Now used across a diverse range of industries, eLearning has garnered the respect of independent and larger organisations alike over recent years for its adaptability and effectiveness. In comparison to traditional, classroom-based training, eLearning’s chameleon-esque capacity to suit the needs of both teachers and learners throughout the training process has been earning its stripes within the pharmaceutical field. A Pharma Chameleon, if you will.
Culture Club references aside, eLearning has revolutionised training for the ever-morphing pharmaceutical industry. Online learning has provided new means of delivering fast, effective training to staff in an industry with a shortage of qualified trainers, rapid launches of new products onto the market, an increasing need to deliver compliance training as organisations expand, and growing demand for the best value for the training dollar. Here are four of the most impressive benefits of eLearning for the pharmaceutical sector.
1. Instructors, Sans Instructors
In an industry where lives are literally on the line, thorough and effective training is absolutely crucial. Where pharmaceutical companies traditionally had to hire expert instructors to provide training to staff members across all locations, eLearning has allowed for the delivery of required knowledge to all staff in a highly effective manner. Not only can well-designed eLearning courses be used wherever they are needed, as many times as needed, but they now allow staff to learn and practice important procedures in a safe online environment. For example, courses including video and animation can explain and demonstrate the proper use of medical devices or specific drugs, with interactivity and simulations furthering the learner’s understanding without the need for expensive practice facilities.
2. Remain Current
One of the most notable benefits of eLearning is its capacity to suit the specific needs of any burgeoning sector. The relatively short shelf-lives of most patents within the pharmaceutical industry create a need for immediate training on the features of new products for sales staff and practitioners. Well-designed e-learning programs can be easily updated to include new modules for current products, eliminating the need for extensive and expensive traditional retraining. Even more impressive, this feature allows pharmaceutical companies to minimize any dead space between the product launch and staff training – keeping their organisation’s in sync with the industry.
3. Let’s Get Accessible
No matter the industry, your staff will consist of a wide range of learning types (read our blog about some of the many learning types). These learning types and their specific needs must be catered to appropriately when delivering training, or there will be learners at risk of missing the point. The boom of digital learning has provided the pharmaceutical industry with the tools to address the needs of a wide range of learners effectively in order to deliver the safest and most effective possible practices. Firstly, online training modules allow for both multinational and multilingual delivery without the extensive cost of instructors, travel, and translators presented by traditional learning. Importantly, such modules can also be done at the learner’s own pace, eliminating the risk of ‘getting left behind’. Perhaps most impressive, though, is the research by Kineo that has found that bite-sized eLearning modules are effective at engaging learner’s attention, reducing learning time by up to 60 percent when compared to traditional learning!
4. Value for Money
For an industry that spends billions annually on training, eLearning has acted as a support of cost-saving over recent years. Because it can be accessed any time and anywhere by pharmaceutical staff, online training modules allow for flexible learning schedules with minimal interruption to regular work. According to a Brandon Hill study, delivering interactive learning requires 40 – 60% less employee time than if the same content was delivered in a classroom setting, massively reducing workplace absence. Even more impressive, a similar study by IBM found that every $1 spent on e-Learning results in $30 in productivity gains!
Eliminating the need for face to face instructors and allowing for as many uses as necessary, eLearning is a highly cost-effective investment for pharmaceutical organisations looking for the best value for their training dollar.
For the pharmaceutical industry, where correct and timely training is so important, eLearning has promoted effective, performance-driven results through innovation. Those organisations within the sector that have embraced online learning have created cultures of skilled employees and met with high global standards, according to a survey conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development which found that 60% of pharmaceutical organisations have increased their use of e-learning in the past two years. Whether it’s the proper use of medical equipment, descriptions of new drugs, best practices, or even compliance training, eLearning allows the depth of understanding that is absolutely crucial to those in the pharmaceutical industry.
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