The Center for Learning Analytics Research (CLAR) at the University of Phoenix promotes analytically-oriented, research-based, solutions for organizations across multiple industries and knowledge domains. Consequently, the Center promotes opportunities to interact with students, faculty, and alumni communities. In addition to original research, CLAR provides access to timely scholarship and research in applied learning analytics. By facilitating connections between theory and practice, the Center promotes timely adoption of innovative and practical research-based solutions.
One specific example of research focus for the Center is health care operations research and the required analytics to support provider workforce planning in the virtual health space. Although virtual health (VH) visits comprise less than 5% of ambulatory care encounters, the convenience of virtual health visits for some of the most common conditions is driving many health care organizations to develop virtual health approaches that align with "online" transactions in other industries. However, one of the most significant barriers to effective implementation of virtual health programs is the training and development of physicians and Advanced Practice Providers (APP's). The technology, perceived risk in virtual visits, and the high volume cadence of the virtual health workload are some of the cited reasons for provider-related barriers to implementation. As was previously the case two decades ago for higher education and online retail, the assessment of the readiness of the workforce to participate in this modality of encounter is critical for success. Through the assessment of these categories of provider perceptions and others, we offer provider workforce recommendations to remedy common barriers to VH implementation so that health care organizations are able to grow their virtual visits with their current in-force clinical resources. Dr. Daniel J. Smith leads this initiative.