e-learning for healthcare

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:

  1. Stream­line GP accreditation
  2. Asyn­chro­nous­ly assess core capabilities
  3. Train­ing super­vi­sors and assessors
  4. Improve patient consultations
  5. Upskill using short courses
  6. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Phone call record­ing — For GPs doing phone con­sul­ta­tions, we offer an inte­grat­ed call record­ing tool on the iCon­nect platform.
  3. 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

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#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:

  1. Stan­dar­d­is­ing and stream­lin­ing ACP port­fo­lio creation
  2. Giv­ing ACPs a safe and secure tool for gath­er­ing evidence
  3. 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:

  1. Infor­ma­tion about the ACP pro­gram and the assess­ment process they must complete
  2. Down­load­able Per­son­al Devel­op­ment Plan (PDP)
  3. Work­place-based assess­ment recre­at­ed in iCon­nect Forms (dig­i­tal COT, CBD, and CEPs), for use along­side the videos of record­ed practice
  4. Indi­vid­ual safe space to share videos of their record­ed prac­tice with their supervisor
  5. Record of achievement
  6. Learn­ing log for reg­u­lar­ly gath­er­ing infor­ma­tion to share with supervisors
  7. 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.

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#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:

  1. Study­ing the new materials
  2. Run­ning vir­tu­al train­ing and coach­ing sessions
  3. See­ing exam­ples of the the­o­ry in action on video
  4. Prac­tis­ing tech­niques them­selves for self-reflection
  5. Col­lab­o­rat­ing with oth­er course tak­ers by shar­ing record­ings and focused discussions
  6. Get­ting feed­back on their prac­tice from course trainers
  7. 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:

  1. Embed­ded videos (host­ed on iCon­nect or third-par­ty plat­forms like YouTube)
  2. Embed­ded pic­tures and Pow­er­point slides for more inter­ac­tiv­i­ty and knowl­edge sharing
  3. Down­load­able files host­ed on iCon­nect using links (PDF, .docx, .xls, and more)
  4. Built-in assign­ments for spe­cif­ic tasks
  5. Built-in sub­mis­sion forms for knowl­edge assessment
  6. 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.

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#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:

  1. Live-stream­ing sim­u­la­tions for assessment
  2. 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.

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