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BloodCenter of Wisconsin gained 300 FTE hours by reducing instructor-led training for new employees

The measurable impact of Mediware

With more than 1,200 employees at 16 locations, maintaining and documenting compliance with training requirements was a labor-intensive job with potential for error. But since the implementation of Mediware’s KnowledgeTrak Learning Management Solution, BloodCenter of Wisconsin (BCW) has:

  • Reduced instructor-led training by 40%
  • Fully integrated all corporate and continuing education offerings
  • Increased visibility of training needs, completions and past due training
  • Reallocated 300 FTE hours for organizational trainer to focus on other quality issues

Time for change

BCW’s quality assurance team knew there had to be a better way to manage and document training than the system—a combination of spreadsheets and department-specific databases— they had been using for years. Team members also knew they needed a product that would support the center’s continued growth and would be able to adapt to regulatory changes.
In choosing an automated system, the BCW team wanted to:

  • Standardize, simplify and improve the quality of training documentation
  • Provide a central repository for training and competency documentation
  • Provide improved access to training offerings for a workforce that is geographically dispersed
  • Improve management and quality assurance oversight of the training system

They also wanted their LMS to include a course catalog of all training in a single location along with streamlined training offerings to make better use of employee time. In addition, they wanted standard work definitions for training records and to eliminate nonintegrated, department-based tracking and reporting mechanisms for training completions and continuing education credits.

Three steps to success

Before implementing the KnowledgeTrak LMS, the BCW team identified three key steps for the project:

  1. System definition and characterization
  2. Employee status change and Active Directory integration
  3. Import of documents for prior training and competencies

System definition through experimentation

To achieve the first milestone, core BCW team members were given access to the LMS development environment, so they could explore and experiment. This helped them understand KnowledgeTrak’s extensive capabilities and allowed them to reach a consensus on how the system should work for them—which resulted in a training and quality solution tailored precisely to BCW’s needs.

Quality system documents, departmental SOPs, vendor materials, educational materials and e-learning courses were included for online completion. Instructor-led training and competency assessments were managed by the system and deployed in a blended approach, which included online knowledge assessments, electronic records and instructor-led sessions of online material for on-boarding and other situations.

Those experimenting with the system soon realized the importance of establishing a distinction between “training for competence” and “training for awareness.” This would allow the same content to be assigned to staff members with different implications and rigor, which varied according to job responsibilities.

System testing also revealed a need to simplify the processes for requirements management, which was accomplished by grouping SOPs, job aids, training, competency assessments and annual refreshers into task- or theme-based collections that could then be assigned as units.
The system easily accommodated both of these objectives, and with the organizational approach locked down, the implementation process was set in motion.

Easy status change and Active Directory integration

A new company-wide status change process, to ensure that all employee records were updated promptly in BCW’s HRIS system, was the next step. That information flowed automatically to KnowledgeTrak, which, in turn, adjusted employee profiles, reconciled prior completion histories with new requirements and automatically generated assignments to fill any gaps.

Thousands of documents imported

The last step, to support the goal of having two years worth of data available for reporting, was to import documents and historical information. More than 1,200 documents and nearly 13,000 historical records were imported for the initial pilot. An additional 35,000 completion records were imported to support the initial Go-Live rollout to BCW’s 300 collections employees two months later.
Full integration of all corporate and continuing education offerings was achieved within six months of the initial Go-Live. Now, more than 1,200 employees at 16 sites use the system on a daily basis.


By the end of the project, BCW was able to reduce the instructor-led portion of new employee orientation (NEO) training from 2½ days to 1½ days—a 40 percent decrease—and the overall NEO process was shortened by one to three days. This allowed new employees to be assigned to positions that much sooner.

Additionally, with KnowledgeTrak, staff, trainers and management gained increased visibility of requirements due, coming due and needing action. This resulted in improved quality metrics for training completions and past due requirements. This same instantly available information also significantly reduced the time spent preparing for and participating in audits.

Now, BCW’s training and documentation is a streamlined process that’s easy to manage across its 16 locations. And organizational trainers are able to focus more attention on quality issues to ensure that BCW continues to achieve its vision to be “the blood center without equal.” And that’s time well spent.

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