McLeod Health Streamlines Training – Accelerates Time to Patient Bedside

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McLeod needed to streamline their training practices, which were a patchwork of manual methods and disparate software systems that could not scale to meet McLeod’s rapid growth.


  • Ensure that staff is up-to-date on current and certified medical procedures
  • Deliver proof the staff is adequately trained for regulatory compliance
  • Reduce the time staff is pulled away from caring for their patients
  • Provide quality and consistent training for every staff member


SilkRoad Learning; the solution, implementation and support far exceeded McLeod’s expectations.


  • $3.2 million in cost savings in a single course; Basic Life Support accreditation training
  • 88% reduction in training costs
  • Winner of the Quest for Qualify Award from the American Hospital Association
  • 35% increase in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (aCLS) certifications
  • 40% increase in the time McLeod staff was bedside was patients


McLeod Health is a private, not-for-profit institution that prides itself on modern facilities, premier technology, and a dedication to improving the health of the communities it serves. The staff of McLeod is composed of 5,900 employees; with 400 physicians on the medical staff and more than 1,400 nurses, spread throughout its medical centers, home health agency, extended care facility, fitness and rehab facility and 35 medical practices. McLeod Regional Medical Center is located in Florence, South Carolina and has 453 licensed beds, and 40 additional neonatal intensive care unit beds.

McLeod’s mission statement includes some core values; one of these core values is The Value of Quality. This mission requires McLeod to have highly skilled personnel and a spectrum of advanced technology. With 5,950 employees and multiple locations, McLeod needed to streamline their training practices, which were a patchwork of manual methods and non-integrated software that could not scale to meet McLeod’s rapid growth.

Training Challenges

Healthcare organizations face similar challenges when it comes to providing superior patient care. The most important factor is providing high quality training to ensure the staff is up-to-date on current medical procedures. McLeod was using existing software, not intended to support a learning management system. This system housed their training records, but could not support their most basic requirements. As an example, the system allowed for employees to enroll in a course, but could not actually register them for the course; the learning staff performed the registration manually. This resulted in almost 6,000 employees funneling their enrollment requests to 3 staff members who manually registered them for the course, a system where demand far outweighed supply.

In addition to managing quality training, McLeod Health is subject to audits by regulatory bodies; such as The Joint Commission, which is responsible for accrediting and certifying more than 19,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. These surveys require proof that the staff is adequately trained and demonstrates competency using certified methods. McLeod was providing this proof using an in-house developed reporting system that interfaced with their current software; however, this interface required continual maintenance and producing the required reports resulted in hours of lost productivity.

Another challenge McLeod Health faced was pulling staff from their primary care roles into a classroom setting for multiple days to attend a required course. Not only is the staff member unable to perform their duties, but a replacement staff member must be brought on-site to fulfill their duties. Because all staff members cannot physically attend the same class, multiple trainers were used, resulting in inconsistent training between staff members. McLeod wanted to take advantage of online and other blended learning methods where possible to ensure consistency, reduce costs and streamline the process.

SilkRoad’s Learning Solution 

McLeod attended a local HR conference and saw a demonstration of SilkRoad Learning, SilkRoad’s learning management solution (LMS). After seeing the demo, they decided to investigate further and looked at other LMS solution providers. McLeod felt SilkRoad Learning was best suited for their needs; they were especially impressed with the full range of solutions offered with SilkRoad’s Life Suite and the synergistic capabilities between SilkRoad Learning and Performance, SilkRoad’s performance management solution. Additionally, because McLeod Health employs a large number of Hispanic employees; they required a solution that could translate their courses into Spanish, a task currently being done manually by a respiratory therapist. McLeod Health was thrilled when they realized SilkRoad Learning could perform these translations for them. McLeod Health decided to give SilkRoad Learning the “green light” and proceeded with implementation.

McLeod Health was impressed with SilkRoad’s experienced implementation team and how quickly they were up and running; especially because they were able to maintain their training history by leveraging the import feature of SilkRoad Learning. Simply by creating a spreadsheet from their existing system, McLeod was able to upload their existing training history and start fresh with a new training system that was able to report on staff members’ full training records; including both upcoming and previously completed training, this is especially useful when reporting to regulatory bodies. This feature came into use again when McLeod took on the administrative functions for both Loris County Hospital and Seacoast Medical Center in November of 2011, making the transition effortless.

Ease of use was another benefit sited by McLeod that made for a quick “up and running” experience. The intuitive interface was quickly adopted by the staff and required no formal training. Now every employee has made a habit to check “My Training” to get a summary of any upcoming training.

Once SilkRoad Learning was implemented, McLeod was very satisfied with the quality and wide variety of support options available to them.

The support from SilkRoad is fabulous for new users. With LinkedIn user groups, “Mondays with SilkRoad” training webinars, and an actual human answering the support line; we really felt supported and appreciate this level of customer service
– Mib Scoggins, Director of Organizational Learning, McLeod Health

SilkRoad Learning Results

McLeod felt confident facing the challenges and solving the current issues in their learning management practices. After implementation McLeod uncovered a number of benefits from SilkRoad Learning, many of which, they didn’t know existed until they started using the solution:

  • $3.2 million in cost savings, from just one course – McLeod decided to utilize SilkRoad Learning to ensure all their bedside nurses were accredited by the American Heart Association for Basic Life Support (BLS). To fulfill the requirements each nurse is required to take a four-hour class every two years. McLeod was using Instructor Led Training (ILT) to fulfill this requirement, which meant instructor costs, classroom costs and cost for each replacement nurse. McLeod utilized SilkRoad’s e-Learning capability partnered with content from the American Heart Association and were able to host the course online, allowing for a more flexible scheduling method and significantly reducing the costs associated with hosting this class. The cost per student was reduced from $1,186 per student down to $148, an 88% reduction of costs resulting in a $3.2 million dollar cost reduction, and this was a savings for just one class.
  • Won the 2010 quest for quality award from the American

Hospital Association – McLeod believes in providing high quality care, but challenges arise when it comes to proving that quality to outside regulatory bodies. With SilkRoad Learning, McLeod is able to quickly produce evidence of training and certification. When The Joint Commission surveyor asked for this evidence, McLeod was able to quickly respond to their requests using the reporting capability within SilkRoad Learning. After reviewing a sampling of a few staff members the surveyors were satisfied with the results and awarded McLeod their accreditation.

  • 35% increase in physicians with Advanced Cardiac Life

Support (aCLS) certification – Most physicians are not eager to leave their patients to attend off-site training. McLeod had offered this certification training as a full 2-day Instructor Led Training (ILT) course, which required physicians to be away from patients for these 2 days. By replacing the ILT training with a web-based e-Learning course; the physicians could attend the course when they wanted and where they wanted. This flexibility resulted in a 35% increase in the number of physician certification.

  • Significant gains in productivity – The course enrollment and reporting features have saved McLeod substantial time, but another feature McLeod found useful was the granularity in which they could assign courses. Nurses within McLeod are required to complete courses designated for nurses in general; such as hospital safety. However, in addition to these general courses, more specialty training may be needed based on the type of nurse; for example a Hemodialysis nurse vs. an Orthopedic nurse. Because SilkRoad Learning allows you to auto-assign classes using 4 different variables, McLeod is able to assign all nurses general safety training, but assign more specialized classes based on the nurse’s expertise. This saves McLeod hours of administrative time because they no longer have to assign specific training for each individual staff member.

“We never imagined we’d see this level of cost savings by implementing SilkRoad Learning; $3.2 million, with just one course!” said Mib Scoggins, Director of Organization Learning at McLeod Health. “We can’t wait to convert all our courses to an e-Learning format, the cost savings will be in the tens of millions, allowing us to focus on delivering an even higher quality of care for our patients.


  • McLeod save $3.2 million on a single course with SilkRoad Learning
  • 40% increase in time staff was bedside by leveraging e-learning from accredited sources such as the American Heart Association
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