Alfred Health trains 7,000 staff with a consistent, integrated LMS

Alfred Health is a major public trauma centre in Melbourne with 3 hospital campuses and various community-based services and provides healthcare and health professional education to over 9,000 staff in various roles with a strong focus on clinical education.


The Challenge

After having successfully implemented Totara in 2016, a new challenge came in 2018 with the introduction of a full enterprise wide Electronic Medical Record (EMR) to transition from the existing system to an integrated electronic clinical information system which is critical to the future direction of the organisation and has a strong focus on patient safety.

Everything from patient admission to drug prescriptions and patient observations such as temperature and blood pressure are all directly entered into the EMR system. This required training over 7,000 clinical staff in the use of the new software, complex biomedical devices and relearning processes around patient interaction associated with the EMR. This needed to be accomplished in a very short timeframe of 10 weeks.

As Nerida Bardon, Learning Systems Lead, explains, “There was huge pressure to provide high-quality training to a large number of staff in the most efficient way possible given the limited timeframe. We had to think outside the box in how we leveraged various features in the LMS to support staff through this time.

It was a daunting piece of work given the scope of the project but we believed could meet the brief, particularly as we had just migrated to Totara Learn which had expanded functionality.”

The Solution

The LEX system supporting education for the EMR project

The LMS is integrated with both the IT and HR systems and leveraging this data, the LMS team were able to identify various discipline groups throughout the organisation which were then co-ordinated to facilitate interdisciplinary training for the project. Staff were trained in a cascade with a small group of super-users who then trained other staff with a combination of training types across many locations. Subsequent dynamic enrolments were used to allocate online and face to face training based on discipline area and whether they were inpatient or outpatient based.

Tracking and managing trainer allocation was further enhanced by adding them as ‘assets’ in the system giving the ability to check against room availability for timetabling and rostering purposes which had the additional challenge of negotiating room availability during concurrent site wide building works.

In addition to managing room bookings the Totara system supported tracking of facilitators and rooms to ensure availability and identify potential clashes. Given the challenge the project team had in managing staff rosters with normal shift work in addition to the new training, the LMS helped to streamline many of these tasks.


For staff managers, training completion also needed to be tracked. The simplicity and intuitiveness of Totara Learn enabled them to monitor face to face session attendance and online course completions in a way they hadn’t done previously. Custom reports were designed to allow easy compliance tracking, all of which contributed to the organisational KPI’s for this project.

Static pages, a new feature of Totara Learn and something previously unused in the organisation were also implemented. These were designed to provide shortcuts for managers who needed to directly access regularly visited places in the LMS to grade staff and access reports with the key benefit of being the single gateway to these areas of the LMS.

The Result

For the eTQC project, the challenge was met and the following statistics demonstrate this:

  • 10 weeks training period (end user and super user)
  • 30 unique face to face courses (ranging from 2 day programs to 2 hrs)
  • 84 trainers (with between 1 - 4 trainers involved in each session)
  • 19 training rooms across 3 sites
  • 314 purpose specifically allocated training computers
  • 794 face to face sessions
  • 5823+ staff trained in face to face training (more if you count online training)
  • 3984 session training hours
  • 20 online programs of courses
  • 35 online courses
  • 1 proficiency assessment course

Now all areas across Alfred Health use a co-ordinated approach towards ongoing training with dynamic enrolments in place for employee orientation, and online content updated as new EMR features are introduced. This provides a strategy for continuous improvement where staff can show they are proficient and contribute to the KPI reports on capability across the organisation.

All of this valuable training data is fed into an external reporting system which provides executive level reports detailing how each area of the organisation is progressing and remaining current.

The application of the Totara system in this project has provided a roadmap for the future and paves the way for further expansion of education using different modalities. The project has also shown how the LMS can be used to create new learning opportunities through the encouragement of interdisciplinary training and providing support for future organisational developments.

“The LEX team created an elegant (from complex!) solution of mandatory dynamic enrolments which allowed us to design more relevant and tailored education, both during the training period and ongoing for orientation purposes. Thanks to the LEX team for improving the experience for our clinicians, and ultimately our patients."

Learning and Development Manager for EMR implementation

Alfred Health