Relias Learning, an online training company for health care professionals, has buttressed its recent expansion into the hospital market with the acquisition of a 61-employee company based in Boston.
Relias, which is headquartered in Cary, has acquired Advanced Practice Strategies for an undisclosed price.
APS provides online training for physicians and nurses who work in hospital obstetrics and emergency medicine departments.
APS’s training offerings “will be among the most sophisticated training we have,” said Relias CEO Jim Triandiflou.
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With this acquisition, Relias has about 580 employees overall, including 370 in Cary. Last summer Relias unveiled plans to hire at least 450 workers in Cary over five years, entitling it to more than $5 million in state and local incentives if it meets its job and investment targets.
Triandiflou said the company expects to increase its work force by about 300 workers this year as a result of both acquisitions and organic growth. He anticipates that a majority of those new workers will be added in Cary.
The APS acquisition is Relias’s second this year and its 13th since 2012, when it was forged from the merger of Silver Chair Learning and Essential Learning. European media giant Bertelsmann acquired Relias in 2014.
Up until six months ago, Relias had no presence in the nation’s hospitals. But with two acquisitions in October plus the APS deal, Triandiflou said, “we have almost 1,500 hospitals as our customers. We’re in about 25 percent of the hospitals in the U.S. now.”
The APS acquisition also fortifies Relias’s “clinical skills building” offerings – that is, training focused on how to provide higher quality health care. About 80 percent of its revenue comes from its two other course offerings: compliance courses that instruct how to comply with various regulations and continuing education.
“It’s an adaptive learning environment that we’ve created” that is tailored to each individual, said John Harrington, APS’s founder and chief mission officer.
APS’s patented GNOSIS tool assesses physicians’ and nurses’ strengths and weaknesses and then provides “content snacks” – modules that can be completed in under 10 minutes – aimed solely at improving those weaknesses.
APS’s Prophecy tool also provides assessments that hospitals can use to hire “the right nurse for the right role,” Harrington said.
APS’s annual revenue has been growing by about 50 percent “and this year should be even better,” according to Triandiflou.
Relias will maintain the APS operation in Boston, but the APS brand is history.
“We will integrate them into Relias,” Triandiflou said. “Our approach is to not have separate business units or subsidiaries. We don’t operate that way.”
Although all 61 APS employees will join Relias initially, “clearly there will be synergies on the G&A (general and administrative) side” that likely will lead to an undetermined number of job cuts down the road, Triandiflou said.