IHS Workforce Development: Going Lean to Understand Needs

Building a Bigger Pie: IHS Workforce Development

Providing the Indian Health Service (IHS) workforce with training and education in important clinical and public health topics is critical in meeting the needs of a population suffering from significant health disparities. Through interviews with multiple frontline staff including nurses, behavioral health professionals, physicians and emergency management specialists, this team deployed the Lean Startup methodology to develop a website prototype that allows professionals to rate and review training and educational material which can be accessed by their colleagues.


IHS Workforce Development: Watch the 5 minute pitch.

Project Summary
Providing the Indian Health Service (IHS) frontline workforce with health training and education is critical in meeting the needs of a population suffering from significant health disparities. The Nashville Area Office of the IHS has professionals working in small, rural, Tribal and IHS facilities across the eastern half of the United States. When these professionals seek information, their problem is not that they are unable to find information, it’s that there is too much information.

This team used Lean Startup methodology to better understand the problem and build towards solution. Through interviews with multiple frontline staff including nurses, behavioral health professionals, physicians and emergency management specialists, the team found that staff is often unsure whether or not certain trainings are worth the time and effort to attend. The team developed a web-based solution that creates a feedback loop from frontline staff to Area Office staff. More specifically, the solution would allow staff to rate and review training and education material shared by Area Office staff. It also provides a mechanism to assess value of information as staff can see the ratings and reviews from their colleagues.

Having completed their prototype, the website is currently under construction with the resources offered by the Digital Services Innovation Center in the General Services Administration. The project will continue to progress and we will pilot test the website with a small group of users with a narrow focus of topics including tobacco cessation, blood pressure, and Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Team Members
John Shutze (Project Lead), Indian Health Service
Bruce Finke, Indian Health Service
Scott McCoy, Indian Health Service
Harry Brown, Indian Health Service

Tim Ricks, Director, Nashville Area Office, Indian Health Service

 

Additional Information

 

A federal government Website managed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W. - Washington, D.C. 20201