Following a rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in autumn 2020, the resultant pressures on general medical wards galvanized the simulation education team at a London teaching hospital to create a multi-disciplinary educational programme aimed at ward staff caring for the surge in COVID-19 patients. This was especially important in the context of rapidly evolving clinical guidance and recognition of the importance of human factors in re-deployment of staff, thus a multimodal educational project was initiated to develop ward staff knowledge and human factors skills.
The aim of the study was to ascertain the effectiveness of the multimodal COVID-19 educational project in improving ward staff knowledge and human factors skills.
In October 2020, the team began creating the project – comprising e-learning to improve staff knowledge, in situ
simulation training and an in-centre human factor course, all based around the care of patients with COVID-19. With rising COVID-19 cases and subsequent suspension of face-to-face teaching, an online format for the human factors training was created incorporating scenarios from the in situ
simulation. Data were collected via SurveyMonkey with pre- and post-surveys for each facet – six key learning outcomes for e-learning and the Human Factors Skills for Healthcare Instrument (HuFSHI) for the other elements – with free-text boxes for qualitative feedback.
e-Learning surveys were completed by 108 learners with a significant difference (p < 0.01) in self-reported pre- and post-survey scores across the six domains. Learners demonstrated mean improvements across all areas of the HuFSHI for the in situ
(N = 9), human factors course (N = 15) and online format (N=46). Results were comparable between face-to-face and online formats. Learners found all formats useful (e-learning 99%, in situ
100%, human factors 100%, online 98%).
Implications for practice:
In a limited time frame, the simulation education team implemented a multimodal educational project that improved both ward staff knowledge and human factors skills amidst the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, following restriction of face-to-face delivery, the project was successfully converted into a purely online format. This ability to be flexible and adapt accordingly is one that needs to be widely adopted going forwards, especially during these unpredictable times. Further challenges included staff release for training, time pressures, managing emotive discussions using the online modality and COVID-19 safety measures. A 6-month follow-up survey is planned to evaluate the benefit to staff’s clinical work and will be included at the presentation.