Is Just-in-Time Training the Missing Link in Your Hospital’s Training Program?

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While we were taught that “to err is human and to forgive is divine,” there is no room for error in hospitals – particularly for critical procedures. A single mistake when administering drugs or operating medical equipment can be detrimental for the patient and the hospital employee.

Not all medical school theory is applicable to actual hospital work. Some tasks need to be learned on the job, particularly  due to new technologies, which have not been added to even the most recent collegiate programs for healthcare professionals. There are also responsibilities which are not frequently performed, so a refresher is required to fulfill them.

This is where just-in-time training (JITT), in the form of micro learning videos, comes in. While the JITT concept sounds new for some, it’s actually already applied in most modern day technologies, including bank ATMs, automated phones, gas pumps, answering machines, and other equipment  that can only be utilized by immediately learning how it works.

Not all technology is created equal, because even similar technologies (i.e. ATMs) don’t function similarly. Every box is programmed differently. Consequently, each instructional guide varies. The same applies to hospital equipment. Although the brand and type of equipment may be identical, there are varying models, each with its own unique functionality.

“Just-in-time training is applicable for various industries, including manufacturing, teaching/education and healthcare.”

Origin and Application

JITT originated in the manufacturing industry. The concept minimizes (if not completely eliminates) production errors because it synchronizes all processes, which are followed exactly when they are needed.

Countless other industries apply JITT; including teaching and education. Just-in-time training promotes active learning, encourages time on task, and enables immediate feedback from students, as well as instructors.


With new technology introduced in medical facilities, it’s a challenge to teach both tenured and novice hospital staff to use them. It’s doubly difficult for new hires, since they need to be masterfully acquainted with every process and instrument present within their assigned section..

Traditional methods of disseminating information can still be relied upon, including training sessions using audio/video, accompanied by written materials. This is because most people learn more efficiently when educational materials are both visual and auditory.. This is why YouTube is not just an entertainment portal; it is also rich with tutorials for just about anything under the sun.

“Presenting new technology and processes can be challenging for a busy work environment. Traditional methods are ineffective, time consuming, and cost more.”

With a busy hospital schedule though, manpower will be affected due to training. It’s ineffective to pull staff off the floor – individually or by groups – for a presentation. Furthermore, electricity consumption can inflate the cost of training in this way.

Another challenge is retention. Information overload will make it even more difficult to remember concepts. While materials can be distributed in the form of printed pamphlets, there is a tendency to misplace such items.

One more concern is the lack of application. Constant usage of an item makes anyone an expert of it overtime; the exact opposite happens when the same instrument is used infrequently. Printed instructional guides on the other hand may not be available during critical times of need, so hospital staff will be forced to seek assistance from a senior member, who may or may not know how to operate devices themselves. The entire scenario not only wastes time, but also has the potential to put a patient in danger.

“JITT helps make hospital staff more productive and effective through accurate, accessible and easily retained information.”


Advantages of JITT

JITT makes perfect sense for a hospital’s training program because it is readily available, exactly when it’s needed. All employees can use the materials without having to seek assistance from other staff members or look for missing instructional materials.

Here are more reasons why JITT is advantageous:


Real-time information is provided exactly when and where it’s needed. There’s no need to cross check with other reference materials, locate missing guides or bother other staff, which means all employees can remain productively engaged with their own tasks.

No need to monopolize everyone’s schedule just to learn something new; everyone can learn about the new technology, device, or hospital process while on the go!


Learning while on the go is not only productive; it’s also more effective. Bite-sized chunks of data are easier to digest than presentations that last for hours.


JITT makes instructions accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. New updates can be easily included and errors can be corrected immediately.


Modern devices, like smartphones and hospital-provided digital display screens are strategically placed to make microlearning videos readily available prior to using any instrument or performing any procedure.


Practice makes perfect. The same applies to medical tasks. Without daily exposure to certain equipment or processes, prior knowledge may soon be forgotten. With JITT videos, forgotten data can be remembered and retained when they’re critically needed.

Just-in-time training is indeed the missing link in your hospital’s training program. These microlearning videos help nurses, technicians, care administrators, doctors and all other medical staff be more productive and effective in their roles.

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