The Education Fund—a partnership between 20 healthcare industry employers and 6 SEIU local unions to provide education and training benefits for over 100,000 eligible healthcare workers- today announced the results of a new case study on the impact of employee coaching and education benefits. Education benefits – paired with one-on-one success coaching – helped allied health workers develop new skills and advance professionally into higher-wage career pathways, while also reducing staff turnover.
“At a time when talent is in critically short supply, investing in the education, development and success of our people is essential for ensuring the quality of patient care and building a highly-skilled, highly-qualified and engaged healthcare workforce,” said Rebecca Hanson, executive director of the Education Fund. “This is a unique example of how employers, organized labor and educators can work together to drive professional advancement opportunities for workers while also meeting the evolving health and employment needs of communities. It’s a win-win-win.”
Nationally, there are more than 5 million allied healthcare professionals, or approximately 60% of the entire healthcare workforce. Demand for credentialed allied health professionals continues to rise. An estimated 2.3 million allied health workers will be needed nationally by 2025. The Education Fund has for years worked to close these workforce gaps, improve patient care and build a stronger healthcare workforce by providing no-cost education, training and career advice to more than 100,000 eligible workers.
Since 2019, the organization has partnered with student success experts from InsideTrack to maximize educational opportunities for learners by providing them with one-on-one coaching and wraparound support they need to complete training programs. During that time, the Education Fund has seen significant improvements in outcomes with its largest employer partner, Kaiser Permanente. Between 2019 and 2021, graduates from its programs more than doubled, driving significant increases in the number of trained and diverse personnel ready to move into crucial healthcare positions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Between September 2020 and December 2021, more than 2,050 eligible allied healthcare workers received one-on-one coaching from InsideTrack. Across all Education Fund programs, participants have seen their wages increase by an average of more than $15 per hour, and turnover among Education Fund learners was just 4% – one-fourth of the rate for all employees.
Most recently, the Education Fund tapped InsideTrack to provide coaching as part of a new Medical Assistant (MA) pathway program. Enrollment in the program surpassed its original goal by 140%, and 81% of the healthcare professionals who enrolled completed a certificate program in 2020-21 – setting hundreds of workers on a pathway to highly-skilled and higher-paying careers. According to the case study, 84% of MA participants said coaching helped to improve their overall experience in the program, manage time commitments and motivate them toward their goals.
“Attracting, retaining and developing our allied health workforce has a direct impact on real-world patient care and outcomes — and the ability of health systems to deliver cutting-edge care,” said Kai Drekmeier, co-founder and chief development officer at InsideTrack. “This collaboration is a powerful example of how the right education and training opportunities, coupled with personalized employee support, can help to meet the evolving needs of healthcare workers, employers and communities alike.”
For the second phase of this collaboration, the Education Fund will develop its own in-house employee coaching program with training and support from InsideTrack. Over the next three years, the Education Fund will develop a quality assurance program, create capacity to manage a coaching program and implement a “train-the-trainer” model to sustain the coaching program over time.