Prepare Your Staff For the Future of Digital Care With the Digital Health Academy

No matter what setting or discipline you’re working in, you’ve probably heard people talking about digital healthcare. Since 2018, more than $25 billion dollars has flowed into the digital health sector, funding over 2,000 companies. But despite the digital health wave, many providers have been slow to adopt these new technologies. A 2021 survey saw that nearly 70 percent of surveyed physical therapists were not convinced remote care could complement traditional physical therapy in the future.1

Why are clinicians so hesitant? For one, they’ve been providing exceptional treatment through hands-on interactions with their patients for years—so why fix what’s already working? 

The problem is, this system may not be working as well as we think. One in two American adults report MSK pain each year,2 while the baby boomer generation is aging and consuming more MSK care as they do. Our current system is simply not prepared to absorb this increased demand for MSK care, and providers will need to augment their practice with digital care to keep up.

Another reason clinicians are hesitant is that they are worried that digital tools are going to replace them altogether. However, we think digital health tools should never replace the clinician-patient relationship; they should only serve to complement and strengthen the work the clinician is already doing.

But how do you translate that message to your staff? Solving that challenge is why we created the Digital Health Academy.

Rooted in Change Management Best Practices

If you’ve ever failed a new year’s resolution, you know how hard it can be to adopt a new habit. And for clinicians who have been practicing in one particular way for their whole career, that change can feel impossible. But there are ways to get over those barriers and change behavior. That’s why we rooted the Digital Health Academy in change management philosophy.

When creating this curriculum, we leaned on a tried-and-true change management framework, the Prosci ADKAR model. It was developed by Prosci founder Jeff Hiatt after studying change patterns of more than 700 organizations. “ADKAR” is an acronym for the five outcomes an individual needs to achieve for a change to be successful: awareness, desire, knowledge, ability and reinforcement.3

We developed our digital health education with this philosophy in mind. It starts with our Foundations Series, which includes a few short courses that aim to increase clinician awareness of digital care tools and build desire to use them by showing how beneficial they can be.


Our Foundations Series also includes comprehensive training on how to use MedBridge’s digital care tools. By watching these courses, clinicians will build the knowledge and ability needed to use all of our digital care offerings, including MedBridge Pathways, HEP Builder, Remote Therapeutic Monitoring, and more. 

But successfully using digital healthcare tools isn’t just about knowing how to use the software. It’s also about using digital care to improve the therapeutic relationship. That’s why our Foundations program also includes courses on motivational interviewing and patient-centered care techniques. These communication skills can help clinicians deepen their connection with their patients even when they aren’t communicating face-to-face. 

Making Sure Change “Sticks”

The final piece of the ADKAR model is where many change initiatives fall flat—reinforcement. Reinforcement is critical to successfully implementing a change. We know this because of the Forgetting Curve, “a visual representation of the way that learned information fades over time.”4


The Forgetting Curve represents a concept we can all relate to—any parent who has tried to help their child with their math homework can likely relate to this feeling! But reinforcement seeks to combat that curve. By providing follow-up resources and training over time, you keep the new information top of mind, and help people retain it longer. 

The Digital Health Academy approaches reinforcement in two ways. First, we’ve created a series of short microlearning courses that reinforce techniques for strengthening the therapeutic alliance covered in the Foundations program. These digital health education courses are less than five minutes long, and can be assigned out as a weekly task that clinicians can complete between patients. Each course provides practical tips on things like motivational interviewing, behavioral psychology, and more.

Your organization can even think of this as a monthly challenge. Checking in on clinician progress and encouraging some friendly competition can be a great way to keep digital care top-of-mind across your organization.

For clinicians looking to go above and beyond, they can further reinforce their newly acquired skills with our advanced training and certificates. These programs go much deeper on topics like motivational interviewing and telehealth best practices, providing hours of CEUs while also teaching critical digital care skills.

Start with the Digital Health Academy Today, Thrive in Digital Care Tomorrow

By assigning digital health education content to your staff, you can empower them to provide better care to their patients using digital tools. These new tools are increasing patient access to care, improving care quality, and reducing costs. With the help of the Digital Health Academy, your organization can achieve its digital care goals.

  1. Rausch, AK., Baur, H., Reicherzer, L. et al. Physiotherapists’ use and perceptions of digital remote physiotherapy during COVID-19 lockdown in Switzerland: an online cross-sectional survey. Arch Physiother 11, 18 (2021).
  5. Murre JMJ, Dros J (2015) Replication and Analysis of Ebbinghaus’ Forgetting Curve. PLOS ONE 10(7): e0120644.