Hennepin County Medical Center

Hennepin County Medical Center expands remote learning through weekly physician conferences via Mediasite.

Hennepin County Medical Center expands remote learning through weekly physician conferences via Mediasite. Prior to implementing Mediasite, Hennepin County Medical Center captured visiting lecturers and discussion sessions on VHS tapes which were then transferred to DVDs. Looking to increase access and make information convenient for doctors and nurses with busy schedules, Hennepin County Medical Center turned to rich media web communications. The center uses Mediasite by Sonic Foundry to capture presentations for physicians in specific specialties who can benefit from the knowledge of their peers. Because of this, the center is realizing its goal of connecting professionals throughout the Midwest with information exchange, ultimately improving their ability to help patients.

At a glance

  • Continuing medical education inaccessible to personnel with busy schedules
  • Archaic capturing tools unfriendly to users and consumed IT department resources
  • Mediasite synchronizes presentations with accompanying medical graphics, including ultrasound videos and x-rays
  • Collaboration among physicians in varying specialties through expert knowledge sharing
  • New revenue generated through online course registration and expanded distance learning programs
  • Regional community outreach enhanced, improving patient care


Emergency medical personnel at Hennepin County Medical Center host a weekly, hourlong lecture and discussion session that was initially recorded to VHS tapes and transferred to DVDs so medical staff members who were unable to attend the lecture could benefit from the content discussed. This required staff members to check out the DVDs week after week, a process they found inconvenient and cumbersome.

“Doctors were looking for greater accessibility,” explained Timothy Murphy, community health specialist at Hennepin County Emergency Medical Services. “Physicians couldn’t carve out the time to make it to the actual conference, and so it was challenging to get access to the content.”

Another challenge was the amount of time it took to transfer the educational material from VHS tapes to DVDs. The center wanted to combine all of the PowerPoint slides, discussions and various multimedia applications used during lectures, but editing the tapes and DVDs monopolized the time and resources of the IT department.


Mediasite automatically synchronizes presentations with full video and accompanying medical graphics including ultrasound video and x-rays. “Our idea is to engage knowledgeable speakers and build continuing education credits around the program with supplemental reading materials for seminars,” said Murphy.

“We use Mediasite to record physician lectures on topics that are most relevant to our hospital staff and, in particular, physicians in other specialties who can benefit from the knowledge of their peers who are experts in other areas,” explained Charlie Moen, department manager for emergency medical services education. “Now, staff can focus on the content presented within the session rather than worrying about technology issues associated with a VHS tape. Very few of those who watched the presentations even had access to a VCR, and we didn’t want to invest additional money replacing what we already knew was an archaic tool,” said Moen.

Moen says staff members now watch the lectures live or on-demand, and by capturing the discussion and visual aids at the same time, participants find it easier to review complex subjects when their schedules allow.


Mediasite’s unique capabilities opened up new avenues of knowledge for the education team at the Hennepin County Medical Center. The team has found a way to realize its goal of connecting professionals throughout the Midwest, and the information exchange is continually improving patient care. What started as a weekly physician’s lecture series has exploded into an expansive educational opportunity available to both the medical and general communities that doesn’t place a burden on hospital space or interfere with time physicians need to treat patients.

With Mediasite, the Hennepin County Medical Center harnessed a new revenue stream through course registration fees and expansion of its distance learning program. The center partnered with colleges in south-central Minnesota for a new paramedic program that will allow students to view content from home. Via Mediasite, the program will unite paramedics across the region in keeping up-to-date on the latest advancements in training and treatments.

“One of our goals is to attract and engage both professionals and community members in a way that supports the hospital and benefits the Minneapolis area we serve,” explained Murphy. “By using Mediasite, we can now broaden our reach into neighboring suburbs and continue to promote and encourage timely and relevant discussions on medical issues that matter most to our patients.”

About Hennepin County Medical Center

Hennepin County Medical Center is a county hospital that serves 500,000 residents in the metropolitan Minneapolis area. For the past 10 years, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Hennepin Medical Center as one of the top hospitals in the country. More than 356,000 patients visit the primary care and specialty clinics annually.

Its mission is to provide outstanding healthcare services in an environment that promotes excellence in education and research. The hospital was originally founded in 1887 and today occupies five city blocks near the Metrodome. The Hennepin County Medical Center also operates the Family Medical Center in Minneapolis, Hennepin Care South in Richfield and Hennepin Care North in Brooklyn Center.