The public health and clinical laboratory communities, consisting of more than 860,000 laboratory professionals in various laboratory settings across the country, were at the forefront of the COVID-19 emergency response. Laboratory staff lacked centralized and just-in-time access to necessary information and training on preparedness and emergency operations, testing technologies and protocols, and data management and reporting. The increase in workload for laboratory professionals resulted in increased stress and burnout for the workforce.
The pandemic and these gaps illuminated the importance of connections and dependencies between public health, clinical, and commercial laboratories in an unprecedented way. For a public health agency, opportunities existed to increase the speed of creating and disseminating training tools to laboratory professionals and the testing community.
Guidehouse was chosen to collaborate with a large public health agency to conceptualize, design, and launch a capacity-building community for laboratory education and training professionals in clinical and public health laboratories.
The process included guiding the public health agency’s leadership through strategic visioning sessions to arrive at a shared future-state vision of a unified response to laboratory training needs. Session outcomes were leveraged to define the business requirements of this initiative. Based on the requirements, actionable project plans were created to stand up a collaborative community of practice for those with responsibilities for training and education of laboratory professionals.
To encourage target audience engagement and sign-ups for this network, Guidehouse collaborated with the public health agency to develop a three-phase strategic promotion plan, brand guidelines, and communications material for distribution via the agency’s official communication channels and partners.
Guidehouse then led the development, planning, and implementation of an extensive training needs assessment to identify the most pressing training needs of the laboratory community. Assessment data from more than 300 respondents was consolidated, coded, and analyzed, and recommendation reports developed. These were foundational to the development of new resources and trainings, including live webinars with industry experts, e-learning courses, just-in-time trainings, and job aids.
In addition, Guidehouse led development of the agency’s first open-source learning management system, designed specifically for laboratory professionals and the testing community. Led by a Scrum Master implementing agile principles, the team designed, populated, secured, and navigated approval processes for this system, launched in 2022.
Guidehouse continues to regularly conduct demographic and engagement assessments of the membership via targeted communications and strategic dissemination through partnership channels, trade media, and social media. These assessments allow the agency to develop and implement outreach campaigns to under-served or under-represented groups.
Guidehouse helped the agency:
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