The Association for the Healthcare Environment (AHE) soon will be changing the face of education for environmental services (ES) leaders. Later this year, AHE will announce “EXPRESS: AHE on the Go,” a new mobile learning platform.
EXPRESS: AHE on the Go will offer 10- to 15-minute, bite-sized podcasts that feature relevant, up-to-the-minute, late-breaking news and information. This essential information will help to equip ES leaders for the implementation of best practices with the goal of preventing health care-associated infections. Specifically, this learning platform will offer specialized information about infection prevention and evidence-based cleaning practices.
EXPRESS: AHE on the Go will present relevant knowledge on one topic at a time for a shorter period of time. This is beneficial because it presents less information to retain at one time and offers a greater opportunity for reflection — a key aspect of learning.
Because of innovative thinking in the area of adult professional education, individuals are empowered to direct their own learning. The rise of massive, open online courses and self-directed learning have changed the landscape of education, which is no longer restricted to a classroom nor requires a professor. Learners can use a variety of personal devices to interact with peers, watch videos, listen to audio or even take assessments.
With the advent of smartphones, laptops and tablet computers, learners can connect anywhere to access educational information. A commuter train or a cafe can become a classroom through the use of mobile education. In addition, information presented in a mobile platform can be accessed at any time, including the moment when the information is needed. This allows mobile educational platforms to serve as both instruction and as a powerful resource.
With this new educational environment, each person has the opportunity and responsibility to become a lifelong learner. Learning happens in many ways throughout our lives and it is necessary to connect with learners using multiple modalities including mobile, online and offline resources.
This is an exciting time in the field of ES. At no other time in history has the ES leader been able to educate himself or herself in so many ways. In the volatile and ever-changing world of health care, ES leaders must never disengage from the learning process. To remain relevant and provide the best leadership, they, like all health care leaders, must continually network, contribute and invest in their own professional development, always looking for ways to improve their skills and expand their knowledge.
EXPRESS: AHE on the Go is just one of AHE’s exciting new educational programs being offered this year. It’s one of the ways AHE is putting ES leaders in control of their education and development. EXPRESS: AHE on the Go will be regularly updated with fresh content to keep ES professionals abreast of new developments, technology and best practices. Look for EXPRESS: AHE on the Go podcasts to be introduced in the near future.
Valuable resources available
AHE represents, defines and advances the professionals responsible for care of the health care environment to ensure high-quality outcomes and healthy communities. Following are a few of the resources that AHE offers.
• Recommended Practice Series: Environmental Services Equipment and Supplies. The equipment and supplies covered in this booklet are essential, discrete components of safe, efficient and productive environmental services (ES) operations. For more information, go to www.ahe.org/ahe/learn/tools_and_resources/publications.shtml.
• Benchmarks and other Metrics for Effective Linen Management. This webinar looks at metrics such as processing and replacement costs, pounds per adjusted patient day, total cost per pound and labor-distribution cost per pound to help you assess and evaluate the cost-effectiveness of your program. To access it, log on to www.ahe.org/education.
• AHE Environmental Sustainability Certificate Program. AHE has launched a new certificate program to acknowledge the ongoing and outstanding environmental and ecological sustainability efforts of ES departments. For more information on the program, go to www.ahe.org/ahe/lead/environmental_sustainability_certificate_program.shtml.