for a

Major Nonprofit Health Organization



Our client is an almost 100-year old nonprofit organization in the United States that funds cardiovascular medical research, educates consumers on healthy living, and fosters appropriate cardiac care to reduce disability and deaths caused by cardiovascular disease and stroke. As America’s oldest and largest voluntary health organization, their purpose is to help Americans live heart healthy and prevent heart disease and stroke.

The organization advocates good health and promotes positive behaviors, nutritious eating habits, and healthy lifestyles. They also fund cutting-edge research and professional education programs that have helped them achieve a 13.6% reduction in deaths from stroke since February 2018.

eLearning to Increase Health Equity Using Scenarios and Challenges 1


The client became aware of CommLab India and its services through our inbound marketing efforts (blogs, webinars, etc.). A stakeholder visited our website and filled the ‘contact us’ form to send us the inquiry. She was our single point of contact, who acted as liaison between the team and the other stakeholders. 

As the course was about healthcare and was primarily aimed at healthcare workers, it was a huge plus in CommLab India’s favor that they had an experienced and qualified medical doctor leading the Instructional Design team.

Added to that was our customer focus, obsession with quality, responsiveness, speed of execution, and 24/7 availability that made the different timezones involved a non-issue.


Health disparities in the United States are disproportionately borne by the poor and certain racial and ethnic populations. Our client is committed to advancing health equity and removing barriers to health through work in communities, scientific research, advocating for healthy policies, and more. 

They wanted to improve health equity in Baltimore (where safety net populations showed a 40% higher age adjusted mortality than the rest of the city) by improving the health outcomes of targeted Baltimore communities disproportionately affected by cardiovascular diseases including stroke, atrial fibrillation, and venous thromboembolism.

How does a major US non-profit organization increase health equity and improve systems of care across targeted Baltimore communities disproportionately affected by cardiovascular diseases?

By launching an innovative community strategy – Community Health in Action – an eLearning course that aimed to increase equity, improve systems of care, strengthen communication channels, and implement protocols to improve access to care through engaging care providers across primary and specialty care.


The project was challenging and exciting at the same time! First, because the requirement was to increase awareness about health inequities in medical professionals, and second, because the target audience was made up entirely of medical professionals. The course needed to be highly informative and engaging to bring about the desired awareness about the health inequities in targeted Baltimore communities in primary and specialty care providers, and lead to a change in how they approached patients who accessed the safety net while being disproportionately affected by cardiovascular disease.

The solution was a 90- to 120-minute course divided into 3 modules, each around 30 minutes in duration. A combination of challenges and scenarios was used to ‘teach’ the content, along with hard facts and statistics to drive home the message. Based on the variety of strategies used, the course, developed in Articulate Storyline 360, could be deemed a level 3 interactive course.

The team that worked on the course included the Head of Instructional Design in the role of an internal SME, a dedicated project manager, 2 instructional designers, 1 visual designer, and 3 courseware developers.

All three modules employed the strategy of interspersing the course with short videos of a professional actor introducing the module, discussing the objectives, asking questions, etc. The first two modules included ‘what do you think’ questions that led to the teaching content and ‘reflective’ questions that made the medical practitioner look back at his/her own experiences while dealing with patients of the communities in question.

The third module was longer and more elaborate than the other two. It employed the ‘case study’ approach where participants followed a fictitious elderly African American female patient with cardiovascular disease as she interacted with the nurses and doctors at a hospital. Participants were asked to take on the role of an unseen observer of the medical team attending her and reflect on how they would act and respond if this were their case.

Here are some screenshots from the 3 modules.


A big challenge in the third module was integrating the three cardiovascular diseases that needed to be addressed (stroke, atrial-fibrillation, and venous thromboembolism) into a single case study. A lot of creative thinking was needed to weave the three different elements into the patient’s story.

Another challenge was the need for five professional narrators in the module – the nurse and doctor attending the patient, the cardiologist, the patient herself, and the narrator who takes the participants through the case study. This, in addition to the professional actor who appears in the short videos in the course. The challenge was in finding the right narrators for all the roles, especially for the elderly patient who was supposed to be sick and suffering from cardiovascular disease.


The eLearning showed proven learning effectiveness and led to an increased awareness among Baltimore’s clinicians about health inequities in the safety net population of the community.


This is what the stakeholder posted about CommLab India.

customer review - case study


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