417 Becoming the Perfect Waiter: Athenahealth’s Shift to Experiential Learning

10:45 AM - 11:45 AM Thursday, October 1



Training employees and clients is an ongoing challenge. People are busy. Training is expensive, time consuming and usually pretty boring. Athenahealth has a wide range of clients, from physicians and nurses, to front desk staff, and medical billers. Their schedules are chaotic, they have little time to train, and their focus is on doing what they do best, helping patients. The challenge was in moving from an eLearning-heavy approach to a more context-based, hands-on, just-in-time one to meet the needs of learners in this complex environment.

In this case-study session, you will learn about athenahealth’s transition from a traditional eLearning approach to a more responsive model that focuses on experiential learning and performance support. You will see the changes made in the development process, the implementation of new technologies, improved client access to support resources, and updates to the content and LMS. You will explore both the successes and failures in their efforts to become the perfect waiter, ready to help the moment you need them, but invisible when you don’t.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How athenahealth successfully transitioned to a performance focused training and support model
  • How experiential learning should be the focus of your training efforts
  • The importance of providing support in the moment of need
  • Understanding how you can apply the changes athenahealth put in place to your own training challenges

Novice to advanced designers, developers, project managers, and managers.

Technology discussed in this session:
Kenexa/IBM LCMS, WalkMe, Assima Learning Suite, Jive, Cornerstone LMS, and Adobe Captivate.

Ted Henning

Director of Product Education


Ted Henning is a director of product education at athenahealth. He earned his master’s degree in instructional technology while working as a video game and animation producer. Ted started the training and support department for a small professional software company, and later worked as an instructional design consultant for a variety of companies. Since landing at athenahealth, he has led the team responsible for creating all of the asynchronous client training materials as well as administering the LMS, LCMS, and other training applications. Last year, clients completed over 1.1 million of their courses.

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