Professional Development, Employee Satisfaction, and Quality of Care

Professional Development, Employee Satisfaction, and Quality of Care

How does the investment in professional development (PD) and continuing medical education (CME) opportunities bring value to institutions?

LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce Learning Report revealed that nearly all employees (93%!) would remain loyal to workplaces that actively supported their career development. (1)

In their 2017 paper, Bukhari and colleagues also cited several studies demonstrating the connection between lower turnover and making investments in the training and development of human resources in healthcare. (2)

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

While most employers will agree that staff turnover is one of the biggest business threats, there are consequences in addition to lost profitability when this occurs in healthcare settings. The loss of knowledge and expertise both role-related and of the institution, lowered morale in remaining staff, and general upheaval as the vacated role is filled can all contribute to a lower quality of care and compromised patient safety. This can further attract negative publicity for affected healthcare institutions. (2)

Where once such PD opportunities were few and far between, it is now well known that companies and institutions risk losing out on the hiring and retaining of top job candidates without them. Deloitte’s 2017 Human Capital Trends Report concluded the provision of growth opportunities was key in improving employee experience and retention. (3)

Simulation-based Training – A Solution

Simulation-based Training and Education (SBT, SBE respectively) is arguably the most effective and efficient strategy in delivering PD and CME opportunities alongside workplace  demands, most recently demonstrated by its immense success in meeting educational demands during the COVID-19 crisis. (4)


Furthermore, a systematic review on SBT concluded:

“Simulation-trained participants showed superiority in surgical performance in comparison with untrained surgeons. The operation time, accuracy, incidence of intraoperative errors, and postoperative complications were statistically better in the simulation-trained group in comparison with the conventional-trained group.” (5)

SBT allows for safe and ethical skill development in controlled lab environments, with less reliance on human resources like willing and available supervisors, and/or consenting patients. This is especially important while training during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Trainees can practice repeatedly until competency is reached, improving technical skill, confidence levels, experience in a range of scenarios and complications.

Importantly, Bukhari et al. concluded that the ‘advancement opportunity’ offered by simulation training was of such significance that it was estimated to protect against the loss of one nurse and one MD in a typical hospital setting. (4)

After calculating the annual cost saving ($USD) of retaining the two to be $197,500, and therefore $790,000 over the 48-month implementation period of a $391,600 simulation program, the ROI for SBT in hospitals was determined to be 101.7% on this factor alone. (4)

To conclude, simulation-based training and education in healthcare settings can strategically improve employee satisfaction and retention, as well as delivering a better quality of training that ultimately translates to improved patient safety.