program for the virtual space. PEP offers more than 5,000 learning activities across a wide variety of professional topics, in multiple languages, all accessible through a web-based portal.
It has been accepted by over 60,000 consumers and more than 5,000 employees in the global diagnostic market. With the introduction of tablets and smartphones, however, Virtual Education Solutions would soon realize that to keep pace with the societal behaviors influenced by technology, it would have to go further in how it brought learning to customers.
In PEPConnect, launched in 2015, Virtual Education Solutions created a learning infrastructure flexible enough to meet the changing times and user needs. Through it, learners can access education and real-time performance support wherever they are on any device. The new tool has inspired a 70 percent return rate for additional information and is now available in seven languages for Siemens’ global customers, sales partners and every Siemens health care employee.
For its efforts in developing new, agile solutions to reach an expanded customer portfolio in a continuously shifting technological landscape, Siemens Healthineers is the 2016 Optimas Award Gold winner for Training.