University of Central Lancashire launch EHR simulation programme to train the digital workforce of the future

30 Oct 2018

The Department of Health has outlined the need for a digitally enabled training course to prepare the workforce of the future. In September 2018, the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) went live with the first phase of a new clinical simulation programme using EMIS Web to meet this need.

The course launched in September with an aim of training both pre and post-registration students in the use of electronic health records (EHR) through clinical simulation.  Dr Beverley Ellis, principal lecturer in health informatics and co-research and innovation lead, School of Health Sciences at UCLan, believes that the training “will ensure students leave with the skills and knowledge to meet the NHS’ aim of a digital and joined-up service.” She explained that, “The University worked closely with EMIS Health to create a web based system, which met both our criteria and that of the NHS by training a digitally enabled workforce.”

A course for the future of healthcare

The new programme currently gives University staff access to the EMIS Web EHR system in a training environment. In its next stage, the EMIS Web training suite will be available to all students on the university’s physiotherapy, return to nursing and midwifery courses. This ensures that the content can be tested on a mix of new and return-to-practice students. If successful the training will be rolled out across all UCLan’s pre and post-registration courses

Ian Bailey, head of product management and clinical lead at EMIS Health, worked with Beverley to get the programme up and running. A district nurse by background, Ian understands how important it is that the NHS workforce has the necessary skills to enable the delivery of high quality patient care using the most up to date tools and methods. Ian told us, “Working as a district nurse I know first-hand how important this type of training is for anyone working in the frontline of healthcare. For it to be available to students before they go out into real-world scenarios is a huge benefit not just for them as individuals but for the wider NHS too.”

“Clinical simulation training with EMIS Web will ensure that students are fully capable, and know how to approach record keeping in an electronic format.”

Beverley Ellis, principal lecturer in health informatics and co-research and innovation lead, School of Health Sciences at UCLan

A realistic training suite for a compliant workforce

The use of EHR systems has increased significantly in the last decade. This course will help educate students on EHR and clinical systems to properly prepare them for working in healthcare.

“Clinical systems are now widely used across the NHS and are a vital tool for everyone involved in the delivery of patient care.”

Ian Bailey, head of product management and clinical lead at EMIS Health

Replicating realistic scenarios in EMIS Web ensures that students are familiar with how to use electronic health records when they enter the workforce. Beverley explained that, “Lecturers have adapted simulation cases that they’d usually teach in a paper format and embedded these into EMIS Web.” Students, therefore, will have a chance to work through real-world scenarios in a safe and secure training environment.

The project has been designed with The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges professional records standards in mind. These standards will be embedded into relevant teaching materials to ensure that students are compliant with information governance (IG), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and professional record keeping.

Looking to the future

The new programme will help to encourage joined-up working by showing students how EHR systems make it easier and safer to share relevant patient information with other clinicians. Students will learn how and when they can use EHR systems to share data and work more closely with other teams. For example, the course will help to identify when a physiotherapist might link to another clinician by providing an update of a patient. Beverley explained that this will help students to “develop a multi-disciplinary approach to care before they head out into real-world scenarios” vital for the provision of integrated care and support.

“This is a fantastic programme and we’re proud to be working with UCLan to ensure that the NHS workforce of the future has the digital skills and competencies needed to deliver high quality patient care.”

Ian Bailey, head of product management and clinical lead at EMIS Health

With the NHS moving closer to fully digitised and more joined-up healthcare, ensuring students enter the workspace trained in using EHR systems is key. UCLan hopes that this course will really stretch students in regards to what the future may hold and prepare them for what a digital NHS may involve. The course will be evaluated at the end of the year and if successful it’s hoped that the programme will be rolled out nationally.