Wellstar Health System is shaping the future of leadership training and development through an initial training program with Moth+Flame, an award-winning virtual reality (VR) provider and technology studio. 

On May 18-19, 2022, Catalyst by Wellstar, the health system’s global digital health and innovation center, along with Wellstar Leadership Development and Moth+Flame hosted the health system’s first-ever VR-based leadership development training, focused on emotional intelligence. Across the two days, more than 100 Wellstar leaders participated in an immersive, VR-powered learning experience to prepare them to lead their teams through ongoing change in the healthcare industry. 

“Partnering with Moth+Flame is an opportunity for us to gain a deeper understanding of how virtual reality can impact the way we care for and engage with our patients, consumers and each other,” said Hank Capps, M.D., FAAFP, Wellstar’s executive vice president and chief information and digital officer. “Our team members are essential in creating curated healthcare experiences, and we hope this initial training will showcase how VR technology can help our team be even more effective, compassionate and culturally competent leaders.”

Studies show virtual reality learners learn four times faster than traditional methods and are 275 percent more confident to act on their training. This initial training aims to validate these numbers with a select group of Wellstar’s clinical and leadership teams to elevate the organization’s leadership development programming. At the end of the two-day training, Wellstar measured an increase in levels of confidence in the material learned and 97 percent of participants reported they would recommend this training.

“We’ve seen that investment in high quality training can improve retention across all industries,” said Kevin Cornish, Founder and CEO of Moth+Flame. “By training in a simulated life-like environment, our product offers employees immersive training that helps them feel more confident. The metrics in Wellstar’s launch show a continued trend that virtual reality is proving to be one of the most effective tools for professional development.” 

“Virtual reality and other technologies can open the door for us to take our leadership and team development to the next level,” said Laura Dannels, Wellstar’s chief talent officer. “These outcomes show us what’s possible when we think outside of the box and embrace solutions from across industries. Our goal is to support our leaders as they guide their teams in creating exceptional consumer and team member experiences.”

Unlike most typical VR experiences, Moth+Flame leverages real people instead of virtual avatars, which helps provide a more profound, meaningful experience for the end users. During the session, Wellstar leaders used headsets and iPads to immerse themselves in scenarios designed to prepare them to guide their teams through moments of change.

“This 30-minute VR training on emotional intelligence was more effective and comprehensible than two full days of in-person training,” said Michael Collins, Wellstar team member and participant.

Catalyst by Wellstar and Moth+Flame were connected through Engage, a first-of-its-kind collaborative innovation and corporate venture platform. Engage brings together industry-leading corporations, enterprise startups and universities with the shared mission of elevating Atlanta and the Southeast as a leading technology and innovation hub. Wellstar is proud to be the only healthcare organization to partner with Engage as the health system works to create new solutions to transform health and well-being.

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