The transformation of healthcare workforce development has accelerated in recent years, with interesting new initiatives being regularly introduced to the market.
From new ways of qualifying GPs using the Recorded Consultation Assessment (RCA), to remote supervision and feedback processes saving healthcare professionals time and increasing capacity like never before.
In this article, we’ll look at how video technology has permanently changed e‑learning for healthcare — and why more practices should embrace these changes to improve workforce development across the board.
6 Ways e‑learning has transformed healthcare
e‑Learning has hugely impacted workforce development, particularly since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Investments into e‑learning for healthcare has helped:
- Streamline GP accreditation
- Asynchronously assess core capabilities
- Training supervisors and assessors
- Improve patient consultations
- Upskill using short courses
- Enhanced simulation opportunities
Let’s look at each of these to understand exactly how e‑learning using video impacts workforce transformation and helps to improve learning and development in healthcare.
#1 Streamline GP accreditation
Since GP accreditation continued throughout the pandemic, the Royal College of General Practice (RCGP) needed to pivot towards a remote assessment model.
Referred to as the Recorded Consultation Assessment (RCA), GPs are required to record consultations, both in-person and remotely.
These recordings are uploaded to the RCGP submissions portal for assessment.
How e‑learning helps to streamline GP accreditation
Since the RCA is a video-based assessment, GP trainees can use video to practice their consultation skills ahead of their submission date.
Trainees can also choose the best examples of their recorded practice for submission to the RCGP.
Here’s how iConnect helps GPs streamline their accreditation process:
Easily record consultations
First, GPs need a secure, quick, and easy way of capturing their practice, both in-person and online:
- Mobile app — The GDPR compliant iConnect app is installed on GP’s mobile devices and used in consultations to securely record and upload sessions to our platform.
- Phone call recording — For GPs doing phone consultations, we offer an integrated call recording tool on the iConnect platform.
- Screen capture — If GPs are required to use a third-party platform like AccuRx for their online consultations, we provide a tool for recording their computer screen.
All of which is automatically uploaded to our secure platform for evidence-based remote skills development purposes.
Share recordings for e‑learning
To help GPs develop their skills, they share recordings with trainers for asynchronous feedback. This way, trainers aren’t required to schedule time with GP trainees for observation.
Trainees can record consultations whenever they find an opportunity, and trainers can watch and provide feedback when they find a gap in their schedule.
If a trainee is struggling with a particular area of their practice, trainers can send recorded examples of best practice for them to use as reference.
Trainees also have the option of sharing recordings with their peers to allow for a more collaborative approach to GP training.
Qualitative feedback using comments
Since GP trainers and trainees have busy schedules, it’s important to allow for remote, asynchronous collaboration.
Using time-stamped comments for contextualised feedback and ongoing professional dialogue, trainees can ask questions about very specific aspects of their practice, and receive actionable qualitative feedback from their trainers.
Without having to schedule time together, or even be in the same geographic location, which affords efficient use of resources.
Time-stamped comments have significantly influenced the way e‑learning is conducted in healthcare.
What are time-stamped comments?
Time-stamped comments are used for capturing qualitative feedback that is intrinsically linked to recorded practice. Feedback is contextualised by simply clicking on the comment, moving the video cursor to the exact moment in the recording where that comment was created.
Transfer recordings to the RCGP portal
When the time comes for GP trainees to submit their recordings to the RCGP for assessment, iConnect lets them choose the best examples of their practice for submission.
Once permission is granted, trainees can export recordings from the iConnect platform to be uploaded to the RCGP portal.
Combining formative e‑learning for healthcare professionals with summative assessment processes like the RCA creates a much more streamlined approach to healthcare accreditations.
If you’re interested in GP accreditation, take a look at our case study where we worked with Health Education England to support their GP re-accreditation processes.
“We wanted a system that was going to be high quality, good sound quality, that enabled videos to be used very routinely and reduced the amount of time it took trainers to set-up. iConnect has done that in every aspect. It’s taken the stress of technology away from the recording of consultations. It’s made recordings able to be about learning and how consultations can be improved.”Dr James Burden, GP Trainer
#2 Asynchronously assess ACP core capabilities
One of the ways technology is helping in healthcare is by expanding the NHSs capacity.
The multi-professional Advanced Clinical Practice (ACP) framework aims to upskill healthcare professionals from fields such as nursing, pharmacy, paramedics and occupational therapy, through CPD Masters’ courses for enhanced capacity, capability, productivity and efficiency in providing patients’ care.
As part of their qualification requirements, ACPs are required to build a portfolio of evidence showcasing their skills, which are assessed by ACP Supervisors using workplace-based assessments like Consultation Observation Tools (COTs) and Case-based Discussions (CBDs).
Existing processes take a very manual approach, relying mainly on in-person observations and paper-based assessments.
How e‑learning has improved the core capabilities assessment for ACPs
The three problems we needed to overcome were:
- Standardising and streamlining ACP portfolio creation
- Giving ACPs a safe and secure tool for gathering evidence
- Enabling supervisors to observe and assess ACPs without scheduling time together
Video-enabled learning has addressed all of these issues, providing ACPs with far more support during their developmental period and saving supervisors time when working with ACPs.
Here’s how iConnect is supporting the ACP initiative:
Automatically create individual portfolios using Groups
When ACPs join iConnect, they’re immediately added to an onboarding Group explaining the portfolio creation process.
What are iConnect Groups?
Groups are collaborative spaces on the iConnect platform where users can access learning materials and skills assessments in the form of embedded videos, slideshows, downloadable documents, forms, discussion boards, and more.
From this onboarding Group, they create their own portfolio Group at the click of a button.
This Group can only be accessed by the ACP themselves and their supervisor who’s added to their portfolio Group.
The portfolio Group contains:
- Information about the ACP program and the assessment process they must complete
- Downloadable Personal Development Plan (PDP)
- Workplace-based assessment recreated in iConnect Forms (digital COT, CBD, and CEPs), for use alongside the videos of recorded practice
- Individual safe space to share videos of their recorded practice with their supervisor
- Record of achievement
- Learning log for regularly gathering information to share with supervisors
- Questionnaires and forms — Recording consent form, multi-source feedback form, and person satisfaction questionnaire
Everything an ACP needs to develop a comprehensive portfolio of evidence, stored safely behind the GDPR compliant iConnect platform for submission when needed.
Recreate workplace-based assessments and provide feedback using iConnect Forms
Using iConnect, ACPs can easily record their practice in-situ to share with their supervisors for training purposes.
What are iConnect Forms?
Forms on the iConnect platform are pre-created rubrics used for quantifiable assessment of practice using 5 different types of metrics. Forms allow data to be displayed graphically using charts and graphs to quickly understand data, or be exported into .csv documents for use elsewhere.
Recreating assessment rubrics (like COTs and CBDs) on iConnect lets you gather objective, and quantifiable practice data.
This data helps ACPs identify areas of improvement, but also helps supervisors understand where an ACP needs support.
Supervisors can then asynchronously (in their own time) watch the ACPs practice back and provide both qualitative and quantitative feedback.
Qualitative feedback using time-stamped comments allow ACPs and their supervisors to have focused and evidence-based professional dialogues without having to schedule time together.
Quantitative feedback is given using iConnect Forms, showing ACPs exactly which areas of their practice need improving.
These Forms can also be used across multiple ACPs, giving ACPs and their supervisors a clear indication of where they are based on wider organisational data.
Click here if you want to know more about how we’re supporting supervised ACP portfolios.
#3 Training ACP supervisors and assessors
One of the issues we’re addressing using video is standardising assessment criteria.
More specifically, we’re working with ACP supervisors to reduce inconsistencies and ensure all ACPs receive a fair assessment of their core capabilities.
The goal is to increase inter-rater reliability when using workplace-based assessment tools like COTs, CBDs, and CEPs (Clinical Examination Procedures).
How e‑learning supports healthcare supervision and assessment
Improving supervision and assessment starts by setting the standard for ACPs.
Namely, supervisors must agree on the level of competence ACPs require for each core capability. If 4 out of 5 supervisors rate a particular skill as “Needs further development”, then it’s important for the 5th supervisor to understand the reason for their discrepancy and adjust their rating accordingly.
This way, regardless of where an ACP is located or who their supervisor is, they’ll receive a fair assessment of their skills based on a widely agreed upon level of competence.
Here’s how this process works in detail:
Supervisor joins collaborative Group on iConnect
ACP supervisors are invited into the iConnect Group where they collaborate and discuss specific cases.
This collaborative Group consists of videos of recorded practice with the iConnect Forms (workplace-based assessments) already attached.
Below the video is a discussion board for each area of practice being assessed where supervisors can compare their conclusions.
Assess and compare outcomes
Once supervisors are added to the collaborative Group, they can assess the shared video recording using the same Form (rubric) of assessment criteria they’d use for their ACP.
iConnect Forms allow for inputs from multiple people, so supervisors can see exactly how their marking of the sample video compares to others in the group.
If there’s a discrepancy in the assessment data, supervisors use the discussion board to understand how others are looking at and considering capabilities compared to themselves.
This process of standardising competence levels supports supervisors in their training roles and ensures ACPs receive a much fairer outcome on average.
#4 Improve patient consultations
E‑learning offers incredibly powerful and flexible developmental opportunities for improving patient consultations.
Video-enabled training in particular has been a key factor because it’s non-intrusive and reusable.
Healthcare professionals can record live patient interactions in consultation rooms or wards, online consultations over platforms like AccuRx, or even phone consultations — all from within the iConnect platform.
How e‑learning improves patient consultations
Observation and feedback in healthcare has traditionally required trainers and trainees to be in the same room during the consultation.
In-person observation and feedback is limited by time and space and it’s open to cognitive biases as well as the Hawthorne effect, where the participants aren’t necessarily behaving the way they normally would in a real situation without the presence of an observer.
Here’s how iConnect improves patient consultations:
Capture “real practice” for useful feedback
Allowing healthcare workers to record their consultations using a discreet and secure app on their phone or tablet without an actual observer present can reduce the Hawthorne effect.
This way, trainers/supervisors get a more authentic experience of the consultation on video which they can use to provide evidence-based feedback and an opportunity for trainee’s reflection on their practice
Videos of real practice are also great to use as learning resources for new trainees or those focused on improving something specific in their skills.
Create showreels of best practice
Video allows repurposing of recordings for training as needed.
If a trainer/supervisor or a trainee manages to capture great examples of practice, these can be turned into valuable training resources.
Showing trainees examples of best practice in their own context (same hospital or practice, same staff, same patient, etc.) gives them something realistic to strive for.
With iConnect, relevant video clips can be collated into showreels.
These showreels can also be shared more widely across multiple locations within our secure platform, creating an extremely useful and growing training resource.
Get second opinions on complicated symptoms
Another great use of video in a clinical setting is getting second opinions on patients presenting complicated sets of symptoms.
Securely sharing a recorded clinical consultation and using time-stamped comments to collaborate with peers can increase the effectiveness of healthcare professionals, be it doctors, nurses, therapists etc.
A great example of how remote asynchronous collaboration can improve the overall quality and capacity of healthcare provision in the NHS.
#5 Upskill using short courses
Upskilling staff can be chaotic if you’re using a collection of separate platforms or a combination of technologies which might be costly and difficult to navigate.
Using Groups on the iConnect platform, specialists can create tailored learning experiences for knowledge sharing and skills assessment.
Allowing healthcare workers access to collaborative groups where they can both access knowledge and resources, as well as receive feedback inline with the training material is extremely valuable.
How e‑learning supports short courses
Short courses with specific outcomes are a great way of training staff who might want additional specialty skills.
To keep the process straightforward for trainees, we’ve kept everything on iConnect so they never have to leave the platform for any part of the short course.
Staff can use the same platform for:
- Studying the new materials
- Running virtual training and coaching sessions
- Seeing examples of the theory in action on video
- Practising techniques themselves for self-reflection
- Collaborating with other course takers by sharing recordings and focused discussions
- Getting feedback on their practice from course trainers
- Receiving a completion certificate for their efforts
Here’s how we’re supporting short courses in facial therapy:
Record course material with iConnect
Learning materials for a facial therapy course we’re currently supporting consists of multimedia content, including video, digital written, and downloadable resources.
Course creators use our recording app, screen capture, and video-conferencing tools to record theory and practical demonstrations of skills.
What are iConnect Rooms?
Rooms on the iConnect platform is our built-in video conferencing tool, allowing for secure video calls with staff members. These collaborative sessions can be recorded and saved as learning resources to be used later on.
No need for transferring video files across platforms or editing videos with third-party applications.
Create structured courses using Groups
iConnect Groups allow course creators to build out their learning and assessment materials using Group pages.
In addition to written text, courses consist of:
- Embedded videos (hosted on iConnect or third-party platforms like YouTube)
- Embedded pictures and Powerpoint slides for more interactivity and knowledge sharing
- Downloadable files hosted on iConnect using links (PDF, .docx, .xls, and more)
- Built-in assignments for specific tasks
- Built-in submission forms for knowledge assessment
- Embedded discussion boards to encourage interaction and collaboration between participants, e.g. medical students
Groups have proven extremely useful for quickly and easily creating interactive, video-enabled courses.
iConnect also does a great job of managing student access to courses using advanced permissioning protocols.
#6 Enhanced simulation opportunities
Providing sufficient clinical simulation opportunities to medical students can be challenging.
Simulations are typically limited by access to the simulation lab, or by scheduling conflicts and trainer availability.
iConnect solves this problem by creating what we call “pop-up simulation labs”.
How e‑learning supports clinical simulation
There are two main ways iConnect is supporting clinical simulation:
- Live-streaming simulations for assessment
- Recorded simulations for training and collaboration
Giving medical students access to iConnect for in-situ simulation training provides far more flexibility and control over their clinical skills development.
Here’s how video-enabled simulations are supporting medical students right now:
Live-streaming pop-up simulations
Until recently, all simulations have taken place in a simulation lab.
This limits the number of simulations you can run within a given period of time because staff are forced to use the same facilities and video equipment.
With iConnect, medical students can run in-situ simulations and live-stream this to a monitor in an observation room.
The platform also allows for two-way communication, where trainees can receive live feedback from trainers using an ear-piece.
Recording live simulations for training purposes
Rather than simply using video equipment for live-streaming simulations for assessment, we take the opportunity to record these sessions to use as training resources.
When recording what we refer to as “real-practice”, trainers can use qualitative feedback in the form of time-stamped comments to point out the “do’s and don’ts” of practice and share these recordings with new trainees ahead of their own simulation sessions.
Trainers can also use iConnect to share examples of their own best-practice, providing medical students with clear goals to strive for in their own practice.
To keep these resources organised and provide staff a structured learning pathway, trainers use collaborative Groups to gather students together on the platform where learning materials can be curated in a desired structure, as well as discussed remotely and asynchronously using discussion boards.
iConnect has been a leading partner in e‑learning for healthcare since 2016. We support effective and efficient professional development at all levels, including experienced professionals, trainees and medical students from all areas of medicine, from GP accreditation to clinical in-situ training and course creation.
Helping the NHS expand their workforce capacity while improving the quality of support healthcare professionals receive throughout their early careers.
We’re constantly evolving the iConnect platform to make the learning and development process in healthcare more accessible and scalable in a time where demand for healthcare workers has never been higher.
If you’d like to know how we can help you improve and support your healthcare training, get in touch for a free consultation today.