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Spending on Training and Education in Healthcare Dropped Dramatically in 2008; Far Behind Many Industry Segments

Bersin & Associates Publishes 2009 Corporate Learning Healthcare Edition, An In-Depth Look at Learning Trends in the Healthcare Industry

Oakland, CAFebruary 26, 2009 – Bersin & Associates, the only research and advisory firm focused on enterprise learning and talent management, today announced the publication of the 2009 Corporate Learning Factbook: Healthcare Edition. This special edition combines the recently published 2009 Corporate Learning Factbook with a 35-page supplement focusing exclusively on corporate learning trends in the healthcare industry.

The 2009 Healthcare Edition is based on an extensive research survey conducted in 2008 in partnership with Training Magazine, along with in-depth interviews with 11 healthcare organizations. The 2009 Healthcare Edition includes a three-year analysis on learning and development spending and staffing, corporate learning programs and program priorities, use of learning technologies, and outsourcing.

The 2009 Healthcare Edition also includes seven cases in point, brief case studies which illustrate key trends and describe best practices. Banner Health, Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan, Lehigh Valley Health Network, and PSA Healthcare are among the organizations highlighted.

Following are examples of the analysis included in this special edition:

  • In healthcare, per-learner spending has declined by 41% over the last three years, dropping from $923 in 2006, to $707 in 2007, and to $549 in 2008. The per-learner average also declined, but only by 8% over the last three years. Average per-learner spending across all industries was $1,275 in 2006, $1,202 in 2007, and $1,075 in 2008.
  • Staffing to support healthcare development also declined, especially over the last two years. In 2006, the average staff per 1,000 learners ratio was 7.9; this dropped to 7.3 in 2007 and to 4.7 in 2008. The industry average for staffing per 1,000 learners was 7.0 in 2006, 6.7 in 2007, and 6.7 in 2008.
  • Healthcare training and education is shifting toward informal learning, with special emphasis on coaching and mentoring. In addition to being more cost efficient, informal learning is proving to be highly effective in the transference of institutional knowledge and teaching of procedures and practices. For instance, in 2006, the average healthcare employee spent 26 hours per year in formal training, compared to only 14 hours in 2008, while programs to facilitate coaching and mentoring rose significantly.
  • Healthcare provider spending on employee development varies widely. In some cases, high-performing organizations spent almost 200% more on development per employee than under-performing organizations.

“Healthcare providers play a unique and vital role as service providers in our economy,” said Josh Bersin, president. “As the country ages and healthcare research and technology expand, these organizations face tremendous pressure to increase service levels, focus on wellness and disease prevention, and continuously improve safety and quality. Unfortunately, because of cost reduction pressures, we’re seeing tightened budgets for employee development.”

The 2009 Corporate Learning Factbook: Healthcare Edition is designed to provide healthcare executives with detailed benchmark data, trend information, and guidance that can help direct planning and budgeting decisions on employee development. The 2009 Healthcare Edition is the first of a planned series of specialized supplements. Industry-specific research is in progress for financial services and business services. Publication of these special editions is anticipated by June 2009.
The 2009 Corporate Learning Factbook: Healthcare Edition is available at no cost to Bersin & Associates research members. Copies can be purchased for $695. Click here for more information, including a table of contents.  

Factbook findings are also the foundation for benchmarking services offered by Bersin & Associates. Bob Danna, executive vice president of strategic services, and Karen O’Leonard, principal analyst, will conduct a session on the use of benchmarking to increase learning efficiency at the upcoming research conference, IMPACT 2009: The Business of Talent, April 14 - 16, in St. Petersburg, FL. For details, go to

About Bersin & Associates

Bersin & Associates is the only research and advisory consulting firm focused solely on research in enterprise learning and talent management. Bersin & Associates’ WhatWorks® research and research-based services are designed to deliver actionable direction and to help improve operational effectiveness and business impact.
Bersin & Associates research members gain access to a comprehensive library of best practices, case studies, benchmarks, and in-depth market analyses designed to guide professionals in making fast and confident decisions. Research areas include planning and strategy, learning programs and delivery, talent management, technology and infrastructure, and measurement and analytics. Member benefits include in-depth advisory services, access to proprietary webcasts, on-site analyst visits, and strategic workshops. More than 4,000 organizations use Bersin & Associates’ research to guide their talent and corporate learning strategies.

Bersin & Associates is the host of the only research conference on enterprise learning and talent management, IMPACT 2009: The Business of Talent, scheduled for April 14 - 16 in St Petersburg, Florida. This year’s conference features more than 60 senior HR and learning leaders; many sessions will highlight cost-cutting strategies and ways to improve  business impact through innovative approaches.

For more information, go to or call 561 455 0622, ext. 223.