Parata Systems provides pharmacy technology solutions that empower pharmacists to help people lead healthier lives. Founded in 2001, Parata offers the most extensive pharmacy automation portfolio in the industry—designing, building and supporting both vial-filling and pouch-packaging solutions.
When a pharmacy using a Parata vial-dispensing machine wants to swap out one medication for another in the machine, that individual medication’s plastic “cell” is removed from the machine to make room for the new cell with the new medication. Despite an easy process for pharmacies to return used cells to Parata for refurbishment, Parata realized that a large number of used cells were not being returned, incurring costs to all parties.
Parata began a Cell Reclamation Initiative, which sought to train Parata Field Service Engineers to recover used cells from pharmacies during their standard on-site service visits. For this initiative to be successful, Field Service Engineers needed to be trained in a new set of skills and procedures for introducing the concept to pharmacists and following through with the actual cell recovery. One challenging aspect was that Parata wanted Field Service Engineers to be trained immediately, but Field Service Engineers are remote employees located across the country and have minimal time in their day to devote to training.
Parata worked with Talented to develop custom, true-to-life scenarios in which Parata field service engineers practice and apply cell reclamation skills and procedures for on-site visits to pharmacies. Over the course of one week, Parata learners played through a series of three- to five-minute scenarios on their mobile device that simulated a variety of contexts and situations that required nuanced application of the skills and procedures being taught, including:
- Introducing the initiative to pharmacy professionals who often don’t understand the rationale for cell recovery,
- Locating potential sources for used cells to be recovered, and understanding when cell recovery is not appropriate,
- Packing and shipping used cells back on behalf of the pharmacies,
- Logging cell reclamation activities in Parata’s CRM.
In addition, Talented used metadata tagging of scenario interaction points to help Parata pinpoint individual-level and cohort-level strengths and weakness so that Parata could refine procedures and target individual learners for follow-up support.
“I was impressed with how scenario-based training helped me absorb the content,” stated one Parata employee enrolled in the micro-course. “I think it is a good training method because I can apply what I learned to different situations.”
In fact, the data on learner engagement is impressive:
- 100% of people surveyed reported high engagement.
- 96% of all micro-course activities were completed, with an average of 26 minutes of practice time.
- 73% of people surveyed reported implementing the new skills and procedures into their work immediately (the remaining 27% reported that they had either not yet had an opportunity to use the skills in their work, or had already been using the skills).
In the days and weeks after training, Parata reported to Talented that their employees were not only using the new skills and procedures, but that it was positively impacting their bottom line. In addition, Parata was able to refurbish used cells instead of needing to produce more new cells, resulting in a positive environmental impact as well.
“The Talented format is very refreshing,” says Cathi Loftin, Vice President of Human Resources at Parata. “In a few short weeks we developed, launched and received actionable results to support the success of our Cell Reclamation project. When employees say they ‘…enjoyed the training…’ and then tell you how they used what they learned, you know you are doing something right. I can’t wait for the next opportunity to develop a micro-course with Talented!”