With a business centred around enabling healthcare practitioners to effectively learn and demonstrate Quality Improvement (QI) methods in practice, QIC came to HT2 Labs (now part of Learning Pool) with the need to deliver a learning programme that met the following criteria:
• Enabled the optimal balance of both theory-led and practical learning
• To provide learners access to all the necessary tools and learning materials
• To support learners through their learning journey
In addition to these criteria, the project looked to develop a QI ‘practice community’ using the social learning capabilities of the Stream (formerly Curatr) to help facilitate a culture of continuous improvement and cultivate ‘QI Change Champions’.
A persistent challenge faced by QIC was a lack of cultural emphasis on learning and development within organisations, in which autonomous learning is actively facilitated and encouraged within the workforce.
Within any organisation that undervalues or lacks the resources to implement L&D, staff aren’t typically afforded the lenience to attend additional teaching sessions or granted access to tools and resources that help enable a Quality Improvement approach. This especially rings true within healthcare, where time is valuable and inadequate staffing (for any reason) can have serious, in some cases grave implications.
The driving factors behind this cultural deficiency were detailed by L&D Analysts Towards Maturity in the Learning Landscape Survey as detailed in 2016-17’s Learning Benchmark Report; in which the core barriers to learning were found to be a lack of time for selfstudy (59%), uninspiring and unmotivating content (35%), a lack of appropriate learning environments (34%), and a lack of suitable IT equipment available to staff to fulfill learning needs (33%).
Using the Stream (formerly Curatr), QIC were able to deliver quality improvement focused learning material by combining face-to-face learning methods with structured, bite-sized content relevant to the needs of each individual learner. This flexibility allowed the development of learning program that:
• enabled small pieces of theoretical learning to become actionable and practical through incremental steps
• could be accessed from a mobile device to help fit in with employees’ job obligations
• included tools, templates and other learning material that could be downloaded to their devices.
During a 6-week period, learners were able to upload their work and receive feedback from more experienced practitioners who acted as mentors for the programme. This mentor-driven learning structure was augmented using Stream’s extensive social functionalities to facilitate peer-to-peer learning alongside the more traditional ‘topdown’ approach.
Gamification techniques are also deployed throughout Stream to incentivise progress and encourage learners to work through the learning material by recognizing their advancement using experience points, leaderboards and digital badges.
The programme resulted in 8 trainees fulfilling Level 1 & 2 of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) Progress Curriculum, with 2 becoming mentors for future cohorts. The remainder achieved Level 1 of the curriculum, reporting a significant increase in their understanding of the change method taught. Learner feedback showed that successful outcomes were strongly linked to engagement with mentors, as facilitated through the Stream.
Course impact was demonstrated via the creation of ‘Quality Improvement Posters’ by students, who detailed their key learnings when using the Stream platform to supplement their day-to-day, on the job training.
Standing at 40%, engagement and completion rates were significantly higher than the established threshold for continuing new programmes. The London School Paediatrics concluded that the combination of online social learning and face-to-face workshops offers flexibility to their learners, and exists as a more viable option for trainees to meet their long term aspirations whilst maintaining.
Due to the success of this 16-week program, a new cohort of learners has been recruited and began running in October 2018 and QIClearn have just announced a further programme beginning March 2019. On this programme, not only will previous learners become mentors, one previous learner will also join the Faculty team.
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