Internet-Based Training for Unlicensed Healthcare Personnel in Rural Communities

Period of Performance: 01/01/2002 - 12/31/2002


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

South Dakota Hlth Tech Innovations, Inc.
Sioux Falls, SD 57103
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


Due to healthcare reforms, nursing shortages and other factors, hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities are using more unlicensed assistive personnel to provide direct and indirect patient care. These activities range from very basic activities such as transporting supplies to very sophisticated activities such as prepping patients. With proper training, unlicensed assistive personnel can be very competent caregivers. Healthcare facilities in rural areas have a particularly difficult time recruiting healthcare professionals and rely heavily on unlicensed assistive personnel. In rural areas the unlicensed assistive personnel do not have access to special training programs delivered by education department personnel in large urban medical centers. As a result nurses in rural healthcare facilities have to dedicate large amounts of their time to train new hires. This take time away from patient care and is costly for the health care facility. The proposed research project would develop and test an Internet-based training program for unlicensed assistive personnel in rural areas. In Phase I, a prototype-training module for "Nursing Assistants" will be developed and tested with newly hired personnel at Sioux Valley Hospitals and Healthcare System and the Good Samaritan Society. Phase II would involve development and testing of an entire training program for a range of unlicensed assistive personnel that would then be marketed to healthcare facilities throughout the United States.